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Author Topic: Is Bitcoin Destroying the Planet?  (Read 303 times)
hugeblack
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April 16, 2018, 03:21:52 PM
 #1

With the price of the Bitcoin rising, fears are mounting that the mining centers are consuming too much electricity (to the extent that some call it an environmental disaster).
Smari McCarthy of Iceland's Pirate Party says"We are spending tens or maybe hundreds of megawatts on producing something that has no tangible existence and no real use for humans outside the realm of financial speculation"[1]
Although the main use of Bitcoin is not speculation, [for example, in some countries, bitcoin used to request medicine and food from outside of the country because of local currency problems] however, the consumption of this amount of electricity is not justified.

If electricity consumption is the problem, why miners do not focus on renewables?[for example, In Iceland, electricity supplies from renewable sources are so abundant that they can be distributed free of charge][2].But if the use of bitcoin mining from renewable sources increases, does that threaten the future of energy? "We will not have enough energy for future generations"

Source:
#1 https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/in-iceland-bitcoin-mining-will-soon-use-more-energy-than-its-residents/
#2 https://www.ecowatch.com/iceland-worlds-largest-clean-energy-producer-per-capita-1882105880.html
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April 16, 2018, 11:10:40 PM
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It could just be a great step in progress of renewable energy sources. If miners will stop focus only on earning money, and start to invest in future, I think it will make the world better. Like companies that develop robots with solar panels which are handling farmer´s lands. Which will lead to decreasing of food price. What else we need? Almost free food, free energy and homes for everyone. All this things are possible with opportunities that gives us bitcoin.
The key is just that right instrument should be in right hands.
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April 17, 2018, 08:51:25 AM
 #3

Bitcoin is already mined by 80%.
In 2020, we will receive a smaller award for mining up to 6.25 coins per block, 3.25 coins per block in 2024 and 1.56 coins per block in 2028.
Most of the coins will be mined until 2032. With the current situation, the bitcoin rate should grow strongly, so that its mining would be profitable.
The cost of electricity in many countries is constantly rising, new technologies for mining do not give a big reduction in consumption.
The question is why these grief analysts do not consider energy consumption for the banking system around the world. Data centers, ATMs, offices. Why does no one say that the banking system is threatening the planet?
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April 17, 2018, 12:10:35 PM
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 #4

I think Bitcoin is far from destroying the planet. Unfortunately it is the planets population that is destroying the planet. 30 years ago our society should have been putting a much larger emphasis on renewable energy, but even today there is a huge push against renewable sources. This comes mainly from companies that aren't looking past their current profits.

One nice thing I've noticed about smaller scale miners where I'm from, in our Fall/Winter months can operate energy neutral. I can run my miners in my home and use them as my furnace instead of the electric elements. There are also projects I've come across here in the forum such as OGNASTY's project, as well as other users posts regarding using solar arrays.

These are great examples of the options available to maintain the network in an environmentally conscious manner. I will say I've noticed a shift towards green energy but it is slow going and needs more big money players to get behind the technology to improve efficiency.

I also don't think that renewables are a threat to the current energy status quo, outside of the fact it will affect profits. The current energy system will run itself dry; renewable energy will just allow it to stretch its supply longer and keep it available for the systems that make sense to use it in place of renewables. There can be a happy medium but it will take time, effort and commitment.
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April 17, 2018, 12:27:33 PM
 #5

Lets sum up some numbers

According to this: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

Quote
Bitcoin's current estimated annual electricity consumption* (TWh): 61.25

and in US dollars:

Quote
Annualized estimated global mining costs : $3,062,444,344

Now compare it with, say, TV set costs. I found some numbers (it's 2013, but i think TV adoption is not growing that fast already)

https://www.cnet.com/news/what-you-need-to-know-about-tv-power-consumption/

So we have from this source that

Quote
A typical label can read anywhere from $6 for 32-inch LEDs to $38 for 65-inch plasmas per year

Let it be 40$

The city I live in has 1080K apartments, (officially, so I wouldn't trust it too much)

Lets assume these poor inhabitants have TV at home only in 50%, so that there are  ~500K TVs

Yearly they will consume 500000 * 40 (everybody has plasma) = $20,000,000

Damn it, I was going to protect Bitcoin here...

