Environmentalism

The Fake Environmentalist Attack on Bitcoin

The cryptocurrency is spurring use of renewable energy even as it undermines existing economic, political, and cultural elites.

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By now, you've probably heard the environmentalist knock on bitcoin, including apocalyptic claims that it will use up all of the world's energy and will single-handedly increase global temperatures until the planet is uninhabitable.

"Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are terrible for the environment," declares Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.). "It's an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions," pronounces former Federal Reserve Chair and current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. "It's a way to both hide dirty money and destroy the environment at the same time," says Daily Show host Trevor Noah.

Such environmentalist attacks on bitcoin are best understood as a strategy by economic, media, and political elites to undermine a powerful new form of money that they can't control. Critics distort the basic facts about what's known as bitcoin "mining," the process through which a global network of computers maintain the bitcoin network through computation. Though energy intensive, this process is what makes bitcoin a truly decentralized monetary system. 

One of the starkest arguments against bitcoin is based on a logically flawed argument that its energy use will increase in a linear fashion as it becomes more widely used. Critics take the total amount of energy usage by bitcoin miners and divide that into the current number of transactions to arrive at a per-transaction cost. They then project that per transaction cost into the future. "A single bitcoin transaction," warns Warren, "uses the same amount of electricity as the typical U.S. household uses in more than a month." 

But this analysis is fundamentally wrong, says Nic Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures who has written a series of influential articles about bitcoin and energy. "They devise this per transaction energy cost figure. And then they extrapolate bitcoin's transactional load to hundreds of billions per year."

In fact, as the bitcoin network grows to support more transactions, it doesn't require additional energy, just as the Federal Reserve Building's electricity bill doesn't increase with every ATM withdrawal. The electricity consumed by mining isn't used to power individual transactions; it's used to power the foundation layer of bitcoin's monetary network, which can then be extended almost infinitely. "Bitcoin transactions and bitcoin's energy use are not really correlated," says Carter. "An additional marginal transaction doesn't really add much energy outlay to the bitcoin system."

The energy used by bitcoin miners has increased significantly since the cryptocurrency first launched in 2009, and it will continue to grow as more people use it (earlier this year, Deutsche Bank announced that bitcoin was the "third largest currency on the planet, after the dollar and the euro). 

But the media's claims are simply outlandish and provably false. In 2017, Newsweek boldly predicted that bitcoin was on track to "consume all of the world's energy by 2020!" One of  the most commonly cited figures—that the energy used to power bitcoin will generate enough greenhouse gases to raise global temperatures by more than 2 degrees Celsius—comes from a 2018 two-page analysis published in Nature Climate Change and trumpeted by The New York Times and other outlets. 

Nature Climate Change went on to publish three rebuttals (read here, here, and here) pointing out the implausible assumptions used to generate those figures, including the same fallacy of calculating an energy cost per bitcoin transaction and then assuming a linear increase as the network grows. 

So how much energy does bitcoin mining actually consume? Critics routinely invoke the idea that bitcoin uses more electricity than whole countries to generate attention-grabbing headlines, but that's also true of many industries, and if bitcoin were a country it would rank 39th out of 59 tracked by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance. 

The Cambridge Centre estimates bitcoin uses just over 100 terawatt hours per year, which is less than gold mining and many other residential and industrial activities. And for what it's worth, bitcoin's market cap is over a trillion dollars, far more than the GDP of many of the countries to which it's compared.

More importantly, bitcoin's critics tend to ignore that miners are incentivized to use energy that would otherwise go to waste. That's because electricity is hard to transport over long distances, while bitcoin mining can happen anywhere that there's internet access. So miners gravitate toward energy sources, such as hydroelectric, wind, and solar, that have excess capacity and are intermittent.

Miners "will go to the Amazon, they will go to the Congo. They go to Serbia, Siberia. They will go to Antarctica in the middle of the ocean. They'll go wherever the cheapest energy is," says Alex Gladstein, the chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation. They bring their equipment and plug into systems when the price is right and stop when the price goes up beyond the level at which they can make a profit. 

Gladstein points out that bitcoin miners lose money in many competitive electricity markets because the cost of the power they consume exceeds their earnings. Bitcoin miners can only afford to pay 2 cents to 5 cents per kilowatt for the energy, says Gladstein, who notes that in advanced economies consumers pay 10 cents to 15 cents per kilowatt. In developing countries, they pay 20 cents to 40 cents. 

In the western U.S., mobile bitcoin miners are already running on electricity derived from unused natural gas from oil wells that can't be captured because there are no pipelines to carry it. Gladstein argues that bitcoin can act as a spur to create more renewable energy in underdeveloped countries, remote locations, and even existing landfills. "Bitcoin miners are like a sponge," says Gladstein. "Any excess energy bubbling to the point where it becomes cheap enough for them, they will soak it up."

A recent industry survey put bitcoin mining's sustainable energy use at around 56 percent, a figure that will likely grow, especially since China, once the location for a majority of miners, has banned the practice. As CNBC reports, miners are heading to the United States en masse, taking advantage of non-polluting nuclear energy and renewable sources that would otherwise not be used. "This shift toward zero-emission, clean energy sources has already begun to recast the narrative among skeptics that bitcoin is bad for the environment," writes McKenzie Singalos.

Bitcoin opponents such as Elizabeth Warren are now invoking arguments that whatever size bitcoin's energy footprint ends up being, it's still too much. She has said that the rule-bound computation involved in bitcoin is "useless." The claim that mining is useless is the essence of the government's attack on bitcoin because it's this component of the system that most directly challenges state power. The work being carried out by this global computer network is what allows bitcoin to be controlled by mathematical rules instead of human actors vulnerable to government or corporate control. 

Unsurprisingly, the alternative cryptocurrencies that meet the approval of Warren and other politicians always lack this specific quality. "Bitcoin," says Castle Island Ventures' Nic Carter, "is a vote of no confidence in the monetary and financial system that exists today, a pretty exclusionary system where we are extremely beholden to the opinions of half dozen individuals that all think the same way."

Carter stresses that bitcoin is based not just on a non-inflationary monetary rule but on one that is non-discretionary, meaning no central bankers or elected officials can monkey with the supply. "There's no central banker that can come in and alter the rules and privilege one certain set of society at the expense of another. That is the core of the movement here," says Carter.

Which helps explain why, even as the environmentalist case against bitcoin falls apart, politicians and central bankers are seeking out new arguments against the cryptocurrency.

