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Author Topic: Bitcoin isn't green  (Read 2143 times)
arne
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March 27, 2012, 06:01:40 PM
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Bitcoin needs mining. Mining costs a whole lot of electricity. Electricity still mostly comes from fossil fuels.

Ergo, bitcoin isn't green.

Any thoughts about this?

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mcorlett
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March 27, 2012, 06:03:50 PM
 #2

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Myths#Bitcoin_mining_is_a_waste_of_energy_and_harmful_for_ecology

nedbert9
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March 27, 2012, 06:04:53 PM
 #3

Bitcoin needs mining. Mining costs a whole lot of electricity. Electricity still mostly comes from fossil fuels.

Ergo, bitcoin isn't green.

Any thoughts about this?


Think with a broader perspective.  How much electricity is required to operate the Fed, investment and commercial banking system?


Smiley
arne
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March 27, 2012, 06:23:27 PM
 #4

Bitcoin needs mining. Mining costs a whole lot of electricity. Electricity still mostly comes from fossil fuels.

Ergo, bitcoin isn't green.

Any thoughts about this?


Think with a broader perspective.  How much electricity is required to operate the Fed, investment and commercial banking system?


Smiley

That's not really an argument (or, to broad a perspective for me to see clearly).
I kind of like Economic Argument 1 from the link, but it still means electricity companies make the most off of mining. Right?

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z3rohour
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March 27, 2012, 06:23:56 PM
 #5

Compared to commercial economy, Bitcoin is greener.
ribuck
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March 27, 2012, 06:24:36 PM
 #6

The mining cost per transaction is currently around $6. Assuming miners are operating at a small profit, perhaps $5 worth of electricity is being consumed for each transaction. That means around 50 kilowatt-hours, or 180 MegaJoules, per transaction.

That's a lot of electricity! But as the number of transactions per block rises, the electricity per transaction will drop.
arne
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March 27, 2012, 06:29:58 PM
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You mean that when I send .1 BTC from one wallet to another that costs $5 of electricity? Wow..
But if the total number of transactions rises that could drop to how much? It has to get much lower or else there wouldn't be enough electricity in the world to keep the whole thing running...

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jake262144
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March 27, 2012, 06:41:41 PM
 #8

Naturally them bitcoins aren't green - they be golden, silly.
They might get green-ish when they lay around for a while, like the bacon in my fridge Cheesy

To be sure, there must be a good reason why miners get VIP customer status at their power companies and some of them even lovely thank you letters attached to the boxes with the invoice print-outs, but on the other side the miners are also the only people I heard of who have calculated the energy consumption of their entire households and seriously contemplate the idea of shaving off a few watts per year by removing the status LEDs from all devices.
Even the most miserly of Scots don't get that far - they are entirely satisfied with disabling the fridge light bulb.



Seriously though, we're talking of quite possibly the most innovative project since the damned TCP/IP protocol, man.
A project that could very well integrate the financial system and the Internet very tightly without the need to trust any third party.
Surely, mining looks far less wasteful in this context, doesn't it?
ribuck
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March 27, 2012, 07:56:31 PM
 #9

You mean that when I send .1 BTC from one wallet to another that costs $5 of electricity?
The electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network is much the same whether or not you send your .1 BTC payment, so there's no incremental cost. But if you divide the total electricity consumption by the current level of transactions, it comes out around $5 of electricity per transaction.

Therefore, if you had ten times as many transactions, each one would only be associated with approximately $0.50 worth of electricity.

In the longer term, the electricity consumption will vary according to the hashing power of the network, which will be driven by the exchange rate and also by mining fees. But in the short term, more transactions equals less electricity per transaction.

To see this, consider that the block reward of 50 BTC is worth over $200. So miners would be happy to spend up to $200 of electricity to mine a block. If the block contains 40 transactions, that comes out to $5 per transaction. Sure it's not quite that simple, for example because people pay different amounts for electricity, but that's the rough idea.
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March 27, 2012, 09:00:35 PM
 #10

Bitcoin needs mining. Mining costs a whole lot of electricity. Electricity still mostly comes from fossil fuels.

