Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

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bjn
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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by bjn » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:11 pm

The energy cost of the block chain itself is near zero, it's just some bits representing a ledger of transactions sitting on storage somewhere. You could turn all the storage off, and the block chain would still exist for zero energy.

However, the cost of recording transactions in the blockchain is f.cking insane. It consumed 121 terawatt-hours in 2020, to record at most 315,360,000 transactions (as it's capped at 10 transactions/second). Which works out to be 383kWh per transaction.

Imagine if every time you purchased something with your debit card it consumed 383kWh, that's the comparison you need to be making.

It's a libertarian farce, eminently scammable (see NFT thread) and an environmental nightmare.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by plodder » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:13 pm

Yeah, we're straying into LibTard territory now which is where I lose focus. When something is 'self-evidently' better to the zealots but it can't be explained except through hand-waving away complex systems then, you know. Zzzzz.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:37 pm

temptar wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 2:25 pm
Crypto is a libertarian's wet dream. Objective is to get government out of transactions. I am not all that convinced of proof of stake being anything other than the rich to stay rich either. Currently, thecryprosdont work a whole lot as form of payments and the focus tends to be on asset value rather than payment utility.
The problem with this, of course, is that transfer of currency is only one side of any transaction. The other side usually isn't handled by crypto, and is eventually only enforceable via either personal use of physical force, which governments tend to frown on, or government threats of physical force.

Which is why governments maintain a monopoly on the use of force.

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Re: NFTs

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:44 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:26 pm
plodder wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:43 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:13 pm


Crypto is obviously pure self-perpetuating consumption, whereas a modern capitalist economy might be only half that. How do cumulative emissions stack up?

I should split this, eh?
sorry, what?

Crypto is just a currency. Printing dollars and typing numbers on a spreadsheet hardly uses any energy. Mining crypto for the same thing uses loads.

Not heard of these new energy efficient ones.
But why do people want dollars? If you set up ploddercoins, even if the quality of printing and minting and data-entry were equal or higher you'd struggle to get anyone using them.

It's because dollars are backed by the US economy, and fossil fuel extraction in general (petrodollars). Belief pays a part, but that belief rests on tangible activity.
And the fundamental reason dollars "are backed by the US economy" is that US courts regard the transfer of dollars as sufficient to discharge payments mandated by US courts. That is, US courts are bound to accept the transfer of US dollars as discharging fines and debts.

If you are sued for not paying your employee their due wages, then showing the court a piece of paper that says you transferred 1000 ploddercoins to them is not going to prevent a judgment against you unless they agree to accept ploddercoins in lieu of dollars. And writing another piece of paper that you are paying your court mandated damages by transferring 10000 ploddercoins will likely see you eventually charged with contempt and given a jail sentence.
Last edited by dyqik on Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by plodder » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:46 pm

and that's because government violence is bad, m'kay?

</LibTard>

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:51 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:46 pm
and that's because government violence is bad, m'kay?

</LibTard>
That depends on if you prefer organized, predictable violence where you can minimize your risk, or random violence, where you can't.

"...if you were going to have crime, it at least should be organised crime."

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by sheldrake » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:52 pm

The goal of crypto isn't to get the government out of payments, it's to get traditional banks out of the way.

Crypto exchanges can be regulated just like anything else. Blockchains like Bitcoin actually make your transactions less secret, not more, because they're published on the blockchain and anybody who knows your wallet ID can see which other wallets you've done transactions with, how many bitcoins were involved and which way they went.

ZCash adds more privacy but still provides inspection capability to governments. Monero aims for true libtard secrecy but exchanges that deal in it are the ones who get blocked and banned by regulators.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by noggins » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:53 pm

I dont get the benefit of crypto to me.

If its a scam, best case I have a laugh, worst case it pulls down the real economy.

If it works, a bunch of already relatively privileged w.nkers have just printed themselves some money, which will decrease the value of my real currency holdings.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by sheldrake » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:54 pm

temptar wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 2:25 pm
Point is that it makes bitcoin by definition deflationary
Some people want that for the same reason they want commodities like Gold. Restricted supply is a feature for them.
Plus bitcoin is one of the least energy efficient crypto
Quite so, but that's orthogonal to its fixed supply.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:56 pm

noggins wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:53 pm
I dont get the benefit of crypto to me.

