I don’t know who needs to hear this but…

Privacy isn’t:

- A premium feature
- A setting you must configure
- About having something to hide

Privacy is:

- A basic human right.

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.

@aral @glynmoody I found This Machine Greens to give quite compelling arguments:


Mostly, no one knows what '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 I'd be curious to see hear of who is reopening coal stations..
About that argument, that never really holds. A ton of either produced energy can't find a user or potentially freely produced energy is not produced because uncertainty of finding a user.
Bitcoin Mining helps projects building, mostly renewable (because lowest marginal cost), energy production because they are a reliable buyer of the energy.

@glynmoody @aral People easily forget that electrical energy isn't very transportable. It's not so that a kWh used for 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.

@stevenroose @glynmoody @aral

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, 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.

@stevenroose @glynmoody @aral

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. 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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