Photo Credits: Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash; Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash; Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash; Imagine China/Newscom; Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash; Imagine China/Newscom; Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash; Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/Si/Newscom; Matt McClain/Pool Xinhua News Agency/Newscom; Camilo Freedman/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash; MING DE/FEATURECHINA/Newscom; Camilo Freedman/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Rodrigo Sura/EFE/Newscom; Kyodo/Newscom; MING DE/FEATURECHINA/Newscom; Photo by Matt Palmer on Unsplash; Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye; joe sohm/Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group/Newscom; Rafael Ben-Ari/Chameleons Eye; Jon G. Fuller/VWPics/Newscom; Photo by Raisa Milova on Unsplash; Photo by Sava Bobov on Unsplash; Yuri Smityuk/TASS/Newscom; Monty Rakusen/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Mirko Tobias Schäfer, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Federalreserve, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Ron Adar/M10s/MEGA/Newscom; Beata Zawrzel/ZUMA Press/Newscom; Ingram Publishing/Newscom; Photo by Katie Moum on Unsplash; BugWarp, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons; Beata Zawrzel/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Kyodo/Newscom; Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/Si/Newscom; Beata Zawrzel/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Budrul Chukrut/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/Si/Newscom; Camilo Freedman/ZUMAPRESS/Newscom; RAFAEL BEN ARI/Rafael Ben Ari/Newscom; imageBROKER/Markus Mainka/Newscoms; Federalreserve, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons; Human Rights Foundatuon; Niccarter.info; Camilo Freedman/SOPA Images/Si/Newscom; Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons; Terry Ballard from Merrick, New York, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Music credits: Vuelta al Sol, by Tomas Novoa via Artlist.io; "Lyke the Robot," by Out of Flux via Artlist.io

Footage Credit: Jim Epstein and Noor Greene

Produced by Regan Taylor; graphics by Isaac Reese; audio post-production by Ian Keyser

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  1. Are folks banking on climate change caused by this?

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  2. The argument that mining in Proof of Work somehow is a waste of energy is an argument that people make ALL the time when criticizing something they don't like.

    Mining for gold is a "waste" of energy; mining for bitcoin is somehow a waste of energy. But for some reason, paying thousands of federal agents to track down counterfeiters and bank fraud is not a waste of money? The worth of this energy expense is measured by the people doing the work, and the people buying the output.

    1. The overly pompous billionaires and bumptious bully bureaucrats flying their private jets to Glasgow for a stupid "climate conference", that's not a waste of energy or harmful to the environment of course, because they're all angels in human form.

    2. I agree. The argument is a non-sequitur.

      The statement paralleling how bitcoin and the Federal Reserve can operate relatively entirely detached from reality was a spot on headshot though.

    3. The Establishment doesn't like the commoners not using their money. Not to mention that there is always something that will use energy. BitCoin wasn't a thing 20 years ago. There will be something else 20 years from now. One can include many other things. Who are THEY to say what we should be using our energy or any resources on? Who the F do THEY think THEY are? Further, I would posit that many of these energy/climate whiners just flat out hate modern civilization. Especially that of the western variety which still, to some extant, respects private property rights. THEIR real goal is to eliminate private property rights. Many don't realize that that would destroy modern civilization. But many do and would welcome it.

      1. > Who the F do THEY think THEY are?

        Our masters.

        (Yes, I realize it was rhetorical.)

    4. It IS a waste of energy - by design. If that can't be admitted, then it's all just trying to pimp bitcoin. Over time, the inefficiencies of proof of work will/must be priced into the cost of transacting on that blockchain.

      1. This time you’re right.

    5. Mining for gold would be a waste of resources if gold didn't have any use whatsoever, don't you think?

      This is where you could respond that bitcoin actually does have a use if you're interested in buying drugs, guns, and child sex slaves.

      1. don't forget collecting ransoms

      2. So, basically the same things one could buy with Federal Reserve fiat debt currency. Gotcha

    6. paying thousands of federal agents to track down counterfeiters and bank fraud is not a waste of money?

      Especially when the counterfeiters are just helping the Fed to accelerate their quantitative easing.

  3. >>"Bitcoin," says Castle Island Ventures' Nic Carter, "is a vote of no confidence in the monetary and financial system that exists today

    lol. what's Saule Omarova then?

    1. Seems a bit coincidental.

    2. Yup, at some point they are going to need to add a few decimals to the BTC division.

      But not only is a significant amount of the bitcoin burnt, some more is just flat not going to be spent. People doing forensics work on the Block Chain estimate that Satoshi Nakamoto was mining for the network for about a year- scaling his mining pool to ensure that no attacker could capture 50% of the network. Once he was relatively sure that the network would survive without him, he ghosted.

      Nakamoto probably has around 1 million BTC, and it is all still sitting in the output addresses that were awarded the mining reward. If Nakamoto is dead, or a consortium that decided to never spend that money, it is a whole other ~5% of the supply that is gone.

      1. Yup, at some point they are going to need to add a few decimals to the BTC division.

        21 quadrillion Satoshis not enough for you Joe? If you're having trouble getting your money printer to go 'brrrrr', I bet you could get Yellen to help you for the right price.

        Being the chess genius that you obviously are, I wholly expect a "We can make our money printer go 'brrrr' all by ourselves, thank you."

      2. Some dude and his dead (business) partner’s estate both claim they were the real Satoshi.

        Just read about some court case. Too lazy to look it up. One of the guys has a last name of Wright.

        Ah. Found it in my recent history.

        https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/bitcoin-creator-satoshi-nakamoto-could-be-unmasked-at-florida-trial

  4. How much electricity did the Trump investigations use?
    How much electricity is currently still harping about Trump by all the media propagandists?
    Who is John Galt?

  5. In fact, as the bitcoin network grows to support more transactions, it doesn't require additional energy, just as the Federal Reserve Building's electricity bill doesn't increase with every ATM withdrawal. The electricity consumed by mining isn't used to power individual transactions; it's used to power the foundation layer of bitcoin's monetary network, which can then be extended almost infinitely.

    "Bitcoin could support a near-infinite amount of currency without consuming any more electricity than the Federal Reserve does."

    Wow. Talk about an own-goal.

    1. " near-infinite amount of currency"

      You realize that currency and transactions aren't the same thing, right?

      1. You realize that currency and transactions aren't the same thing, right?

        Get aload of numbnuts here! He thinks, somehow, that I was criticizing bitcoin.

        You realize that both the Fed and Bitcoin can "handle" an actual infinite number of transactions with no currency, right?

        1. "He thinks, somehow, that I was criticizing bitcoin."

          No...I was asking a clarifying question..not every response lacking vehement agreement is snark, you know.

          To be clear, I took this:
          ""Bitcoin could support a near-infinite amount of currency without consuming any more electricity than the Federal Reserve does.""

          to be you paraphrasing the quote from Nick. If so, I was saying that it doesn't seem to be a correct paraphrase. But if I missed the nuance, super sorry, bud.

          1. Good job deflecting from the actual point and biting hard on the ad hominem. Really makes it clear about whether you actually care about the underlying fundamentals or your reputation with the cool cryptokids.

            You weren't clarifying and you didn't miss any nuance. You were obfuscating by injecting nuance.

            1. "You were obfuscating by injecting nuance."

              If you say so. I asked a question and explained why I asked that question. From that you have scried the ether to impute my thoughts- what I think, and what reputation I am trying to curry. From a question.

              You are making zero fucking sense, and strike me as someone arguing with bats while on a bad trip.

              1. You are making zero fucking sense

                And yet you were able to parse, interpret, and summarize what I posted perfectly.

                Your question was a non-sequitur, motivations for such being even more moot than the non-sequitur itself. Point being, Nick analogized that BTC can scale up and have larger platforms built on it the same way the larger economy is built on The Fed. I pointed out that his parallelism draws a lot of parallels that, while true, BTC fans adamently oppose. You adamently opposed.

