@jalcine #TheGuardian totally misses the point. Bitcoin "mining" is not about harvesting coins; that's just a side-effect. #Bitcoin mining is what makes it have its unique status of sound money and immutability of its ledger.
Whether you generate 12.5 BTC per block now or just get mining fees in about 100 years, the mining cost will stay and it is needed for the money not to lose this unique status.
It makes no sense to see the cost of Bitcoin mining as a per coin bases and compare it with gold
@stevenroose @jalcine Well, there is an economic feedback cycle — when it costs less than US$1 to mine US$1 of a commodity, investors snap up mining opportunities until only more expensive opportunities remain. So we can expect the amount of energy used per Bitcoin to grow dramatically as energy prices fall through the 2020s, leaving gold, copper, silver, and maybe even aluminum in the dust, since mining Bitcoin costs only energy, not human lives and water pollution.
@kragen @jalcine Well, the amount of bitcoins mined per time halves every 4 years, so while electricity gets cheaper, the reward also declines.
Best would be if the price would stay low for at least the next 6 years or so.
There was a very interesting talk about these effects on Scaling Bitcoin Tokyo last summer:
https://youtu.be/y8hJ0VTPE34 (only first 45 minutes or so).
@stevenroose @jalcine Presumably if the Bitcoin price remained approximately constant, the reward halvings would be made up for by increased transaction fees or by reduced mining and thus reduced difficulty and thus reduced energy per coin. But it took me a lot less than 45 minutes to invent that opinion, so take it with a grain of salt :)
I agree with your dismissal of the original mindless hot take.
@stevenroose @jalcine Heh, I like the take at 4m18s: "Saying Bitcoin uses too much energy is saying it should be less secure." I mean you could imagine ways for this statement to be false but nobody has shown a way for it to use less energy without being less secure *yet*. (It's a safe bet that our original interlocutor here, like Trump voters or Grauniad reporters, have no idea what we're talking about.)
@stevenroose "just a side effect" 😂😂😂
Serious question: what is your purpose in making this comment?
@SallyStrange Try to help OP and readers understand #Bitcoin.
Also, see https://fosstodon.org/@stevenroose/101377270441616179
@stevenroose why do you think the OP or anyone else here needs help understanding Bitcoin?
@SallyStrange Because OP shared an article that makes a totally senseless point.
@stevenroose yeah, you said it doesn't make sense, but you didn't really explain why it doesn't make sense.
>>"Bitcoin "mining" is not about harvesting coins; that's just a side-effect." Arguing that which was not contested (that energy consumption is a side effect)
>>"#Bitcoin mining is what makes it have its unique status of sound money and immutability of its ledger."
Nobody claims otherwise
@stevenroose >>"Whether you generate 12.5 BTC per block now or just get mining fees in about 100 years, the mining cost will stay and it is needed for the money not to lose this unique status."
Kinda supports the OP's point, that the currency's existence is not worth the costs it imposes on society
>>"It makes no sense to see the cost of Bitcoin mining as a per coin bases and compare it with gold"
Why does it make no sense?
@SallyStrange Because Bitcoin mining sustains the safety status of the currency, while gold mining *only* serves increasing the supply.
Count all the costs related to gold storage, gold transportation, gold safekeeping etc. in the same equation, especially 100 years ago when most countries were still on the gold standard.
@stevenroose you just said that it makes "no sense" to compare the energy costs if gold mining vs Bitcoin "mining". Now you appear to suggest it could make sense, if one accounts for the costs of gold storage and safekeeping. (What about the storage & upkeep cost of Bitcoin?) The relevance of monetary policy from 100 years ago to your objection to the comparison isn't clear. The time frame of the cost comparison in the paper, on the other hand, is very clear. Your explanation doesn't satisfy.
@chucker @jalcine Maybe if you tell your grandma that with a non-inflationary currency she could still be buying bread for 10 cents like 50 years ago, she'd be quite glad.
Ultimately, with #Bitcoin we're trying to get rid of the debt- and inflation-based financial system that is stealing poor people's savings. I don't think that's something you can be against.
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