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April 19, 2018, 01:04:12 PM
 #6

If electricity consumption is the problem, why miners do not focus on renewables?
I think some miners don't use renewable resources (like solar panel) because they don't have so much money to buy for it and maintain it in their way. And also they don't have supply to be able to reproduce it in their own. Likewise, using non-renewable resources is easy to do because you don't have to maintain it. All have to buy is the equipment needed to produce electricity.

But if the use of bitcoin mining from renewable sources increases, does that threaten the future of energy? "We will not have enough energy for future generations"
Why do you think we will not have enough energy if they will used renewable resources?
It is a good thing to use it because it can be used repeatedly and can be replaced naturally. If companies will use solar energy or some kind of energy from nature. It will really help our environment to not consume so much power from non-renewable resources.
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April 19, 2018, 02:25:09 PM
 #7

The short answer is no... Just look at the figures for yourself... As Slava79 quoted BTC mining consumes around 61.25 TWH annually.. The global production of electricity has been rising and it doesn't even reaches the 1% mark of total production. In 2016 we produced around 20,000 TWH of electricity, So if you do the math of how much mining consumed, that's around 0.00306%. Plus the mining efficiency will only go up.. So in no way the bitcoin mining is destroying the planet.. Unless you want to take into consideration the heat produced by these miners.. But i don't believe that its that much to make a global impact.. I will do my research on this tho... Interesting topic to say the least..
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April 19, 2018, 05:47:02 PM
 #8

The whole mining energy consumption being this major thing is just pure FUD by people that dont support/understand bitcoin. The power bitcoin uses yearly isnt even a drop in the bucket. We are damaging our planet with coal power plants and relaxed regulations, not to mention the insane amount of trash that is out in the wild.
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April 20, 2018, 12:01:47 AM
 #9

if you want mayonnaise, you have to break some eggs
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April 21, 2018, 02:51:01 AM
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 #10

With the price of the Bitcoin rising, fears are mounting that the mining centers are consuming too much electricity (to the extent that some call it an environmental disaster).
Smari McCarthy of Iceland's Pirate Party says"We are spending tens or maybe hundreds of megawatts on producing something that has no tangible existence and no real use for humans outside the realm of financial speculation"[1]
Although the main use of Bitcoin is not speculation, [for example, in some countries, bitcoin used to request medicine and food from outside of the country because of local currency problems] however, the consumption of this amount of electricity is not justified.

If electricity consumption is the problem, why miners do not focus on renewables?[for example, In Iceland, electricity supplies from renewable sources are so abundant that they can be distributed free of charge][2].But if the use of bitcoin mining from renewable sources increases, does that threaten the future of energy? "We will not have enough energy for future generations"

Source:
#1 https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/in-iceland-bitcoin-mining-will-soon-use-more-energy-than-its-residents/
#2 https://www.ecowatch.com/iceland-worlds-largest-clean-energy-producer-per-capita-1882105880.html

No, it will need to change or regulators will make it illegal to mine / transact Bitcoin, here are a few problems with Bitcoin…



The BIG Problem With Bitcoin

Many people believe that Bitcoin is the future currency of our world, others argue that it is a store of value. Whilst both could be true, there are fundamental issues with Bitcoin that need to be changed in order for it to scale to mass adoption.

In this article I will be listing the top 3 issues that Bitcoin faces in terms of scalability.

1. Energy consumption

A study from Digiconomist found that each transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain uses 236 KWh worth of electricity, this amount is enough to power 8 U.S households for an entire day.

Now to put things into perspective, there are over 300,000 transactions per day. At this rate, Bitcoin uses more electricity per year than the whole of Nigeria and this is only increasing.

Read more here: Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index - Digiconomist

Proof of work is vastly uneconomic and damages the environment at an alarming rate.