                Nick: "A square can be scaled to any area much the same way our current circle can be scaled to any area."
                Me: "Both. Scaled to any area. Feature, not bug."
                Overt: "You do realize there is a difference between degrees and radians, right? That a square has a hard limit (until we fork it for more decimal points) on the number of angles it can have and they're all fixed at 90-degrees."

                Even that is being generous in your extrapolation.

  6. Chief Lion Thief speaks about topics she doesn't understand, yet again.

  7. More importantly, bitcoin's critics tend to ignore that miners are incentivized to use energy that would otherwise go to waste. That's because electricity is hard to transport over long distances, while bitcoin mining can happen anywhere that there's internet access. So miners gravitate toward energy sources, such as hydroelectric, wind, and solar, that have excess capacity and are intermittent.

    Miners "will go to the Amazon, they will go to the Congo. They go to Serbia, Siberia. They will go to Antarctica in the middle of the ocean. They'll go wherever the cheapest energy is," says Alex Gladstein, the chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation. They bring their equipment and plug into systems when the price is right and stop when the price goes up beyond the level at which they can make a profit.

    So go where coal is being burned.

    1. Also note the sleight of hand (and associated stupidity).

      In 2018, an estimated 1.2B people lived without power. An estimated 3.8B lived without internet.

      Imagine the 'fuck you' of living in a world without electricity and white douchebags coming and saying "We're here to save you from the ills of antiquity. Here's a windmill and a bitcoin wallet." I'd want to shoot the motherfuckers too. Especially if the Chinese came in and said, "Agree that you want to shoot the motherfuckers publicly and we'll give you all the stable, reliable power you can handle and wider access to our internet."

    2. Miners "will go to the Amazon, they will go to the Congo. They go to Serbia, Siberia. They will go to Antarctica in the middle of the ocean.

      Bitcoin miners suddenly sound a lot like Howard Dean...

      1. especially the "aaaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!!!" at the end

  8. This'll make vaccine passports a lot less cumbersome.

    Storing medical information below the skin’s surface
    Specialized invisible dye, delivered along with a vaccine, could enable “on-patient” storage of vaccination history to save lives in regions where paper or digital records aren’t available.

    [...]
    MIT researchers have now developed a novel way to record a patient’s vaccination history: storing the data in a pattern of dye, invisible to the naked eye, that is delivered under the skin at the same time as the vaccine.
    [...]

    By selectively loading microparticles into microneedles, the patches deliver a pattern in the skin that is invisible to the naked eye but can be scanned with a smartphone that has the infrared filter removed. The patch can be customized to imprint different patterns that correspond to the type of vaccine delivered.

    “It’s possible someday that this ‘invisible’ approach could create new possibilities for data storage, biosensing, and vaccine applications that could improve how medical care is provided, particularly in the developing world,” Langer says.

    1. Anti-vaxxers: "They're putting chips in the vaccines to track you."
      CDC: "No we're not."
      MIT: "I have a novel idea."
      Anybody, anywhere with even a dim glimmer of awareness about history: "You know who else used tattoos to track people?"

      Very, very disappointed in the SMOD '20 Presidential campaign.

      1. MIT saw the story about Austria and figured they could top it.

    2. Skipped the stars and went right to the tattoos.

    3. Golly, are they trying to make it sound like they want to give people the Mark of the Beast on purpose, or are they really just that stupid?

      1. They just discovered tattoos.

      2. "The first and second doses, and then the booster, will each be indicated by a small number 6."

    4. It's cute how you think you have privacy.

      You want privacy, advocate laws that protect your privacy. That means rights and prohibitions. That means sticking a hot poker up the ass of the finance industry. By all means, please proceed.

      I can't help but notice that not a single person has gone to prison for refusing the vaccine. So it must not be a totalitarian plot after all.

      1. no they just lose their job and their freedom to travel or go to a ballgame or grab a drink with friends, no worries from a freedom standpoint at all

        1. Sure, there are implications for freedom. It's something that societies do when people go around killing others with reckless stupidity. Impose consequences.

          Sometime long ago you read Ayn Rand or Ron Paul or something and became convinced that the ideal of liberty means that you get to do whatever you want with no consequences. Small children also sometimes discover this principle.

          1. Sometime long ago you read Ayn Rand or Ron Paul or something and became convinced that the ideal of liberty means that you get to do whatever you want with no consequences.

            Not at all. Liberty means that you have to bear the consequences of your actions yourself, as opposed to socializing them and burdening other people with them, as you prefer.

            1. Fat Tony wants the kind of curated liberty that Disney serves up. A superficially happy and care free life with lots of rules and mostly-hidden monolithic control system.

            2. Sounds an awful like you think you should be able to recklessly kill people and face no consequences. Bear them yourself? What does that mean? Have a good cry?

              1. Sounds an awful like you think you should be able to recklessly kill people and face no consequences.

                I'm sorry, I keep forgetting that you can't keep two thoughts in your head. I was responding to your question about the relationship between "consequences" and "liberty". Liberty encompasses other principles as well.

                Liberty comprises the non-aggression principle AND the requirement that you suffer the consequences of your own actions.

                Bear them yourself? What does that mean? Have a good cry?

                It means that if you go out and socialize with people of unknown vaccination status and you get sick, you are responsible for the consequences of your choices.

        2. I can't help but notice that not a single person has gone to prison for refusing the vaccine.

          I see now. I've been taking this 'Orange Hitler' thing all wrong. It's a compliment from the "Hitler was an OK guy *until* he gassed the first Jew." crowd.

          1. Hygiene is not the same as genocide.

            1. "Hitler would've been an OK guy as long as he only forced the Jews to brush their teeth."

      2. You want privacy, advocate laws that protect your privacy.

        Laws can't protect privacy. Privacy is protected by not granting the power to government to invade our privacy.

        That means sticking a hot poker up the ass of the finance industry.

        Funny coming from you, the willing butt boy of the finance industry.

        I can't help but notice that not a single person has gone to prison for refusing the vaccine. So it must not be a totalitarian plot after all.

        Totalitarian regimes don't have to bother sticking large numbers of people into prison; they just place people under house arrest, make them unemployable, ostracize them, and isolate them from their friends and family. And all of that has already happened in the US.

    5. Great! Yet another vaccine ingredient to be allergic to!

  9. I’d sooner invest in Barbie play money, but this “Bitcoin is bad for the planet” schtick is looney even for the wacko left.

  10. I sometimes almost feel sorry for Elizabeth Warren when I consider that when she dies and goes to Hell, Satan is probably not going to take kindly to her condescending scolding about how much better Hell could be run if only she were put in charge of it. Almost.

    1. I feel sorry for Satan when she gets there.

      1. Can you imagine having to listen to that bitch’s voice for all eternity? No thanks.

        1. The Satan I know would put her among a constituency that's constantly saying things like "I worked an 8 hour day and only brought home $120 and that's not enough to feed, clothe, and house me, my children, and my wife. What am I supposed to do?", "I'm a Native American and I don't see anyone even a tiny fraction like me representing me in Congress." and "Bitcoin is using too much electricity. Someone should do something about that.", maybe even find a way to give her a podium, and take away her voice.

