Wow, Tesla is giving up any pretence of being environmentally friendly by buying bitcoin, driving up the price, and creating even more massive energy wastage.
Tesla states that their carbon savings so far are 3,6 megatons: https://www.tesla.com/carbonimpact?redirect=no
The current carbon footprint of bitcoin is 36,95 megatons/year: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption/ (probably underestimated)
The price of bitcoin has risen 10% on the announcement of this news.
Bitcoin's economic model is set up so that a 10% increase in price will lead to roughly a ten percent increase in emissions.
So in one year, this price increase will wipe out ALL of Tesla's carbon savings.
1. Most US dollars are digital so their environmental cost is the computers already online
2. Printing US dollars or other national currencies is a miniscule carbon footprint compared to a bitcoin, and the transaction costs are lower than that
3. Bitcoin is not a currency, it is gambling a stock whose value comes from fantasies and the death of our planet.
@WAHa_06x36 I don't find your linkage between the rise in BTC price and the rise in the emissions of it, could you explain it?
@ignaloidas Bitcoin is designed so that miners have to compete for mining rewards. Your chance of getting a reward is directly proportional to how much computing power you are able to put in relative to the total power put in by everyone.
This causes an economic equilibrium where every miner has to put in as much computing power as they can possibly afford in order to stay in the game. And they pay for it by selling the bitcoins they gain as rewards.
@ignaloidas So higher price means that they can afford more, which means that they are force to deploy more, otherwise the others will do it, and their own share will decrease.
Their price is an up-front cost for the hardware, and then an ongoing cost for buying up energy for the hardware, which is the main factor in these calculations.
So in the end, higher price means more electricity bought, which means a higher carbon footprint.
@WAHa_06x36 That I'm aware of. I don't see how a 10% increase in price would result in 10% increase in pollution from mining. To increase your mining capacity 10% you will need to upgrade your whole infrastructure in most cases, which means building new farms. And new farms are currently built where power is cheapest. And with the exception of the middle east, the cheapest power is renewable, and it is where most miners are looking at. Untapped hydro, geothermal power is what is growing Bitcoin.
@ignaloidas It doesn't matter what bitcoin uses. What bitcoin DOESN'T use, somebody else will.
If bitcoin uses renewables, somebody else will have to use coal, when they could have used renewables instead, and we could have shut down the coal plant.
Additional energy use carries the environmental cost of the dirtiest energy you COULD have used for it, not what you actually do use. Because you still force someone else to use the dirtier energy.
@WAHa_06x36 Iceland produces 5 times more electricity than it's people use. It is currently used by bitcoin miners and aluminum plants. The aluminum plants literally ship ore to Iceland, purify it there, and ship it off to sell. And bitcoin is it's cleanest choice to use it. It's not the only place in the world like this. Many others aren't as fortunate, as they don't have ocean access for easy cargo. Bitcoin is helping to utilize the energy that otherwise could not be distributed to others.
The same happens with renewables.
And reminder that bitcoin mining is completely useless, other than keeping up the hype.
@jasper @WAHa_06x36 Look into this from Iceland's perspective. It doesn't pollute unlike aluminum, it pays more, it brings investments into IT infrastructure. It is the perfect use for the tons of spare power they have.
About the usefulness: from who's perspective? For Iceland it is very useful to use up all of that spare power they have without pollution. No longer do the ships have to sail with cargo unfit for shipping and wasting fuel transferring electricity.
@WAHa_06x36 @jasper I don't see how mining bitcoin in Iceland changes the Earths perspective. If you want something better to shoot, shoot food waste, shoot overheating of homes, shoot unnecessary water usage in areas with little ground water, shoot the unnecessary dependence on gas for heating, etc. There are a lot of higher target problems, that you can start to tackle yourself and make actual impact. Yelling on the internet won't stop Iceland from mining Bitcoin.
Again, the environmental impact of bitcoin is determined by the energy it uses, but by the dirtier energy it forces others to use.
And there are a lot of other problems to solve, yes! That does not mean that we shouldn't be solving this one. The other problems are hard. This one is easy: Destroy bitcoin, problem solved.
@WAHa_06x36 @jasper I said " don't see how mining bitcoin in Iceland changes the Earths perspective". IN ICELAND. In places that have overabundance of energy. Mining Bitcoin there makes next to no environmental impact, because without massively expensive infrastructure to move that energy elsewhere, YOU CANNOT USE IT. IT'S NOT JUST ICELAND.
Also, LMAO at thinking you can "destroy bitcoin". Probably the best way to do that is to stop talking about it. Which you are currently failing to do.
_Any_ resource use means you can't use it elsewhere. Saying where it comes from is just weaseling about it.
"Investing" in bitcoin, pushes energy demands up,(which is the wrong way) makes double-sha256 devices with no other use. It is indeed better to invest in heat pumps to heat housing etcetera.
@jasper @WAHa_06x36 Just like I said "Bitcoin is helping to utilize the energy that otherwise could not be distributed to others." No, you cannot just take the energy from Iceland and give it to USA so it no longer uses coal power plants. There is no feasible way. Notably, in the USA itself, there is a massive amounts of hydro power in north of west coast. There is quite a few big Bitcoin mining operations there as well. Infrastructure isn't sufficient to transfer it elsewhere for better use.
The narrative that energy is somehow overproduced and needs to be used is plain dishonest.
@federico3 It is not "overproduced". It's "overavailable". It is there, you just need to harvest it and put it somewhere. Sadly, the places that have such abundance often have nowhere to put it, because such places are often mountainous and sparsely populated. A few decades ago they housed aluminum refineries, but since most of them have reduced their capacities because of China having *TONS* of cheap hydro energy and dominating the worlds market. Basically all of those regions now mine Bitcoin.
@huy_ngo Yes, although they are so far a much smaller problem. But in general, they are a net negative on the world and should be destroyed, not just for the environmental impact but also for the massive amount of criminality they enable.
cw-boost: ecological disaster, cryptocurrency
@WAHa_06x36 I believe bitcoin was a great proof of concept, but it doesn't actually serve any of the objectives it was set out to achieve. Proof of stake creates a reserve system and provides aligned incentives for keeping the network healthy and "fair."
@WAHa_06x36 so perhaps "any" is incorrect, it became the example of a "trusted" system. Even after modification and forkings, it's kept going through perceived value. The value of a modern currency is based on faith so it did show that people can have faith in cryptocurrency
@WAHa_06x36 The really stupid thing is that there are more efficient alternatives like etherium which are moving to PoS to replace the environmental harmful PoW.
@swiley That would remove the environmental harm, if they can ever get it to work, which seems to be a lot more challenging than expected.
But it does not remove all the other harm that bitcoin does, however.
@swiley There's a whole bunch, as it turns out! Both to specific practises within capitalism and to the system as a whole. Socialism is probably the most well-explored set of variants, though anarchism of various flavours also has been tried at various points.
I'm a bit wary of going into specifics without talking definitions, empiricism, caveats etc.
And I would start off by questioning how well you see capitalism "functioning" at the moment? @WAHa_06x36
@swiley Cuba is probably the best example, but Vietnam is also pretty good, as far as I understand.
Could you point to a country where capitalism has led to a lasting situation that's pleasant and safe for most people, especially workers?
@swiley But to be clear, the idea(ls) of socialism has consistently led to tangible improvements for workers, through socialized health care and education, worker safety laws, unionization and worker involvement in decision making and salary setting etc.
The idea(ls) of capitalism consistenly hasn't, since it relies on workers being available for exploitation. Less money to the poor, less resources for safety etc etc.
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