Answers on a postcard..
It's a medium of exchange. Wealth isn't actually created.It's basically a way to make money from burning energy. Trouble is it is very in-efficient at that and requires crazy amounts of CO2 emissions before it is economically viable. I see it as an immoral act of environmental vandalism, when we need it least
A rather contradictory statement in the context of the ETC attack.A (environmentally unethical) risk.
Not a lot of detailed info in that article, but it comes from the 'horse's mouth' so might be worth a read for those that do not know the full extent of the negative aspect due to energy demands that any 'bitcoin' requires.I make Bitcoin, and in a previous life, I covered the oil industry as a journalist. Increasingly, I’m realizing the two worlds are alike. Bitcoin is oil.
And one day, Bitcoin will become big oil, and all who dabble in it will be reborn as enemies of the environmental movement, seen as plunderers of the planet and the bad guys in the fight against climate change – just like oil.
Bitcoin’s environmental footprint will haunt it. Nobody has pointed this out, but it is painfully clear: if we can at all predict an industry’s growth by that of a different one, then oil is Bitcoin’s crystal ball.
Comparing the environmental impact of the Bitcoin industry to big oil is shaky at best, even if cryptocurrency is eventually the larger market. If proof-of-work remains predominant (a highly uncertain proposition) in mature currencies, mining is self-limiting. In the case of Bitcoin, there is an equilibrium between price and block reward, beyond which mining is no longer profitable. You can pump more oil as demand increases, but you cannot create BTC faster.Not a lot of detailed info in that article, but it comes from the 'horse's mouth' so might be worth a read for those that do not know the full extent of the negative aspect due to energy demands that any 'bitcoin' requires.
Neither blockchain nor cryptocurrency is synonymous with proof-of-work, and even PoW cryptos are self-limiting.Unless they become uneconomical to run. And as the author pointed out, many countries are starting to draw the line in the sand.
I'm sure the other arguments about the relative negatives of crypto-currencies hold some merit, but for me it is still the sheer environmental cost they require that make them a dead end (and short lived) option. It is just exactly the wrong time in relation to the AGW issue to run such an experiment imho. Maybe once we have a global solution to AGW, it can be something we would have a non-damaging technological solution too, but currently it is just pouring fuel on an already out of control fire.Nicholas Weaver made no bones about it: he really, really dislikes cryptocurrencies.
Speaking at the Enigma security conference in Burlingame, California, last week, the researcher at UC Berkeley's International Computer Science Institute characterized bitcoin and its many follow-on digital currencies as energy-sucking leeches with no redeeming qualities. Their chief, if not only, function, he said, is to fund ransomware campaigns, online drug bazaars, and other criminal enterprises.
Meanwhile, Weaver said, there's no basis for the promises that cryptocurrencies' decentralized structure and blockchain basis will fundamentally transform commerce or economics. That means the sky-high valuations spawned by those false promises are completely unjustified. He also said investors' irrational exuberance just adds to the unviability of cryptocurrency.
Summarizing a talk titled "Cryptocurrency: Burn it with Fire," Weaver told an audience of security and privacy experts:
"In conclusion, it is a dismal space. Private and permissioned blockchains are an old idea—a good idea—just with a new buzzword on it. The public blockchains are grossly inefficient. The cryptocurrencies don't work to provide anything against drugs and ransoms and stuff like that. Smart contracts are an unmitigated disaster unless you like comedy gold. And the field is just recapitulating 500 years of failures."
Hard to take Dan Goodin or Nicholas Weaver seriously when the opening premise of that article is complete nonsense.My objection to crypto-currencies is 100% due to the associated energy costs (as i have posted articles about a few times). Anyway here are some other aspects to think about in relation to the downsides of the technology:
Nearly every one of your posts on the topic conflates proof-of-work and mining with cryptocurrency. This is one of those big overgeneralizations that nullifies much of your, and your chosen sources', arguments.I'm sure the other arguments about the relative negatives of crypto-currencies hold some merit, but for me it is still the sheer environmental cost they require that make them a dead end (and short lived) option. It is just exactly the wrong time in relation to the AGW issue to run such an experiment imho. Maybe once we have a global solution to AGW, it can be something we would have a non-damaging technological solution too, but currently it is just pouring fuel on an already out of control fire.
Well at least we agree to like fishThe exchange has gone on like this:
You point out the dangers of mercury, telling people not to eat fish.
I point out that not all fish are high in mercury.
You post an article that shows swordfish and mackerel are high in mercury.
I point out that most fish are not swordfish or mackerel.
You come back with an article showing the dangers of excessive swordfish consumption.
I suggest trying some Alaskan Salmon.
You post an article written by a guy who has never heard of any fish other than swordfish and mackerel, and thinks that eating fish is evil because he's a vegan.