          Or she comes by a wine bottle, discovers a genie inside, wishes she weren't in hell, and finds herself in rags living on the street. Then wishes she weren't poor and finds herself middle class in the above situation (with her voice). Then wishes for great wealth and power, to be a leader, someone who doesn't have to worry about half the constituency voting her out of office, and wakes up in the Fühererbunker in the closing days of WWII. You'd have to listen to a few sentences of her wishing, maybe talking with a few other people, but I think the rest would be worth it.

    2. I gotta say, that's very kind and thoughtful of you... implying that Elizabeth Warren has a soul.

    3. Her hellish punishment would be an eternity in which she’s missing a voice.

      Satan would not put up with that screeching.

      1. Damn, shoulda scrolled down.

        A job as a mute, sign language interpreter would be perfect. Some other woman (GOP? Libertarian?) rises to power meteorically and all Warren can do is stand next to her and vacantly regurgitate the other woman's message with hand signs.

        1. When politicians go to hell, their punishment should be having to actually serve their constituents, not profit off their position (insider trading, graft, no-bid relative contracts, etc.), not being able to vote themselves a pay raise, and having to follow the same rules as us peasants, with NO TERM LIMIT. Muahaha!

  11. They never run out of new stupid shit to try do they.....

  12. I'm gonna start a new cryptocurrency called Tulip.

    1. Oh, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren can die in a grease fire.

    2. i'm going to call mine FOMO, or maybe Pyramid

        1. The Fed already has dibs on that

  13. Newsweek article is funny

    "Such environmentalist attacks on bitcoin are best understood as a strategy by economic, media, and political elites to undermine a powerful new form of money that they can't control"

    or, while it's not the biggest problem, it's just an awkward time to run a speculative casino powered by excess energy consumption.

  14. Fake environmentalists? Well, it is a religious cult after all and just like every religious cult will faithfully *pretend* and compulsively make-sh*t-up to no end that 'science' is on their side..

    As with most religions. When there is no logical case to be made there's always that 'religious' one to back-peddle onto and try and stuff down other people's throat.

    "Your people using bitcoin are all going to HELL!"..... 🙂

  15. If Lizzie Warren has her panties in a bunch about something, it’s probably BS.

  16. Is there any idiots guide to bitcoin? I confess I'm confounded by the whole idea. I don't understand how it creates and holds value. It reminds me of Tulip craze from Holland.

    1. There is a huge difference between cryptos and tulips. You can put tulips in a vase and set that vase on an end table. It's practically real.

    2. Just know that it’s basically like buying shares in a mutual fund that’s tied to no stocks, no bonds, and no cash reserves.

      So it’s a non-collateralized fund and can lose value at any time and only increases in value when others invest in it.

      Basically, a Ponzi scheme.

      1. Just know that it’s basically like buying shares in a mutual fund

        No, it's not. Bitcoin is a high performance payment processing system. Because it's cheaper and better than government-granted banking oligopolies, it's popular and successful. Bitcoin is to Visa as Uber is to taxi companies.

        So it’s a non-collateralized fund

        It is just as collateralized as a major financial service company like Visa or Mastercard: Bitcoin is a widely used standard, brand name, and group of franchisees providing payment processing (miners).

        1. Bitcoin is to Visa as Uber is to taxi companies.

          This is not a great comparison...

          If people want to invest in BTC as a store of value, that's one thing (I think it's foolish, but whatever...) but one thing that BTC is NOT is a viable medium of transaction. Visa can handle transactions in fractions of a second while your typical BTC transaction can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes. That's not really viable for the modern world.

          1. Visa can handle transactions in fractions of a second while your typical BTC transaction can take anywhere from 15-45 minutes. That's not really viable for the modern world.

            I used Visa as an analogy; I didn't claim that Bitcoin directly competed with Visa. Bitcoin operates in a different market niche right now: it competes with some wire transfers and settlements, not credit cards.

            Cryptocurrencies are being extended to compete with Visa, Square, etc. head on. We'll have to see how that goes. But even without that, Bitcoin already provides value to many people through the functionality it provides.

            1. Cryptocurrencies are being extended to compete with Visa, Square, etc. head on.

              No they aren't. The extensions made necessarily free the lending from the currency. It's like saying Ford cars are being extended to compete with Uber. Ford Motor Company may start its own ride sharing app, but the business would necessarily be separate from the cars themselves, the production factories, the dealerships, and all the networking between. Even if it's not, you're talking about forcing automotive workers and car salesmen to perform ridesharing, which isn't the same thing as what Uber does.

              1. Sorry, but you don't know what you're talking about.

                1. Is the credit being lent specifically locked into the currency/bank/exchange/network or can it be freely exchanged for any other currency? If it's the former and the currency is secured anonymous, how do they prevent the latter?

                  1. I suggest you read up on how the new, faster blockchains work, since your questions make no sense.

          2. There's also the fact that they are inherently not the same thing. One is a currency, the other is credit. Bitcoin is to Visa as Ford is to Uber. Ford disappears tomorrow and Uber just uses Chevy, Chrysler, Toyota, Tesla... the same way if the dollar disappeared tomorrow, Visa would handle credit in Euros, Pounds, Francs, Kroners, BTC...

            1. I didn't say they were "the same thing", I said that Bitcoin derives its value from the functionality it provides, in analogy to many other businesses in financial markets.

              I'm sorry you are having such a hard time wrapping your head around that concept.

              1. I'm sorry you are having such a hard time wrapping your head around that concept.

                If they were the same thing, it wouldn't be an analogy. I don't think you know how analogies work. Not sorry.

      2. Basically, a Ponzi scheme.

        Which, Ponzi's scheme was legit arbitrage, with International Reply Coupons as the "currency" when it started. The problem wasn't the arbitrage, which made him legitimately rich. The problem was that he promised huge returns long after he could deliver (which, arbitrage returns diminish inherently) and was soon 'robbing from Peter to pay Paul', which was a/the crime.

        Which, I don't oppose Bitcoin, or even PonziCoin, in-and-of itself. As long as people understand what they're buying into, or more importantly, understand that they could lose everything they invest, it's their money to spend. The problem I have is when people say things like "The total supply is limited!" and "Your investment is secure!" that it very much seems like the participation is not being solicited honestly.

    3. The market decides that it has value, likely because the people in the market understand what's on the horizon for the dollar.

      1. Or because it's a money laundering scheme and a large number of them don't know or don't care.

        Pretty heavy lift to say what every last person involved in an anonymous exchange medium knows.

    4. Bitcoin is a public ledgers: they say things like "account 1234567 has transferred ₿ 0.0017 to account 9876756".

      There is a fixed number of bitcoins in existence. They derive their value from the fact that people find it useful to engage in transactions with them. Just like USD.

      In particular, transferring values with bitcoin is much cheaper and faster than through the banking system. In addition, since the number of bitcoins can't be increased by governments, the value of bitcoins is determined by markets rather than politicians trying to buy votes.

