Bloody hell, the #bitcoin crowd have discovered my latest privacy post. So listen up: a billion identical copies of a database isn’t decentralisation. It isn’t a prerequisite for privacy. And if it destroys our habitat, it’s a crime against humanity. You can show yourselves out.
Mostly, no one knows what #Bitcoin 's footprint is. There's no way to determine that from energy usage. Electrical energy comes in a range of footprints, even negative ones. If we can get mining to go where footprints are lowest, perhaps even stimulate development of new sources like that, it's impact could be positive.
Also, getting rid of the petrodollar should happen yesterday.
@stevenroose @aral the argument I've seen against that is simply that even if bitcoin mining moves to lower energy sources, it is using up those resources, and they stop something else moving. so no net gain... they could stimulate more, but at the moment, people are reopening coal stations instead...
@glynmoody @aral People easily forget that electrical energy isn't very transportable. It's not so that a kWh used for #Bitcoin mining somewhere, could have instead been put on the consumer market to lower its energy price (or footprint). This is very often not the case. In fact, energy is cheapest exactly where that is not the case. And since mining is so mobile, it will naturally move to those places.
That are remote renewables like hydro, wind, geothermal; or abandoned industrial sites.
I never understand how this sounds like a valid argument to people, that "energy is hard to transport so you might as well use it for a blockchain".
Such energy sounds like THE perfect place to host our websites, our servers and anything else that could use the energy and is connected to the internet - instead, the green energy immediately gets swallowed by the energy hungry cryptominers.
If the crypto community truly cared about their footprint, they'd give everyone else a chance to use the energy AND THEN use it if unclaimed.
@bram @glynmoody @aral Datacenters need a lot more maintenance than mining. So you probably don't want to build your datacenter in some remote mountain next to a hydro plant. Also, #Bitcoin mining barely needs bandwidth. It can be done over a satellite link. No datacenter can.
It's a fact that a vast share of all electricity generated is wasted. Sure, perhaps some other use-case could also tap that resource. Doubt if it'd be more useful than stateless money, but that's subjective, sure.
@bram @glynmoody @aral
No matter your opinion, #Bitcoin is an important development. If you study the history of monies, humans have been using hard monies for thousands of years, from shells to stones to gold. Until we stopped doing so 50 years ago. Bitcoin is a form of hard money that's digital and it's the only of its kind.
So whether it turns out useful on the long run or not, it'll always be an important part of history.
And to be fair, it can't be much worse than what we have today. IMHO.
@stevenroose @glynmoody @aral The development of cryptocurrency is as important as Floridian real estate in the 1920s.
Money today works exactly the same way. It’s just markings in the ledger of a bank. e.g., Banks basically create money out of thin air any time they lend you some.
A good/accessible read on all this is anything by Yanis Varoufakis.
Datacenters wouldn't work if you try to centralize your service, like with Google, Facebook or even a *cough* blockchain. (Yes, blockchains aren't decentralised. Look up the CAP theorem.)
Remote power plants are usually meant for remote locations. The datacenters could easily be used for remote IPFS, Matrix, XMPP, Mastodon and other decentralised services so that those economies barely suffer from a poor connection.
@bram @glynmoody @aral I don't understand your argument I think. Are you saying the remote datacenter could power the remote community's digital needs? You really barely need electricity for that though. A bunch of servers really don't use thst much energy. And remote places are called remote usually because of the lack of community 😅
@bram @glynmoody @aral
About blockchains not being decentralized. #Bitcoin isn't a blockchain. It's a protocol for people to build one. Sure, it's not fully p2p like what a digital hawala could look like, but it serves a different purpose. It serves as a hard money. And it's valuable in providing a digital hard money. Many p2p debt-based economies had hard monies on the side. Graeber's debt actually points that out in the sections on "human economies".
A digital hawala would be very cool, sure!
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