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Crypto-cancer fade out end of civilization for Fermi paradox?


Duda Jarek
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As suggested, I have searched for "BTC cost of mining", getting https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2021-05-25/bitcoin-s-btc-cost-to-society-is-impossible-to-ignore

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One 2020 study, based on energy required per coin, estimated that each $1 of Bitcoin value created was responsible for $0.49 in health and climate damages in the U.S. and $0.37 in China.

These are additional externalities, one type of many completely ignored by miners.

Your estimation seems to correspond to energy cost only, but even miners themselves have more costs - especially hardware (which will not satisfy other utility, which manufacturer did not produced other electronics), also e.g. human costs and many others.

The rules of market say that total amortized costs paid by investors/miners should stabilize at paying ~$99 worth various resources for $100 banknote ... and looking at bitcoin price and its energy consumption in one plot, they have nearly identical trends: annual energy consumption in TWh is ~price / $100.

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In 2020 BTC was for $6k-$12k for ~ 10 months, and just started growing in November - December'20. 49% from $6k-$12k is $3k-$6k which is within my electricity cost bracket.

57 minutes ago, Duda Jarek said:

These are additional externalities, one type of many completely ignored by miners.

This can be said about any miners. e.g. gold miners were using Mercury to extract precious metal (and still use in 3rd world countries) *)

Devastation of environment by open pit mine is common practice..

*) search engine keywords "gold mercury amalgamation mining".

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patio_process (for silver extraction)

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Sure electricity cost is lower, but total cost (including e.g. hardware) market is willing to pay for $100 banknote is ~$99 ... giving the miner/investor $1 profit, at $99 cost for civilization ... plus e.g. these $37-49 "in health and climate damage" externalities.

 

Sure mining of gold/silver also has externalities - which should be included in evaluation of such investement, compensated e.g. through taxes to those who pay them ... but

1) In contrast to massive hashing, our civilization needs these metals e.g. to make electronics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold#Electronics   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver#Electronics

2) in contrast to potentially infinite number of various cryptocurrencies which can consume all available resources, real mining has reasonable physical limits for used resources.

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40 minutes ago, Duda Jarek said:

Sure electricity cost is lower, but total cost (including e.g. hardware) market is willing to pay for $100 banknote is ~$99 ... giving the miner/investor $1 profit, at $99 cost for civilization ... plus e.g. these $37-49 "in health and climate damage" externalities.

 

Sure mining of gold/silver also has externalities - which should be included in evaluation of such investement, compensated e.g. through taxes to those who pay them ... but

1) In contrast to massive hashing, our civilization needs these metals e.g. to make electronics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold#Electronics   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silver#Electronics

2) in contrast to potentially infinite number of various cryptocurrencies which can consume all available resources, real mining has reasonable physical limits for used resources.

We only use around 10% of what we've already mined.

We can make gold artificially too. Just not valued enough for us to do so. We haven't even started seawater extraction yet.

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Posted (edited)

Sure, as you mention, these ways have various costs based on physical limitations - market should stabilize on the cheapest ways up to profitability level, which grows with gold price.

The problem is that potentially infinite number of various cryptocurrencies do not have such physical limitations - hence can grow to consume just all available resources ...

... unless being banned like https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/26/iran-bans-bitcoin-mining-as-its-cities-suffer-blackouts.html

Edited by Duda Jarek
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5 hours ago, Duda Jarek said:

Sure, as you mention, these ways have various costs based on physical limitations - market should stabilize on the cheapest ways up to profitability level, which grows with gold price.

The problem is that potentially infinite number of various cryptocurrencies do not have such physical limitations - hence can grow to consume just all available resources ...

... unless being banned like https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/26/iran-bans-bitcoin-mining-as-its-cities-suffer-blackouts.html

Do you really think nobody would notice this "resource consumption" and take steps to limit it? 

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Sure, Iran managed to ban, but if the exponential trend continues, they grow in money, power, influence - making defense more and more difficult.

I have no idea on what percentage of world energy consuption cryptocurrencies could finally stabilize at?

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