      1. Also powers *proven* new business scenarios such as the rise in ransomware, disruptively bypassing costly and paralyzing government regulation that has historically stifled the ransom-taking sector.

        1. Well, right now, governments are protecting big corporations from the consequences of their lousy software engineering: you can't recover meaningful damages from companies that lose your data, government spends billions upon billions in providing cybersecurity for corporations, and more billions on top of that to discourage/identify/incarcerate hackers from identifying security problems.

          If cryptocurrencies undermine that crony capitalist scheme, all the better.

          Now, what was your point again?

          1. Nice. Survival of the fittest eh. I take it you are not a tech guy yourself.

            "Government today protects corporations and private citizens from the consequences of their lousy security practices – premises without perimeter fencing, lack of possession of military-grade weapons etc. If bitcoin powered ransoming of family members provokes an end to this crony capitalism scheme, all the better. What were you saying?"

            ​I sometimes say for a lot of issues the root debate is pro-civilization vs. anti-civilization perspectives but it isn't always so explicit...

            1. Nice. Survival of the fittest eh.

              You bet I want companies who can't guarantee their users' privacy and security to fail.

              ​I sometimes say for a lot of issues the root debate is pro-civilization vs. anti-civilization perspectives but it isn't always so explicit...

              Yes, because not giving trillion dollar corporations hundreds of billions in government subsidies and liability protection for poorly written software is just like not having a local police force! /sarc

              That is indeed the level of stupidity I would expect from authoritarian statists and corporatists like you.

              1. "You bet I want companies who can't guarantee their users' privacy and security to fail ... poorly written software"

                Per above, some base level familiarity with the topics you opine about would benefit the quality of your thinking here.

                You seek to pretend you are talking about "big corporations" but they are the ones that can afford DOJ-caliber software security operations. It is the smaller companies that are more easily shaken down.

                I look forward to you whitepaper on "why technology and the internet are fundamentally secure; only incompetent big corporations and crony capitalists are vulnerable and bitcoin will help them die", I'm sure it will be quite a tour de force and boost the value of your holdings. HFSP cha-ching.

                "is just like not having a local police force"

                What is the difference, in your view? Many express the equivalent sentiment – if you are not personally armed to repel invaders of arbitrary size, you deserve what you get. Why is it different when you are talking about people's businesses instead of their homes?

                1. You seek to pretend you are talking about "big corporations" but they are the ones that can afford DOJ-caliber software security operations. It is the smaller companies that are more easily shaken down.

                  Yeah, so? All companies should be held responsible for exposing user data.

                  Ransomware, in fact, costs companies too little: obviously, a ransomware author is going to give companies a discount over the actual economic losses that are the result of exposing user data.

                  I look forward to you whitepaper on "why technology and the internet are fundamentally secure;

                  Technology and the Internet are fundamentally insecure, precisely because government has protected companies (both big and small) from the consequences of their poor security and privacy practices. That's why we have ended up with several decades of absurdly bad technology.

                  Per above, some base level familiarity with the topics you opine about would benefit the quality of your thinking here.

                  Your evident ignorance of security and privacy technologies is an object lesson in what's wrong with the industry.

                  1. Yeah, clearly prattling about things you know little. The internet would be rock solid security to its core if not for all that gub'ment cybersecurity policing. Lolz.

                    Just curious, what is your whitepaper going to highlight as the fundamental protocol that would have improved without government propping up those evil corporations – IPv4?

                    I notice you ignore: "What is the difference, in your view? Many express the equivalent sentiment – if you are not personally armed to repel invaders of arbitrary size, you deserve what you get. Why is it different when you are talking about people's businesses instead of their homes?"

                    1. The internet would be rock solid security to its core if not for all that gub'ment cybersecurity policing.

                      The Internet would be rock solid if government (i.e., courts) held companies financially responsible for security breaches. Shitty companies staffed with incompetent, immature college grads (e.g., Google, Facebook) simply could not operate and their business models wouldn't work because they would be sued into bankruptcy.

                      Just curious, what is your whitepaper going to highlight as the fundamental protocol that would have improved without government propping up those evil corporations – IPv4?

                      Oh, there are plenty of technical problems and plenty of technical solutions; I don't need to write whitepapers on that, there are more than half a century of whitepapers available.

                      But the biggest issues are non-technical: if government actually held providers legally liable for the damages they cause, they wouldn't hire half-wits, they would use better processes, and they wouldn't keep private information around unnecessarily.

                      What is the difference, in your view? Many express the equivalent sentiment – if you are not personally armed to repel invaders of arbitrary size, you deserve what you get. Why is it different when you are talking about people's businesses instead of their homes?

                      For physical safety at the local level (whether provided by local government, private security, or an HOA), the people who pay are the same people who control what happens with the money and who benefit from the money. It also satisfies the principle of subsidiarity and minimal government.

                      Government expenditures for cybersecurity (R&D, investigations, law enforcement, etc.) are not primarily paid for by the corporations receiving the benefits. And to add insult to injury, corporations that fail their users face little in terms of liability.

                      That's why the former is a reasonable use of government, while the latter is corporate welfare and cronyism.

      2. In particular, transferring values with bitcoin is much cheaper and faster than through the banking system.

        It's cheaper to the currency holder, for now. If it truly were cheaper, Visa, the Fed, and the ECB would've implemented it or something similar already. They "haven't"* because as is rightly pointed out by the watermelons, you use more electricity to process fewer BTC transactions per second than you do $ (or, more appropriately, "$").

        *They have, but not in any way crypto-fans would consider legitimate because banks.

        1. It's cheaper to the currency holder, for now.

          Even at that, if the claims you make are taken in good faith, at the real-world level they're still false. It would be like me saying "All the ATM transactions in my banking network are cheaper than BTC transactions because they're free."

  17. Even one unit of planet-destroying chemicals produced by this scam is too many.

    Yeah, bitcoin is going to stick it to the man. All those Goldman Sachs bitcoin holdings are in solidarity with the peasant revolution.

    At least the fraudulent art market shits out something you can hang on a wall at the end of the day. We're approaching peak capitalism, when you can speculate on the price fluctuations of pure abstractions.

    Value is a story we tell ourselves. Make sure your story doesn't suck and isn't lame.

    1. Value is a story we tell ourselves. Make sure your story doesn't suck and isn't lame.

      The value of Bitcoin is that it has a fixed supply that is impervious to governmental or politically motivated inflation and devaluation; that all transactions are open; and that Wall Street and banks can't skim several percent off every transaction and government program.

      Fiat currencies suck and are lame. Worse than that, they are deeply corrupt and hurt the little guy. Yet fascist fools like you keep supporting them because you believe the fairy tales that when the Fed prints trillions and doles it out to the financial sector, you somehow benefit.

      1. Bitcoin exists at the pleasure of government regardless of what fairy tales you tell yourself about it. It has value because people are willing to buy it. The thing about empty abstractions with no practical use is that they are totally subject to social trends. Tomorrow bitcoin could simply become uncool, and you'd have no argument to make on behalf of its coolness.

