Environmental Implications of CryptoCurrency Mining with GPUs *spawn*

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Grall, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Seems kind of an act of desperation to be mining on ~8 years old hardware, and low-end hardware to boot. How power efficient could that possibly be? And for producing essentially nothing to begin with, just burning electricity and polluting our world with no genuine gain.
     
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  2. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    Why exactly are you on this Cryptomining thread. Are you here just to troll?

    You obviously did not take the time to read my previous posts or you would have seen that these systems are profitable for me at their hash rate and power usage.

    Your statement "polluting our world with no genuine gain" shows your bias (and do I detect some hate here) and also is completely wrong as my power plan is completely wind powered.

    https://www.breezeenergy.com
     
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  3. Kyyla

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    Soo they cut your electricity when it's not windy? Sorry to say these 100% renewable power plans are mostly bs.
     
  4. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    This is in west Texas and it is always windy.

     
  5. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    doesnt they usually also use huge batteries?
     
  6. entity279

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    Batteries are too expensive but also unpractical , usually power companies handle overproduction via interconection, by selling off excess production to sbd else
     
  7. Kyyla

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    You get your electricity from the same mixture of power plants regardless of your plan. Otherwise everyone would need dedicated personal power wires.
     
  8. ToTTenTranz

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    That's not what sustainable means..
     
  9. CarstenS

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    True, but that's not how sustainable power plans work which you know as well of course.
    In the end, even if your every kilowatthour is not directly created by green power sources, your demand for green power is increasing it's part in the mix.
     
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  10. CarstenS

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    Not only that. Some store excess power via hydrodynamics for example. Using excess power to pump water into uphill basins which they then can drain to re-create a part of the otherwise wasted power. Not ideal, but still.
     
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  11. Kyyla

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    In theory yes. In reality investment in renewabled depends on government subsidies and there are many limitations depending on the geography, climate etc. Germany is a good example of a failed renewable drive.

    Everybody can check the CO2 intensity of electricity generation live from here: https://www.electricitymap.org
    Even on good days germany can't reach France for instance. On bad days it is all fossil fuel powered.

    The choice presented to the consumer is a false one, a PR move. It has succeeded in making you feel good about your power consumption, which was it's purpose.
     
    #11 Kyyla, Mar 18, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  12. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    I'm expressing an alternative viewpoint. If you disapprove, that's too bad.

    Yes, well "profitable" and "efficient" are two different things. Something can be wasteful and still be profitable - and in this world, often is. It doesn't mean what you're doing is a good thing, or beneficial, just because you're making money out of it.

    Like, my super ancient Geforce 8800 GTXes, I don't know if they can run cryptomining considering how aged and technically limited they are compared to modern GPUs, but according to Techpowerup database they do about 2.23Gflop/W, theoretical. Even if I let my Vegas suck 350W for 12GFlop, they're still doing ~34.3Gflop/W. Maybe the old 8800s could be profitable mining*, I've no idea, but would it be efficient?

    Fuck no.

    (*I don't pay separately for electricity; it's included in my rent. I could pull whatever the fuses can bear and it would still be profitable FOR ME.)

    Yeah, well, so far nobody has really shown how cryptoshit would be anything other than a get-rich-quick, pump-and-dump hypemachine. Indeed, the wild swings in crypto value (I should maybe put quotes around that word, but I'd probably be showing my hate and bias again then...) kind of reinforces that idea btw.

    Then add the huge opportunities for money laundering, tax evasion, ransomware and black market dealings cryptoshit brings with it, and most any sane person should be asking themselves if this is really what we need to spend quite so much money and resources on.

    Windmills and power grids still require resources and emit pollution both to manufacture and maintain; tanstaafl, etc. Also, one could argue that green, renewable electricity spent on mining could have been better spent on something else.
     
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  13. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Is it fair to say so? I mean, unless you believe he's taking something out of other people's pocket, then it's completely up to him to do whatever he feels efficient or not.
    Otherwise, why don't you go after those people with inefficient cars and trucks? People who don't ride public transport? I'm pretty sure that these are much worse and inefficient for the environment than some inefficient "mining" operations.
     
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  14. CarstenS

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    Are you, Kyyla, saying, the providers are a scam, then I hope someone with deep pockets sues them to hell and back.
    Yes, France has 67% of it's power from nuclear power plants. That's very green on a map that classifies all according to CO2 emissions. Nice PR move.

    Tell me how it's a PR move, when my provider restocks it's "supply" with energy from green sources for every kWh I use? How is this worse than buying the cheapest electricity possible from over-aged nuclear power plants or dirty coal ones?

    Of course, even green energy is not completely unaffecting the environment. True, but neither does even human life.
     
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  15. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Sure it is. "Profitable" and "efficient" are not synonyms.

    That's a strange statement. What is this now, "alternative efficiency", where you decide something is efficient or not depending on your own whims? Also, this type of reasoning is exactly why this planet is in such poor shape as it is.

    Other than being a false equivalency fallacial argument, I frequently do.
     
  16. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Of course, but it's is not fair to say that only the most efficient way is efficient. If something is profitable, then there's likely something of value was generated, no matter what. The problem is about externalizations, that is, some (or all) of the profits were from someone else who's being taken advantage of. Unless you can demonstrate that an "inefficient mining operation" is taking something out of someone else, otherwise it's a fair game IMHO.

