@PINE64 I don't see a point. 99.9% of people don't use bitcoin. Credit/debit cards might make more sense, as almost everyone has one, and you can always use a service like privacy.com to hide your transaction from your bank if your that worried about privacy.
@briana @PINE64 99.9% of the population doesn't buy ARM laptops or a dev smartwatch to play with embedded Rust. There is a 16% on the poll that say they would use Bitcoin, so it shows that their customers and cryptocurrency users are way more closely related than you expected. Crypto is better money.. not everyone is able to have a bank account, credit card, or PayPal account. I can't have the later. There aren't institutional gatekeepers on Bitcoin. Download, install, use.
@PINE64 Bitcoin Cash is a nice solution. Though I won't need to conceal my identity when purchasing on your website, so for me, in this scenario, any crypto is overkill
@geekgonecrazy @yarmo Direct card transactions aren't so easy when you have customers all around the world. Different payment systems in several regions that normally aren't compatible. We'd have to be using several different processors at the same time, which would be a nightmare for the sales team.
Bitcoin is an environmental disaster. Maybe adding another payment method might help some people, but I don't think Bitcoin should be the solution.
@PINE64 Like others have said, debit card would be a sensible option. Most PayPal users have one, but not necessarily the other way around.
@PINE64 cryptocurrency has too high of an entrance barrier, as long as there is no standardized safe way of setting it up, it won't be an option for the majority of people. I'm pretty tech savvy, but it has been too deep a dive to be sure enough of what I'm doing to get into it, which makes it not an option for me. Preferably a more standard form of transaction please :)
@PINE64 I am very concerned about the energy expenditures of Bitcoin. During the climate crisis we must conserve energy, and proof-of-work intentionally wastes energy as a fundamental design goal.
E-mail sometimes uses proof-of-work to defeat spam, and I still use e-mail. But I avoid using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum that rely on proof-of-work or similarly wasteful algorithms. There must be better alternatives, like proof-of-stake or Filecoin's proof-of-storage.
@skyfaller the climate argument is kind of wrong. Regular banking also needs huge amounts of energy for all the servers, ATMs, …
@txt_file Fair point, but I suspect that Bitcoin would use significantly more energy than the traditional banking industry if it were as popular. The Bitcoin network uses a lot of energy for its size: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-48853230
Regardless, I think the relevant comparison here is between cryptocurrencies. If we are making the effort to switch to cryptocurrency, which has a personal and societal cost, it should be to something that is a clear win for the environment. Bitcoin ain't it.
@tomosaigon Citation needed.
Regardless, you could have used that energy to do something like Folding@Home and maybe cure a disease.
Or store it for later in a battery or some less obvious storage solution.
Or power a small country of actual humans, we're not talking about small amounts of power here. Build infrastructure to get it to where the people are.
If Bitcoin miners weren't using that energy, I find it difficult to believe that nobody would.
@skyfaller that's not true at all. You can't use Bitcoin mining hardware to run Folding@Home. That would require purchasing separate hardware and then paying for the electricity but who's going to pay? You?
@tomosaigon OK, so you're saying that because Bitcoin mining rigs already exist, they are the only way we can use the "spare" electricity they are currently using?
Even if we had to preserve every existing mining rig (why?), at the very least we could gradually phase them out as their specialized hardware wears out.
Alternately, I seem to remember Bitcoin mining causing GPU shortages. I bet I could make money selling GPUs to scientists, gamers etc. who need those GPUs.
@skyfaller Briefly: regarding your points on F@H, battery, powering a small country, nobody using the energy, GPU shortages - each point is flat out wrong.
@tomosaigon I don't know if there are GPU shortages right now, but there have been GPU shortages in the past:
Is it unreasonable to believe that there would be GPU shortages again in the future if Bitcoin were to increase in popularity?
@tomosaigon OK, whoops, you've got me there, I didn't look very closely at the article I linked :) That is Ethereum.
Can we just insert here whatever specialized hardware Bitcoin miners like instead, or is their specialized hardware literally only useful for mining Bitcoin and no other productive activity?
@skyfaller Nowadays, you can mine Bitcoin with anything but you will be wasting money/electricity/time if you aren't using efficient specialized Bitcoin mining hardware. Literally designed to be really good at mining Bitcoin at the hardware level.
@tomosaigon Wow, I did not fully comprehend the situation. Some quick skimming supports your point, apparently modern Bitcoin mining rigs using ASICS are specialized for that specific hashing algorithm and can't even be used for other cryptocurrencies? That's wild!
I will admit that means breaking down Bitcoin rigs for other purposes probably won't work, but I think my point stands that we could at least phase them out and stop making more of the things.
@skyfaller The thing is, there's no 'we' who governs the policy of what to do with such hardware. As long as it makes more sense to efficiently mine bitcoin, market participants will find a way, and better hardware will get designed, more sources of untapped electricity will be produced.
@tomosaigon Fair point.
I would expect people like myself and Pine64 failing to adopt Bitcoin would limit demand and therefore the market price, de-incentivizing increased Bitcoin production. Which I think would be wise!
But the price of Bitcoin fluctuates weirdly enough that perhaps ordinary market considerations don't matter. A whale could negate anything you or I or a small country might do: https://mashable.com/article/bitcoin-1-1-billion-transaction/
Also, during a pandemic, maybe gov'ts should fund e.g. Folding@Home.
@tomosaigon I suggested multiple things you could do with spare electricity because you can do multiple things with a dam's worth of electricity, you don't have to choose only one. You could store some electricity, export some, and use some.
If you're trying to balance out inconsistent energy sources like wind or solar, storing a lot consistent energy e.g. from a dam seems like a decent plan.
@skyfaller you are wishing for energy storage technology that doesn't exist at any sort of usable price for this scale
@tomosaigon You're right that current battery technology is expensive and difficult to scale. That said, energy storage is something we'll have to figure out if civilization relies more heavily on renewables, and it's certainly something you'd expect to see investment in with any Green New Deal. I feel confident storage will improve.
My personal favorite concept is Energy Vault, which stores energy by lifting heavy blocks. It just looks cool: https://energyvault.com/
@skyfaller These kinetic storage towers do look cool. Molten salt storage is another neat concept.
Our civilization will need to make large improvements on not only energy storage but production and distribution. Right now, much of that energy goes to waste bringing it to where it's needed, or being stored inefficiently until it can be distributed.
I don't use Bitcoin at the moment but with more and more places I buy from supporting it I just may have to start.
@PINE64 Considering Paypal shares your personal information with over 600 companies, I would use ANY other means of payment regardless of any difficulties with crypto conversion.
@PINE64 I'd like it if you had a European bank account, then I could transfer money for free, in comparinson to extensive "oversees" charges when transferring the money to Hong Kong directly.
I'd prefer direct bank transfer. A european bank account would be nice, but international charges are no obstacle.
@PINE64 No, Bitcion is a surveillance coin. Take for example any number of congressional cryptocurrency hearings where when Bitcoin concern is highlighted by Congress, Bitcoin shown to be traceable and win for big brother by panelists much to Congress's joy. I'd far rather buy a PinePhone/PineTab/PineTime w/ something reasonably private like Monero.
Why buy a privacy product w/ Bitcoin, a transparent, traceable ledger for *anyone* to analyze, when better privacy tech like Monero exists?
@PINE64 I don't know much about bitcoin to trust that, so I'd definitely need a transition period to make myself comfortable.
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