        Literally everyone holding bitcoin now is doing so to speculate. To make money. And it's not bitcoin they're interested in making, it's dollars. Goldman Sachs is not holding bitcoin in support of destroying fiat money. It's holding it to make dollars when it sells, same as you, same as anyone sitting at a slot machine.

        1. Bitcoin exists at the pleasure of government

          Actually, Bitcoin exists independent of government. The US government could try to make it illegal, but that doesn't change the existence of Bitcoin, merely its use in the US. And I doubt making Bitcoin illegal is politically or economically feasible for the US, and even if they tried it, I doubt it would be enforceable.

          It has value because people are willing to buy it.

          Yes: same as gold, US dollars, Apple stock, land, and anything else.

          Despite what delusional leftists like you believe, nothing has an intrinsic value: not labor, not precious metals, not fiat money, etc.

          Tomorrow bitcoin could simply become uncool, and you'd have no argument to make on behalf of its coolness.

          Ditto for gold, US dollars, Apple stock, and land.

          Literally everyone holding bitcoin now is doing so to speculate.

          In other words, you are saying that Bitcoin is a risky investment where people expect to make a profit in the long term. It is. And that's a good thing.

          That's a lot better than US government issued currency and debt: those are indeed not "speculation" because "speculation" impliess an expectation of a profit, but US government issued currency and debt are guaranteed losses; the Biden administration has made this explicit front and center part of their economic policy.

          It's holding it to make dollars when it sells, same as you, same as anyone sitting at a slot machine.

          I have no interest in "making dollars", increasingly worthless pieces of paper. I don't hold dollars, and neither does anybody else who has an ounce of sense. I briefly convert assets into dollars as a medium of exchange.

          1. So don't invest in dollars. Dollars don't primary exist as a speculative asset (like bc). They exist to facilitate history's most powerful and complex economy. Apples and oranges.

            I'm not saying it's bad to invest in crypto, necessarily, just that you should agree that it's primary used as a speculative asset that isn't even made of anything shiny, let alone useful.

            1. I'm not saying it's bad to invest in crypto, necessarily, just that you should agree that it's primary used as a speculative asset that isn't even made of anything shiny, let alone useful.

              Most of the cash payments I and millions of other people make go through Bitcoin. That is where it derives its value from, similar to Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal.

              I'm sorry that it is as incomprehensible to you why people might Bitcoin as it is to me why people might buy organically grown, fair trade produce; but your or my choice not to trade in particular goods or services doesn't mean that there is no market for them.

    2. OMG!!! CHEMICALS!!!

      1. with spectroscopic absorption lines and stuff!

  18. The Fake Environmentalist Attack on Bitcoin

    Their justification may be fake, but the attack is quite real: environmentalists and leftists want to destroy Bitcoin.

    1. I would say the constituency interested in destroying bitcoin could be described as anyone concerned with the stability of economies. That's definitely not just leftists.

      The interesting question is why you think bitcoin is good. (Not interesting if the answer is "I'm holding until I can make a profit.")

      1. I would say the constituency interested in destroying bitcoin could be described

        The constituency interested in destroying Bitcoin consists of two kinds of people:

        (1) People whose rent seeking and crony capitalism is threatened by Bitcoin.

        (2) Fools like you who believe the b.s. people in group (1) are spewing so that you support their crony capitalism, rent seeking, and fascist economics.

        The interesting question is why you think bitcoin is good.

        Because the US is inexorably moving towards massive currency debasement, manipulation, and hyperinflation, like Venezuela and the Weimar Republic. Bitcoin can soften the fall a little.

        (Not interesting if the answer is "I'm holding until I can make a profit.")

        Regulatory uncertainty makes Bitcoin/Ethereum too risky to keep a large percentage of my portfolio in it. While I have gotten an excellent return on investment from it, I mainly use Bitcoin/Ethereum to legitimize it and thereby hopefully protect the US from the kind of economic destruction fascists like you want to bring about.

        1. If the price of bitcoin were stable, nobody would give a fuck about it. They hold it to make money, in dollars. It's a fun casino. People engage because they think other people are even dumber than they are, hoping that some random surge of exuberance will make it lucrative to sell (for dollars) one day.

          It would be a far better use of your time to vote for politicians who are sane with good policies geared to stability. The idea that the dollar will collapse and bitcoin will save you is ludicrous. Magical thinking. Bitcoin only has value because people are willing to trade it for dollars. Period.

          But a little gambling never hurt anyone, as long as it doesn't become a problem.

          1. It would be a far better use of your time to vote for politicians who are sane with good policies geared to stability.

            I do. Good policies geared to stability would mean returning to the gold standard, abolishing the fed, ending Keynesian stimuli, deflationary money policy, reducing total tax revenue to about 10% of GDP, massive cuts to government spending, and passing balanced budgets.

            Bitcoin only has value because people are willing to trade it for dollars. Period.

            Bitcoin has value because it can be exchanged for goods and services. And it increases in value because it can be exchanged for increasing amounts of goods and services. That's in sharp contrast to the US dollar.

            The idea that the dollar will collapse

            The US dollar has been declining at an average rate of 2-3% for nearly a century. That has accelerated to over 6%. I have no idea whether it is going to go higher than that (hyperinflation) and enter a death spiral, but that really doesn't matter.

            No rational person is holding dollars at any positive rate of inflation. And since government debt now yields less than inflation, nobody who isn't legally obligated to holds government debt either.

            1. So your big plan for economic stability is to eliminate all the innovations created specifically to fix the problems of economic instability underpinning the catastrophes of the 20th century. Sounds counterintuitive to me. Sounds like you have a dogma that you'd like to use as a blunt instrument, same as every other dogmatist.

              I can't tell if you're describing dollar inflation as an inherently bad thing. Everyone knows that dollars aren't a good investment (especially when the overall economy is healthy).

              But that's in stark contrast to cryptos, which people use almost exclusively as a store of assets they hope will appreciate yugely in a relatively short term. Again, the only difference I see between cryptos and a Rothko is that the latter can decorate your hallway.

              1. So your big plan for economic stability is to eliminate all the innovations created specifically to fix the problems of economic instability underpinning the catastrophes of the 20th century.

                Indeed, they were created specifically with the intent of leading to greater economic stability. But instead, they demonstrably ended up causing the great catastrophes of the 20th century, including the fall of the Weimar Republic and the Great Depression.

                Sounds counterintuitive to me. Sounds like you have a dogma

                Of course it "sounds counterintuitive to you". That's because you're driven by dogma. I and others have looked at the facts, and it turns out that your intuition is wrong.

                But that's in stark contrast to cryptos, which people use almost exclusively as a store of assets they hope will appreciate yugely in a relatively short term.

                With a couple of hundred billion dollars in transaction volumes and millions of transactions a day, it seems like it's a bit more than a "store of value". But what difference does it make? What business is it of yours how I and others store and exchange value?

      2. Not interesting if the answer is "I'm holding until I can make a profit."

        What about "I'm holding because, despite me telling people it's a scam, they still throw money at it?"

        Paraphrased "Irish" Idiom: "One has a moral obligation to part a fool from his money."