2. Scalability issues

Energy consumption will hinder the scalability issues of Bitcoin, however the other issue that arises with POW mining is that with the increase in cost associated with mining BTC it is less economical to mine Bitcoin. This would limit the distributed nodes (miners) globally and allow a larger percentage of control to the dominant mining pools / farms.

This would lead to a more centralised blockchain, where they can change the rules of BTC as they please.

The supply of Bitcoin is finite, capped at 21 million. Eventually (currently predicted for 2140) Bitcoin's supply will run out. Once this happens, miners will no longer receive rewards for completing blocks but instead will be given fees. The fees will be drastically high in relative terms, and people will stop using the blockchain.

Also, if miners decide that this is uneconomical for them to process the transactions and use their computing power elsewhere the speed of transactions for Bitcoin will drastically slow down, rendering one of the fundamental values of a Bitcoin (speed) useless.

3. The unknown future

Bitcoin is not a superior blockchain, there are hundreds of projects that are faster, cheaper and more valuable than Bitcoin. Bitcoin has market dominance because it is one of the first and most topical cryptocurrency (did you know that the price of BTC has a direct correlation to the amount of google searches). Here are a few things that could really end Bitcoin’s dominant era:

I) Blue chip company coming into the markets

This is more so for all cryptocurrencies, but Bitcoin in particular. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when a blue-chip company such as Facebook, Amazon or Google decides to implement their own cryptocurrency, they will dominate the market.

The consumer's trust is already with these big companies, and they have the power and capital to influence the entire market.

Another possibility is a potential ‘world coin’ which global governments will all agree on using, this may seem unrealistic but it is definitely not impossible and many benefits would arise from having such a currency.

II) Quantum computing

Bitcoin is said to be Quantum resistant, on the whitepaper it mentions that:

‘To compensate for increasing hardware speed and varying interest in running nodes over time, the proof-of-work difficulty is determined by a moving average targeting an average number of blocks per hour. If they're generated too fast, the difficulty increases.’

This may seem quantum resistant but it is important to understand that the difficulty is changed every 10 minutes and this is more than enough time for QC to mine all of Bitcoin’s remaining coins.

The other issued that QC represents is that there is a possibility of QC calculating people’s private keys for their BTC wallet. I do not know the technical details of how this is done, but from what I have read this is possible.

III) Bitcoin bubble

My last point for this section is that Bitcoin is not being bought as a store of value or a currency by most people, for most people Bitcoin is a speculative investment hoping to make a fortune on something they really don’t know much about.

Once the bubble reaches its peak, and people start panic selling, Bitcoin will inevitably crash with that. After all, Bitcoin’s price is determined by demand vs supply.

In the light of a fair argument, I would like to point out that Bitcoin can change to tackle these issues and substantially increase its long-term survival. Bitcoin has a massive passionate community behind it and this reason why Bitcoin has grown to where it is today.

Thanks for reading,
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April 21, 2018, 06:40:30 AM
 #11

It could just be a great step in progress of renewable energy sources. If miners will stop focus only on earning money, and start to invest in future, I think it will make the world better. Like companies that develop robots with solar panels which are handling farmer´s lands. Which will lead to decreasing of food price. What else we need? Almost free food, free energy and homes for everyone. All this things are possible with opportunities that gives us bitcoin.
The key is just that right instrument should be in right hands.
This was already discuss in an article of New York Times.

For a clip, this will be the average consumption of creating a token with mining technology.

“The computer power needed to create a single digital token consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years, according to figures from Morgan Stanley and Alex de Vries, an economist who tracks energy use in the industry.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/21/technology/bitcoin-mining-energy-consumption.html?mtrref=undefined

Sustainable solution should also meet to fuel the growth of this alarming transformation of technology.
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April 21, 2018, 12:07:21 PM
 #12

In the past I've never thought this this before. This thought only came to me recently and I agree with those who say that Bitcoin is destroying Earth. In fact, I feel that combining all the electricity wasted used on mining Bitcoin, we would have enough energy to do something incredible - such as making a powerful rocket for space-exploration.