If its a scam, best case I have a laugh, worst case it pulls down the real economy.

If it works, a bunch of already relatively privileged w.nkers have just printed themselves some money, which will decrease the value of my real currency holdings.
I really can't see that it does anything that a GPG signature doesn't.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by sheldrake » Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:59 pm

noggins wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:53 pm
If it works, a bunch of already relatively privileged w.nkers have just printed themselves some money, which will decrease the value of my real currency holdings.
It will cost you less to send money overseas. If you own some, then you would be one of the privileged people, if it works.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by bjn » Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:09 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:56 pm
noggins wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:53 pm
I dont get the benefit of crypto to me.

If its a scam, best case I have a laugh, worst case it pulls down the real economy.

If it works, a bunch of already relatively privileged w.nkers have just printed themselves some money, which will decrease the value of my real currency holdings.
I really can't see that it does anything that a GPG signature doesn't.
^^^^This.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by sheldrake » Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:11 pm

GPG signatures don't let you run a distributed ledger on their own.

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Re: NFTs

Post by dyqik » Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:24 pm

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:44 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:26 pm
plodder wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:43 pm


sorry, what?

Crypto is just a currency. Printing dollars and typing numbers on a spreadsheet hardly uses any energy. Mining crypto for the same thing uses loads.

Not heard of these new energy efficient ones.
But why do people want dollars? If you set up ploddercoins, even if the quality of printing and minting and data-entry were equal or higher you'd struggle to get anyone using them.

It's because dollars are backed by the US economy, and fossil fuel extraction in general (petrodollars). Belief pays a part, but that belief rests on tangible activity.
And the fundamental reason dollars "are backed by the US economy" is that US courts regard the transfer of dollars as sufficient to discharge payments mandated by US courts. That is, US courts are bound to accept the transfer of US dollars as discharging fines and debts.

If you are sued for not paying your employee their due wages, then showing the court a piece of paper that says you transferred 1000 ploddercoins to them is not going to prevent a judgment against you unless they agree to accept ploddercoins in lieu of dollars. And writing another piece of paper that you are paying your court mandated damages by transferring 10000 ploddercoins will likely see you eventually charged with contempt and given a jail sentence.
BTW, I think we should point out that ploddercoin is a plodzi scheme.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by noggins » Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:56 pm

“ Lloyds Bank charge a flat fee of £9.50 for international transfers, ”.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by sheldrake » Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:59 pm

noggins wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:56 pm
“ Lloyds Bank charge a flat fee of £9.50 for international transfers, ”.
What does the receiving party charge, and what are the currency conversion fees like, etc..?

Large companies like Stripe use cryptos to move money internationally between their own subsidiaries to avoid the banking charges.

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Re: NFTs

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:48 am

sheldrake wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:07 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 12:02 pm
Where does crypto's value come from?
Belief. In that respect it's not that different from fiat money, except that fiat money has some inbuilt demand because you have to pay your taxes with it.
True apart from the bit about taxes. You do not have to pay UK taxes in Sterling, and I suspect that in many countries a court would take a very dim view of the tax authority refusing payment in major internationally traded currencies.
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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:52 am

bjn wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:11 pm
Imagine if every time you purchased something with your debit card it consumed 383kWh, that's the comparison you need to be making.
This bit is worth re-stating in a different way, which might make it more obvious how bad it is. In the UK you typically pay a bit over 10p/kWh for your domestic electricity. Imagine if every debit card transaction charged you a transaction fee of £38.30. That's Bitcoin.
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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by Millennie Al » Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:57 am

dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:37 pm
transfer of currency is only one side of any transaction. The other side usually isn't handled by crypto, and is eventually only enforceable via either personal use of physical force, which governments tend to frown on, or government threats of physical force.
Force is not required for many transactions. Imagine you go into a coffee shop every day and order the same coffee. The shop requires you to pay in advance, but there is no legal or other way for you to ensure you get your coffee. You can still safely trade with this shop because if they do not give you coffee after you have paid, you would simply stop visiting. Your future custom is worth far more than the price of one coffee. It's when transactions are for large amount and independent that you need enforcement. It's a bit like prisoners' dilemma.
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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by dyqik » Sat Oct 09, 2021 2:13 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:57 am
dyqik wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:37 pm
transfer of currency is only one side of any transaction. The other side usually isn't handled by crypto, and is eventually only enforceable via either personal use of physical force, which governments tend to frown on, or government threats of physical force.
Force is not required for many transactions. Imagine you go into a coffee shop every day and order the same coffee. The shop requires you to pay in advance, but there is no legal or other way for you to ensure you get your coffee. You can still safely trade with this shop because if they do not give you coffee after you have paid, you would simply stop visiting. Your future custom is worth far more than the price of one coffee. It's when transactions are for large amount and independent that you need enforcement. It's a bit like prisoners' dilemma.
Obviously it's not worth the cost of small claims court for a coffee. But then as you point out above, it's also not worth a crypto transaction either.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:42 am