    2. No, it's that they're fake environmentalists.

      1. Oh, they are real environmentalists making a real attack on Bitcoin.

        The real issue is that environmentalism is no more about the environment than communism is about community or socialism is about being social. All those -isms are just attempts to grab power by any means.

        1. Unlike, I suppose, the people still trying to overturn the last presidential election. They're in in for the principle!

          1. Significant numbers of "people still trying to overturn the last presidential election" only exist in your fevered imagination, Tony. That's because you are a conspiracy nut.

            1. Only the de facto head of the Republican party and likely next Republican nominee for president, and everyone who follows him.

              1. Only the de facto head of the Republican party and likely next Republican nominee for president, and everyone who follows him.

                How is he "trying to overturn the election"? He is trying to get elected again.

                He is, however, saying that US elections are at risk of massive manipulation, deception, and fraud, which is true, and which is something that Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams agree with.

        2. All those -isms are just attempts to grab power by any means.

          What if my pile of "all those" includes 'Nakamotoism'?

          If you're so different, tell me, how long until the dollar collapses and all of us who've imbibed enough BTC wafers (myself included) are saved?

          1. If you're so different, tell me, how long until the dollar collapses and all of us who've imbibed enough BTC wafers (myself included) are saved?

            Imbibing Bitcoin won't save you or me or anybody else individually. But having Bitcoin established as an alternative payment method to the USD in the US could help the US get back on its feet a bit faster after progressives are through running it into the ground, destroying the value of the US dollar, and destroying the US dollar as a world reserve currency.

  19. It is wasted energy, but if the bitcoin miners are paying for it, it's their choice to make.

    I think of bitcoin as VHS and ethereum as Betamax. And we don't know when DVDs are going to come along and replace both of them.

    I always hear bitcoin has a finite supply of coins that can be mined. But there is an infinite supply of alternative cryptocurrencies.

    1. There is always the option of spawning another crypto. But the question is whether anyone will actually use it.

      I like the idea of market forces determining the value of currencies based on the trust people have in them as displayed by their willingness to accept them, though I'm still put off by the ability to manipulate those values artificially. But I'm not sure if that's any worse than what we've got now.

    2. I always hear bitcoin has a finite supply of coins that can be mined. But there is an infinite supply of alternative cryptocurrencies.

      There's a finite supply, but they can be divided ad infinitum (currently fixed at 10^-8 but, as Overt points out above, that can be fixed). The whole issue is a non-sequitur though. There is a limited supply of gold. Didn't stop the widespread minting of fiat currency and all the tyranny that went along with that. It's not like there was some fixed law of nature saying '1 troy oz. of gold is equal to three chickens'. Once 1 troy oz. of gold equals 4 chickens, the fixed amount of gold no longer matters or becomes largely theoretical. Moving forward, there is/was a limited supply of the number of dollars that can be printed. Same thing, once one loaf of bread costs $0.50 rather than a dollar, it doesn't exactly matter that the total supply is limited. Didn't stop the tyranny that went along with that either. Going further forward, we don't actually print trillions of dollars...

      Again, if you read through Satoshi's original paper, he has zero concept of anything beyond the M1 money supply except to call it all trust and wish it all away with the word 'crypto'. This was apparent early on when crypto-fans were saying a currency would replace credit. None of this is to say people should be barred from fleecing the stupid, just to say we shouldn't make people stupid in order to fleece them; as well as, don't be stupid.

      1. There is a limited supply of gold.

        You're really missing the point. While it's nice that you can store value in Bitcoin and governments can't inflate it away, that's not what makes Bitcoin different. After all, you can store value in gold, factories, land, frozen pork bellies, and art.

        The point of Bitcoin is to make it easier, more predictable, and cheaper to transfer value between people.

        Didn't stop the widespread minting of fiat currency and all the tyranny that went along with that.

        Sufficiently tyrannical societies don't have to bother with printing money. Printing money is a mechanism by which governments manipulate markets and public opinion to make them more tyrannical.

        Again, if you read through Satoshi's original paper, he has zero concept of anything beyond the M1 money supply

        You're putting up a straw man. Satoshi's paper doesn't concern itself with the money supply or the debasement of currency by governments. It concerns itself explicitly with creating a payment system that works without the need for financial institutions or the overhead and risk they impose. And Bitcoin has achieved that goal spectacularly.

        All this talk about "money supply" and "currency" and "gold" and "stores of value" is something that you project onto Bitcoin that just isn't there. It's nice that, as a side-effect, Bitcoin does seem to provide a store of value and works like a well-run fiat currency, but that's not the point.

        1. "The point of Bitcoin is to make it easier, more predictable, and cheaper to transfer value between people"

          And less transparent, which is key to the primary proven vs. hypothetical scenarios.

          1. And less transparent, which is key to the primary proven vs. hypothetical scenarios.

            Yes, go on... what are you trying to get at?

            1. Harder to expand e.g. kidnap-for-ransom business scenarios if the transaction is transparent, regulated and traceable – the government ends up subsidizing the protection against organized syndicates that individual citizens should be taking responsibility for individually. Bitcoin breaks this cycle of government over-functioning and energizes the sector, at least until the weak are weeded out or figure out how to pay protection money to the right private interests, which could take years and will yield a lot of profit in the interim.

              1. There is zero evidence that cryptocurrencies have any effect on "kidnap-for-ransom business scenarios".

                Take it from an actual immigrant: the fact that people don't get kidnapped on the street in the US isn't "government over-functioning", it is due to US culture and wealth. As far as governments go, the US government is piss-poor at just about everything.

                1. Sounds like a bit of denial. Lots of high-profile cases and experts reporting a continuing rise in parallel to cyber ransomware – Kopko, Hagen, 13 year old from a playground in South Africa etc. Is all this just another hoax by the totalitarians, like the pandemic and the U.S. election?

                  1. Criminals use cryptocurrencies for the same reason everybody else does: they are quick, easy, anonymous, and have low transaction costs.

                    If they didn't have cryptocurrencies, they'd use other means of receiving anonymous payments, like they did before cryptocurrencies.

        2. Every time I buy something, I use dollars. That's almost without exception. It seems easier than what you're talking about, and all parties involved are crystal clear on the enumeration of value.

          But then I don't do a lot of drugs or procure many child sex slaves, so maybe I'm just missing the fun boat.

          1. Every time I buy something, I use dollars,

            You use dollar as a denomination of value, nothing more. I also doubt that you have a lot of dollars; you likely hold dollar-denominated debt and investments, like most people.

            But then I don't do a lot of drugs or procure many child sex slaves

            Ah, so you admit to doing some of that. As expected.

            1. But when I want cat litter, I exchange dollars for it, not bitcoin, because apart from it being either impossible or convoluted to do so, I feel anxiety at the thought that I might be buying some $50,000 cat litter, because bc's price is wildly unstable.

              Again, if bc's price wasn't wildly unstable, nobody would be interested in it, because if they wanted a currency, they'd go with the thing backed up by the US armed forces and constantly monitored for the purposes of keeping it stable.

