@aaronm04 Welcome to Fosstodon. Things are slow at first but as you find people with similar interests and follow them, others will follow you. Create your bio, add an avatar pic and some emojis to your name so others can learn more about you. If you haven't, sending out an introduction listing your interests will help.
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@aaronm04 Hi Aaron, and welcome. I'm interested to know how bitcoin and sustainability work together. Is that the kind of interest you have in them?
@iamalsoandy well the short answer is that they don't work together. I just have two separate interests here
@iamalsoandy the long answer: it's not great that bitcoin uses a huge amount of energy, but I think it is not going away and that it'll stay the dominant cryptocurrency. And individual users of the currency don't contribute much to its environmental impact -- I think popular accountings for that vastly overestimate the electricity used per transaction on the block. The right way to calculate it is: how much electricity can miners buy with the amount of bitcoin in a txn fee? 1/n
@iamalsoandy that works out to a much lower amount than the total block reward divided by the number of transactions in a block, which is what I think popular bloggers etc. are using to calculate it. Most of the environmental impact of Bitcoin is a consequence of the fact that it exists (which it probably will continue to do). Just using Bitcoin is a miniscule contribution to that. 2/n
@iamalsoandy that said, I'd prefer that something like Stellar was the dominant cryptocurrency. It doesn't waste a lot of electricity with mining.
As for ways to reduce the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, the best thing would be for miners to be charged much higher rates for electricity (unless that electricity would've just gone to waste or destabilized the grid). Rates need to be much higher for all (except the poor) to reflect their true cost to the world 3/n
If the cost goes up 3x, say, the amount of electricity used per block would be roughly 1/3 of what it is now. It's just an inverse relationship.
Lastly, individual contributions to this environmental impact can be made even lower by paying less in transaction fees. This implies using 2nd layer technologies like Lightning Network in Bitcoin, which would reduce the numbers of transactions used. 4/4
@aaronm04 Thanks for that! My 'interest' in Bitcoin is very much based on what's in main stream coverage of it at the moment.
So often seems the way that the dominant method of things isn't the best! I see parallels with social media and the centralized web issues - in terms of "everyone" is on Facebook, so it becomes even more the dominant thing, it becomes the easiest to use, and it grows.
Thanks again for sharing.
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