Erik Thedéen, director of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, and Björn Risinger, director of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, said cryptocurrency's rising energy usage is threatening Sweden's ability to meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Between April and August this year, the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining in the Nordic country rose "several hundred per cent," and now consumes the equivalent electricity of 200,000 households, Thedéen and Risinger said.

In an open letter, the directors of Sweden's top financial and environmental regulators called for an EU-wide ban on "proof of work" cryptocurrency mining, for Sweden to "halt the establishment" of new crypto mining operations and for companies that trade and invest in crypto assets to be prohibited from describing their business activities as environmentally sustainable.
https://www.euronews.com/next/2021/11/1 ... regulators

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by IvanV » Tue Nov 30, 2021 3:50 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:11 pm
However, the cost of recording transactions in the blockchain is f.cking insane. It consumed 121 terawatt-hours in 2020, to record at most 315,360,000 transactions (as it's capped at 10 transactions/second). Which works out to be 383kWh per transaction.
This is why I argue crypto is an asset, not money. Money is something that is cheap and easy for making transactions, and crypto isn't. It's been made easy, but it isn't cheap. The sneaky thing about crypto is that they don't charge the transaction cost to the transaction participants, so the transaction participants don't notice. If they did, it'd be dead in the water as a payment method. What they do instead is they get "miners" to pay for it, who are then rewarded in crypto. That amounts to a dilution of the value of all existing holders of that currency. So in effect, the total transactions costs are smeared out accross all the currency holders in a way that they don't notice directly. Especially when the main visible dynamic is a pyramid bubble.

Which makes the Lloyds £9.50 look cheap. When you are talking about an international transaction, the exchange rate is also relevant. I generally make modest overseas transactions by Paypal, who have a small fixed transactions charges, though their exchange rates are not always as keen as the banks. If I make them by credit card, then my card issuer charges me about £3 or £5 as a flat fee on top, though the rates are usually pretty keen.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by bjn » Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:54 pm

At some point Bitcoin mining will not be a thing, as there is a cap on the total number of Bitcoins. This is stupid from a currency point of view, as it is deflationary, it is also when you have to pay the miners to cover the cost of verifying your transaction. That’s when it’s all going to fall apart, if not before.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by plodder » Wed Dec 01, 2021 10:33 am

You naysayers don’t appreciate that Tech Bros understand things like economics in ways that, um, economists don’t.

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Re: Carbon intensity of crypto vs traditional currencies

Post by IvanV » Wed Dec 01, 2021 4:01 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Nov 30, 2021 6:54 pm
At some point Bitcoin mining will not be a thing, as there is a cap on the total number of Bitcoins. This is stupid from a currency point of view, as it is deflationary, it is also when you have to pay the miners to cover the cost of verifying your transaction. That’s when it’s all going to fall apart, if not before.
Normal money is not in fixed supply, because typically banks are in effect empowered through fractional reserve banking methods to create more of it. We mostly spend lots of money without the physical cash ever moving, or indeed ever existing. They can also hold assets that are not cash as reserve. But you can only spend bitcoin if you have actually "got" some of the limited quantity of it. Another difference with real money. The other problem I usually cite with crypto as money is the extreme volatility of its value, another detriment in comparison to useful money.

Google tells me the current estimate of the end of Bitcoin mining is about 2140. So it's possible the pyramid will stay up for a while yet. I just read an article about Etherium, which has gone through several revamps of its mining process, which suggests that holders of Ether might soon have to pay more directly for transaction verification by, in effect, a kind of tax on their holdings. Wonder how well that will go down.

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