              1. But when I want cat litter, I exchange dollars for it, not bitcoin,

                If you buy your cat litter with cash, then you do. Otherwise, you don't, even if the cat litter is dollar denominated.

                I feel anxiety at the thought ... Again, if bc's price wasn't wildly unstable, nobody would be interested in it,

                Your personal anxieties don't reflect reality.

            2. I also doubt that you have a lot of dollars; you likely hold dollar-denominated debt and investments, like most people.

              Ah, so you understand that not only is the currency not the credit, or debt, but that the two are only nominally related. So, above, when you said "Cryptocurrencies are being extended to compete with Visa, Square, etc. head on." you realize that they are, and can, only do so nominally and that representing the claim as anything other than nominal would be a misrepresentation.

              1. So, above, when you said "Cryptocurrencies are being extended to compete with Visa, Square, etc. head on." you realize that they are, and can, only do so nominally

                Cryptocurrencies implement a ledger that keeps track of transactions, just like Visa and Square. That ledger can be kept in USD, EUR, gold, bitcoins, or many other currencies. Most people prefer to use cryptocurrencies that are denominated in bitcoins because (unlike USD and EUR) they happen not to lose value.

                I don't know what you think is "only nominal" about any of this.

        3. After all, you can store value in gold, factories, land, frozen pork bellies, and art.

          The point of Bitcoin is to make it easier, more predictable, and cheaper to transfer value between people.

          Except,
          -I can (and have) found gold with a pan and some water (it doesn't even have to be potable). Bitcoin requires a mining rig, miles of copper wire and a network to connect to. So, it's not necessarily easier.

          -Current rate of inflation for the year: 6.22%. Current rate of depreciation of my BTC holdings for the week: -8.88%. So, not more predictable.

          -Cost to purchase $1 of BTC with cash: $1.01. Cost to purchase it using my credit card: $0.96. So, not cheaper.

          That would be 3 strikes.

          1. I can (and have) found gold with a pan and some water (it doesn't even have to be potable). Bitcoin requires a mining rig, miles of copper wire and a network to connect to. So, it's not necessarily easier.

            If you perform mining, you become a transaction processor for others and you get paid for it. And the cost of entry there is a lot lower than if you wanted to set up your own CC company.

            Current rate of inflation for the year: 6.22%. Current rate of depreciation of my BTC holdings for the week: -8.88%. So, not more predictable.

            I didn't say that Bitcoin was a more "predictable store of value", I said that it was a "more predictable way of transferring value between people", which it is.

            But you're right: the US dollar is a very predictable store of value: your value predictably decreases by at least 2% per year.

            -Cost to purchase $1 of BTC with cash: $1.01. Cost to purchase it using my credit card: $0.96. So, not cheaper.

            So why don't you purchase $100M in cash with your CC? You should be netting $4M in profit then. Obviously, there's something you're not understanding. I leave it to you to figure it out.

  20. Just pass a law requiring bitcoin mining to be done with solar or wind power 😉

    1. Can't be done. Bitcoin received a one-time vaccination against government intrusion shortly after Nakamoto birthed it and requires no boosters. 😉

  21. Either I'm not as smart as I think I am, or bitcoin is a house of cards made of smoke and mirrors built on shifting sands. Because its viability as a mainstream currency doesn't make a lick of sense to me.

    1. And the viability of the 'fiat' USD isn't a house of cards made of smoke and mirrors at the federal reserve printing presses??

      1. It could be if your favorite politicians finish the job of ruining the United States.

        Generally, the US dollar is the most secure investment going, what with it being ultimately backed up by the US Armed Forces.

        But nobody ever said the US couldn't fail. Keep electing bloated insane people like Donald Trump and you'll find out what a house of cards is.

        1. High-Priority of Donald Trump was a stronger USD....
          Your blind-partisan worshiping is showing again.

        2. Or should I just say. Coming from the leftard who thinks there is no limit to the trillions the money printers and print.

          1. Coming from the leftard who thinks there is no limit to the trillions the money printers and print.

            I think Overt is confused, but I wouldn't call him a leftard. Even if he thinks 21 quadrillion Satoshis isn't enough and the BTC network should fork to make more.

            Oh, you said *the* leftard in reference to Tony. Carry on.

      2. federal reserve printing presses

        Wait, there's more than one? But they're all probably in the same place and not *distributed*, right? And even if they're distributed, they're probably organized by a byzantine mix of generals who decide individually and haphazardly when to print money, right? I mean, otherwise, Nakamoto's first and only solution to the Byzantine Generals problem didn't suddenly birth trust among decentralized networks into existence.

        1. And even if they're distributed, they're probably organized by a byzantine mix of generals who decide individually and haphazardly when to print money, right?

          The real problem at the Fed is that they can't come to a consensus about when to print more money. Thankfully, Nakamoto has solved this problem for us.

          1. The real problem at the Fed is that they can't come to a consensus about when to print more money.

            The real problem at the fed is that they are printing money, period. And they are in full agreement that they should keep printing, they only differ on the rate, slightly.

            Thankfully, Nakamoto has solved this problem for us.

            You keep demonstrating that you don't understand how cryptocurrencies work.

  22. ... And that dire need to preserve every single KW of energy came from???

    That's right folks --- The Green-Energy lobbyists who have not only severely pinched the power supply line and caused raising costs in effect; it's also pinched it enough people are now afraid of loosing access to the fake-made limited supply.

    As-is Water.... On a planets surface that is 71% covered with water.

    Once the Nazi's cutoff by regulation EVERY basic human need; you can say goodbye to any thoughts of very basic freedom.. Just like Venezuala -- how does a nation with SO MUCH oil go so broke... F-EN Nazi's, that's how.

  23. It's a rather spectacular failure when the apparent point of an article is to explain environmentalists are liars (a trivial task), for the author to rely on completely absurd and misrepresented points.

    And for what it's worth, bitcoin's market cap is over a trillion dollars, far more than the GDP of many of the countries to which it's compared.

    This point is worth nothing. The one-year income of an asset is not equivalent to its value.

    Gladstein points out that bitcoin miners lose money in many competitive electricity markets because the cost of the power they consume exceeds their earnings.

    Which is a function of (1) the value of bitcoin, (2) the cost of energy, and (3) the amount of mining competition. You'll notice that the only non-internal constraint there is the cost of energy. Ceteris paribus, if either bitcoin goes up in value, or mining competition intensifies bitcoin mining will use more energy.

    The claim that mining is useless is the essence of the government's attack on bitcoin because it's this component of the system that most directly challenges state power. The work being carried out by this global computer network is what allows bitcoin to be controlled by mathematical rules instead of human actors vulnerable to government or corporate control.

    So, next week you're not going to be shilling for proof of stake cryptocurrencies?

    Congratulations, you're as trustworthy as the lying environmentalists. The false god you're lying for just happens to be Mammon instead of Gaia.

    1. So you don't subscribe to either belief system; it's a free country.

      But there is a fundamental difference between the two belief systems.

      The totalitarian acolytes of Gaia want to tell me and everybody else how to live our lives and restrict what voluntary transactions we can engage in.

      People advocating and using Bitcoin engage in voluntary transactions with each other; our choices are none of your business.

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