Received this through my temporal newsreader this morning:
Published: December 8, 2041
BEIJING--The first human Bitcoin mining efforts began today in outlying
Chinese provinces. With the value of a Bitcoin approaching its high in
the 2030s of $7 million, the Weifan Mining Corporation has begun pooling
the mining efforts of people who used to work as peasant farmers.
"Given the price of silicon, hardware can't be produced to mine
effectively anymore," said Tian Dun, vice president of mining operations
for Weifan. "The next step is to teach farmers how to perform the
arithmetic necessary to mine for Bitcoins."
The yield from human mining is exceedingly low, but China's 6 billion
residents can, if they each perform a single floating-point operation per
second, complete a TeraFLOP in a little under half an hour. "Ideally we
could sign up the whole population to mine," said Mr. Tian. "A picocoin
can feed a farmer's family for a whole week."
Mark Halstrom, chairman of the Artforz Bitcoin Company, brushed off the
notion that Weifan posed any competitive thread to the company's mining
dominance but praised the idea of human mining. "If farmers can support
themselves through mining efforts, there's no reason to try to discourage
Halstrom is, of course, known for various mining innovations throughout
the last decade. To power the company's Minnesota-based server farm, he
began burning US dollar bills after peak oil was confirmed. And he
encouraged nuclear-fission experiments to convert gold into hydrogen,
to provide fuel for the well-known farm.