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Bitcoin could cost us our clean-energy future
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-12-06 20:19:46

The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge - an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year.

[...]

In just a few months from now, at bitcoin's current growth rate, the electricity demanded by the cryptocurrency network will start to outstrip what's available, requiring new energy-generating plants. And with the climate conscious racing to replace fossil fuel-base plants with renewable energy sources, new stress on the grid means more facilities using dirty technologies. By July 2019, the bitcoin network will require more electricity than the entire United States currently uses. By February 2020, it will use as much electricity as the entire world does today.

This is an unsustainable trajectory. It simply can't continue.

Not only is bitcoin tulips, but it's also incredibly bad for our planet. These energy numbers are insanity.

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RE: Ha
By unclefester on 2017-12-07 10:36:56
Tulips are still a major industry. Bitcoin will probably be almost worthless in a matter of months.[In fact once bitcoin futures start trading next week it will be highly vulnerable to attack from institutional short sellers.]

Bitcoin is the sort of idiotic utopion idea that appeals to geeks. It is nothing more than a totally fucked up analogy for physical gold. It is deflationary which encourages hoarding. The cost of production is staggering and increases exponentially and the blockchain is about the clumsiest and most impractical anti-counterfeiting method ever devised.
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RE[4]: Comparison
By Alfman on 2017-12-07 14:52:26
daedalus,

> Mind you, energy efficiency for bitcoin mining could also be said to have the same side effect (contributing to the heating) in colder climates at least.

If your talking about bitcoin mining mostly at home, and then mostly in the winter, then maybe that's a valid point. But the majority of it is taking place in huge datacenters that produce so much excess heat that they have to spend even more energy to actively cool the servers. We're talking about 100+ megawatts of electricity. This heat energy just gets released into the atmosphere.
https://cointelegraph.com/news/wo...



If you wanted to reclaim that somehow, the data center would have to be near a huge apartment complex or similar. But even then, this wouldn't do as much good in the summer when everyone wants AC rather than heat.

The most energy efficient places to do bitcoin mining would be at the north and south poles where we can do away with cooling, but we'd just be contributing to melting the poles.

Edited 2017-12-07 14:57 UTC
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RE[2]: Comparison
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-12-07 15:23:08
The Christmas light energy will decrease over time as old bulbs burn out and are replaced with LED.

Just did that last weekend, couldn't find any non LED bulbs. Was concerned as I tried them maybe 5 years ago and found that they flickered at a unsettling pace. But the ones i just bought were better.
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RE[2]: Ha
By birdie on 2017-12-07 15:57:43
It's been here for 9 years already and according to you it will die in a few months.

Have people collectively stopped using their rational mind?
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RE: Scalability
By M.Onty on 2017-12-07 16:16:01
> In my last post I actually suggested that crypto currencies might be eliminated all together in favor of multiparty peer to peer bartering. I'm curious what people have to say about that?
http://www.osnews.com/thread?651...
I like your thoughts on peer to peer bartering. It hadn't occurred to me before that secure digital transactions don't just make cryptocurrencies possible (pseudo-gold), but maybe goes further by making fiat currencies themselves redundant, including the cryptocurrencies.
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Oh Thom...
By tunkaflux on 2017-12-07 16:31:17
Here is a better article than the crap linked above: https://arstechnica.com/tech-poli...

Also, I come here to read decent OS news, not this "BSD is dying!", sorry "Bitcoin is dying!" bullshit.
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RE: Oh Thom...
By dbox2005 on 2017-12-07 16:39:54
Bitcoin is sucking the living and their energy. Who believes this BS. People buy solar panels to make Bitcoins, they also Buy Tesla with only purpose to drain car battery and recharge for free to make Bitcoins. What a screwed up world ...yeah.
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RE: Oh Thom...
By Thom_Holwerda on 2017-12-07 16:56:58
> Also, I come here to read decent OS news, not this "BSD is dying!", sorry "Bitcoin is dying!" bullshit.

Nobody said Bitcoin is dying - least of all me. That's something you made up all by yourself.

...interesting why you would do so. Perhaps because deep down you're insecure about your convictions?
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RE: Comment Title
By dbox2005 on 2017-12-07 17:00:32
There are two things when talking about oil. The oil supplies do not run out, but the investment needed to bring that to the market was not made just so you know price is now going up. You cannot have oil without investing in capacity to extract. Two sides of the coin. Same with Bitcoin...demand and supply. Whatever..meanwhile Bitcoin going to 50k, watch and learn :)
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RE[2]: Oh Thom...
By tunkaflux on 2017-12-07 17:33:59
You might not be saying it, but your intention or the feeling you're trying to convey is clear: "tulips", "incredibly bad for our planet", "insanity". Additionally, from the article: "This is an unsustainable trajectory. It simply can’t continue.". Even if you're not saying that Bitcoin is dying, it's obvious you want it to die.

Also, I couldn't care less about Bitcoin itself, but that's a completely different discussion :)
There's way more interesting cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency developments out there, why don't you report on those?
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