I'm not a professional. The above paragraph is just my assumption.
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April 21, 2018, 02:33:43 PM
 #13

Just by see total energy used to Mine bitcoin (or any PoW-based cryptocurrency) isn't enough to prove that mining is destroying earth, since there are few question such as whether miners use renewable/Eco-friendly energy source and how "Eco-friendly" is their mining activity. If most miners use renewable/Eco-friendly, i don't see any reason Bitcoin is destroying Earth.

Even if miners use lots of electricity to the point where there's electricity shortage, there are solutions such as increase electricity price for miner as high as industrial electricity price in medium-big scale.

Also, i think PoW is the most secure consensus protocol. More info : https://medium.com/@hugonguyen/proof-of-stake-the-wrong-engineering-mindset-15e641ab65a2
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April 21, 2018, 04:23:08 PM
 #14

With the price of the Bitcoin rising, fears are mounting that the mining centers are consuming too much electricity (to the extent that some call it an environmental disaster).
Smari McCarthy of Iceland's Pirate Party says"We are spending tens or maybe hundreds of megawatts on producing something that has no tangible existence and no real use for humans outside the realm of financial speculation"[1]
Although the main use of Bitcoin is not speculation, [for example, in some countries, bitcoin used to request medicine and food from outside of the country because of local currency problems] however, the consumption of this amount of electricity is not justified.

If electricity consumption is the problem, why miners do not focus on renewables?[for example, In Iceland, electricity supplies from renewable sources are so abundant that they can be distributed free of charge][2].But if the use of bitcoin mining from renewable sources increases, does that threaten the future of energy? "We will not have enough energy for future generations"

Source:
#1 https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/02/in-iceland-bitcoin-mining-will-soon-use-more-energy-than-its-residents/
#2 https://www.ecowatch.com/iceland-worlds-largest-clean-energy-producer-per-capita-1882105880.html

Bitcoin consumes a lot of electricity today, but I think that any large bank consumes electricity many times more. In banks, a lot of buildings, computers, ATMs, servers and all this consumes electricity around the clock. If the crypto currencies in the future will be widely used, then many banks will close and the electricity deficit will end. Grin Bitcoin consumes a lot of electricity, but not so much to have the power to destroy the planet. In the future, it will not consume more electricity than now, as Bitcoin will never be used as a currency and we all understand it. The reason is that Bitcoin has a problem with the speed of transactions. I think that this problem will not be solved in the future. Bitcoin is a means of saving money, for example, like gold. Exaggerations that bitcoin consumes a lot of electricity comes only from those people who hate bitcoin. If we take all the computers of the world, we will understand that they consume too much electricity. Let's all throw out all our gadgets, stop using electricity, we'll cook at the stake, we'll dress skins, live in caves, so that there will be no electricity deficit. Grin It's all nonsense. If there is not enough electricity in the future, people will start using alternative sources of electricity, and if no one uses them today, it means that everyone has enough electricity.
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April 21, 2018, 08:53:19 PM
 #15

Nature has much bigger problems than Bitcoin.

Plastics ruining our oceans and habitats, air pollution, mass killing of whales and sea creatures. Just to name a few.
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April 22, 2018, 07:32:14 PM
 #16

No, there will be no different situation.Satoshi nakamoto already knew this.
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April 23, 2018, 06:03:37 AM
 #17

I love Bitcoin, but technically it is. Perhaps not as big of an issue, I hope, but it's one of the biggest criticism from the average person. But what can one do? If it goes to something like POS, then a lot of miners will complain, and another fork which will not solve the issue.
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April 23, 2018, 07:29:48 AM
 #18


"The planet is fine. The people are fucked."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W33HRc1A6c
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April 23, 2018, 04:54:09 PM
 #19

Bitcoin can never destroy planet, it is only changing the planet to a better place and liveable. I love the idea behind BITCOIN.
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April 23, 2018, 11:26:11 PM
 #20

Bitcoin can never be the threat to destroy the planet instead it is the key to have a progress and growing economy. A lot of people here became wealth through bitcoin by investing and this the way that can be the source of our livelihood. Moreover, this is one of the easy way earn profit and to fulfill your everyday needs.
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