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Andrew Gallagher
If were to cease trading tomorrow, 0.5% of the world’s electricity demand would simply disappear – which would cover one year’s worth of the carbon emission cuts required to limit temperature rises this century to 2C.
The UN this week released a report urging world governments to take immediate action to mitigate the effects of the coming climate catastrophe. It is no longer a case of whether catastrophe is comi…
Slugger O'Toole Slugger O'Toole @SluggerOToole
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Chris.x Oct 13
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
Assuming your numbers are sound and you are referring to mining and not trading, this holds true only for Bitcoin mined using fossil fuel energy, not for Bitcoin mined using nuclear or renewable energy.
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Chris.x Oct 13
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
And by the way, energy production and consumption are local. It is very hard (wasteful) to transport energy over very long distance. So a kW saved from hydro energy in Canada cannot be used in Washington. Saying otherwise reminds me of Enron trying to sell unused DSL bandwidth.
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 13
Replying to @Chris96576116
But energy is fungible. If bitcoin is being powered by a renewable power plant, that’s still one less renewable power plant that isn’t replacing a fossil fuel plant somewhere else.
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Chris.x Oct 13
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
If energy was fungible the world would simply need to build large solar farms in some desert near the equator, world energy problem solved. Unfortunately, energy is not as fungible.
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 13
Replying to @Chris96576116
That assumes the power plant already exists. Yes, long distance power transmission is inefficient. But there are no enormous power plants in the arctic somewhere just waiting for a bitcoin farm to come along and make them economically viable.
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 13
Replying to @Chris96576116
You’re right, over long distances electricity isn’t fungible. It is over short distances though, and although there is excess hydro capacity in some parts of the world that’s not the same as being free, and it certainly doesn’t mean it’s ok to waste it on PoW schemes.
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raleur Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
you will not save our planet by cuting on the 0.5 % source of co2, you better focus on the 99,5% that remain.
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 14
Replying to @raleur_officiel
Did you read the article? I did address that point.
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
Even if the numbers are out by a whole order of magnitude, the central argument stands.
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Mark Leyden Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
And the energy usage increases as the mining difficulty increases (baked into the bitcoin algo). Never going to be long term sustainable...
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 14
Replying to @mleyden
Yes, that’s why equilibrium depends entirely on the price of electricity, and not on the actual work done.
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John Carvalho Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
So how do you decide which things should be allowed to use electricity and which shouldn't? My bet is there are plenty worse abused than Bitcoin, if you're on the prowl!
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 14
Replying to @BitcoinErrorLog
Most things that use electricity are subject to market forces that tend to limit their electricity use. And most of those - vehicles, construction, agriculture - are fundamental to human existence. Not bitcoin.
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John Carvalho Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
What makes you think Bitcoin is circumventing market forces? Whether Bitcoin is fundamental to humans is subjective, but it was literally invented as such -- and that is not a criteria for buying electricity anyway.
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 14
Replying to @BitcoinErrorLog
I didn’t say that. I said market forces acted as positive rather than negative feedback. A classic bubble, in other words. Everyone who hasn’t bought into it can see it.
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Peter Monien Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
What would happen if all old inefficient banking tech would change for blockchain based tech?
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Ben West 🔥 Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
In practical terms how would you propose a ban on Bitcoin could be implemented internationally? Hard enough to get regulators to agree let alone act. We have to buidl our way out of this mess. Disrupting existing power structures is needed. The Status quo is not sustainable.
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James Todaro Oct 14
Replying to @andrewgdotcom
Despite regulatory efforts to decrease carbon emissions, increased demand for electricity will result in greater innovation/production of electricity more affordable than fossil fuels. Bitcoin just speeds up this discovery process.
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Andrew Gallagher Oct 14
Replying to @peter_monien
Then bitcoin would use 50,000% of today’s TOTAL electricity production capacity, and would process payments a thousand times more slowly. The notion that current banking systems are “inefficient” is a flat out lie.
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