Ergo, bitcoin isn't green.

Any thoughts about this?
Nice! So, do you have any better idea? What, no?

DeathAndTaxes
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March 27, 2012, 09:05:23 PM
 #11

You mean that when I send .1 BTC from one wallet to another that costs $5 of electricity?
The electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network is much the same whether or not you send your .1 BTC payment, so there's no incremental cost. But if you divide the total electricity consumption by the current level of transactions, it comes out around $5 of electricity per transaction.

Therefore, if you had ten times as many transactions, each one would only be associated with approximately $0.50 worth of electricity.

In the longer term, the electricity consumption will vary according to the hashing power of the network, which will be driven by the exchange rate and also by mining fees. But in the short term, more transactions equals less electricity per transaction.

To see this, consider that the block reward of 50 BTC is worth over $200. So miners would be happy to spend up to $200 of electricity to mine a block. If the block contains 40 transactions, that comes out to $5 per transaction. Sure it's not quite that simple, for example because people pay different amounts for electricity, but that's the rough idea.

Good explanation I would also add that the rise of FPGA, sASIC and ASICS will mean more hashing power per watt and lower the electrical consumption per tx.  So hypothetically someday the network could have an electrical consumption 1/10th compared to today despite higher hashing power.  If tx volume was also 100x higher then combined effect (less consumption and more tx) would put the electrical cost per tx below 1 cent.
z3rohour
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March 27, 2012, 10:57:51 PM
 #12

Once after FPGA comes online, it'll be lower
Xmufa23X
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March 27, 2012, 11:47:50 PM
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No thoughts at all, OP. Grin
Kush
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March 27, 2012, 11:59:00 PM
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It will be way lower soon.
Anillos
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March 28, 2012, 02:32:53 AM
 #15

Bitcoin needs mining. Mining costs a whole lot of electricity. Electricity still mostly comes from fossil fuels.

Ergo, bitcoin isn't green.

Any thoughts about this?
I think that everything is not green if We don't have green electricity.

Windpower and solar energy are becoming cheaper, and in a few years We will have more green energy.
Hydropower is another interesting energy, because there are lots of small sources that could be used without a expensive cost, there are lots of small dams on rivers or canals that are wasting energy.

A small example:
http://maps.google.es/?ll=41.958597,-4.977837&spn=0.034083,0.055189&t=h&z=14&layer=c&cbll=41.958493,-4.977831&panoid=bCr2PMWPCqJ_QGsOIu_Gwg&cbp=12,65.15,,0,-2.59
 - Power line: yes
 - Dam: yes
 - Water: yes
 - Electricity: NOT. Embarrassed

Aquí puedes conseguir pequeños ahorros sin mucho esfuerzo: http://www.bitvisitor.com/?ref=1PWNAGEZ3fSM8QevUavdd2iZ9F5jkp1QHZ
Consigue algo más viendo vídeos o haciendo pequeñas tareas en Bitcoinget.com: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=178692.msg2509190#msg2509190
¿necesitas un dibujo vectorial, un esquema, un diagrama...? https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=183268.0
bitcoinsarefun
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March 28, 2012, 02:44:47 AM
 #16

What currencies are considered green now?
jmm5699
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March 28, 2012, 02:58:07 AM
 #17

it's okay bitcoin, I'm not green either Sad

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benjamindees
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March 28, 2012, 03:57:07 AM
 #18

Energy economics is a difficult field to wrap your mind around.  Don't assume that ASICs will make the number lower.  A large portion of every dollar spent on mining hardware ultimately ends up being consumed as energy as well.

Every last economically-recoverable bit of fossil energy will be burnt with or without Bitcoin.

Think of the level of waste due to mal-investment, for instance, in maintaining Dollar hegemony or the global derivatives market.  Bitcoin is insignificant in comparison, and always will be.

Civil Liberty Through Complex Mathematics
joshv06
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March 28, 2012, 04:21:19 AM
 #19

Bitcoin mining with GPU/CPU's isn't green, but mining with FPGA's is XD.

TheStig
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March 28, 2012, 05:37:16 AM
 #20

What isn't green?

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