    The planet is in a poor shape because people take advantage of externalizations (i.e. polluters don't pay for the cost of pollution) It's not necessarily about efficiencies.

    Then why are you spending your energy criticizing about some guy's inefficient mining operations? Isn't it inefficient itself? Just go after the big ones! :)
     
  17. A1xLLcqAgt0qc2RyMz0y

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    Your view point is clearly stated in the first post:

    You basically despise any and all cryptominers who in your words "burn electricity", "pollute our world" and produce nothing of worth.

    What I do with the electricity that I purchase at retail is my own business and not yours to decide.
     
  18. rcf

    rcf
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    In my opinion David MacKay's free book/website, called "Sustainable Energy - without the hot air", still is required reading despite being 10 years old (the author unfortunately died a couple of years ago).

    He just uses math to reach his conclusions without trying to advance any given ideology.
    He calculates the per capita energy requirements of the average british citizen and extrapolates such energy requirements to the entire world population, then he writes about the pros and cons of each energy source and calculates how much each one of them would be able to contribute in such a scenario.

    Website - https://www.withouthotair.com/
    Free book (14MB PDF) - http://www.inference.eng.cam.ac.uk/sustainable/book/tex/sewtha.pdf

    By the way, we should have a proper "energy thread" in this forum (if we don't have one already).
     
  19. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Yes, but eight year old GPUs aren't going to be in any way efficient today, at anything, by any measure.

    "Of value" is a relative term. If thousands of gigawatt-hours are burned calculating cryptocoins, then you have only created a string of more-or-less random numbers, which people have decided for the sake of their own greed has value. Whereas if all that energy was donated into medical or physics research (through distributed computing clients like SETI, BOINC or Folding@Home), then something of ACTUAL value would have been created; concrete results. Not necessarily money for the donors, but still something of value: knowledge.

    I don't understand why you're so hung up about something having to be taking something out of someone else. That's a different thing; it's called thievery. Has nothing to do with efficiency.

    Like, one-time use plastic bags. They've been a thing for decades in the retail market. You buy something in a store, you get a plastic bag to put it in (typically with the store logo on it making you a free advertisement with legs as you move around in the city). You come home, unpack your stuff, then throw away the bag. Typically it either ends up in a landfill, or gets incinerated. Efficient use of petroleum feedstock, a finite resource which causes tremendous pollution problems around the world? I can't really say so, but it's not 'taking something from someone else' so it's 'fair game'? :p

    Except a number of states around the world, including the E.U. is moving to ban them, because of the many environmental issues they bring, and none of those have anything to do with someone getting something taken away from them. Well, unless you count various wildlife having their lifespans shortened by eating plastic and ending up with blocked intestines of course...

    No, that's backwards. First off, pollution doesn't really let itself be measured in dollars and cents (or whatever), nor does "paying for it" mitigate its effects. They're still going to be there. Like the CO2 cap-and-trade thing; you think the atmosphere pays attention to if a polluter pays for the CO2 say, a coal powerplant emits or not? The cost gets pushed onto end users, the powerplant owners still make a profit, and the earth grows hotter. Awesome solution!

    IE, paying for pollution is not a solution, it's a distraction. The solution would be to end pollution. ;)

    How about "no"? :D (Meaning, I'll post the way I want, and we'll both be happy mkay?)

    My, my. Touchy!

    Are you seeing me "deciding" for you what to do? No. This is a discussion forum. People express opinions, sometimes they differ.
     
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  20. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Well, my point is that if it's profitable and not taking advantage of someone else (such as using subsidized electricity) then it's efficient in a way.
    To be more precise, normally depreciation costs more than electricity in a mining operation, as the "difficulty" of mining something generally goes up. Therefore, if an 8 years old hardware is cheap enough that depreciation is nothing, and its power cost is lower than its profit, then it can be considered as efficient. It would end up in a landfill anyway.

    Why "donate"? I used to run my computer for something like folding@home (it was before folding@home was mature IIRC). If someone can make a profit by running some random numbers, why can't it be profitable running something "more important" such as folding@home? Why asking people to donate?

    Thievery is a dirty world. Economists like to call them externalities. Of course, there are subtle differences.

    This actually illustrates my point. The reason why plastic bags are bad is because people don't reuse or recycle them. The "pollution problem" you mentioned about is an externality. If people have to pay for the pollution they made, suddenly it will be much more attractive to reuse or recycle a plastic bag.

    You are still describing an externality. And banning plastic bags are not going to work well. It's better (but still not ideal) to require people to pay for them (by banning "free" plastic bags, where many governments already do).

    In Taiwan, after banning "free" plastic bags, some shops and restaurants started providing free paper bags. Unfortunately, it's not more environmentally friendly, because paper bags are much more difficult to reuse, and making them are not less polluting (not to mention that they are also more expensive). Now people just get used to pay for plastic bags, or remember to take one with them (which is the point of this policy).

    Why not? It increases the cost of dirty technologies. If burning coal is made more expensive, burning natural gas or solar power or wind farms do not look so expensive anymore. The tricky part is to know how to price it, but market might be able to do it too. Just saying "pollution is bad" will not solve any problem, because those so-called "clean" solutions are not necessarily clean (or even cleaner) when you look closer.

    To summarize, I believe in market, and I think market is probably the best way to determine which is the most efficient way. People always want to "make things better" by trying to interfere with the market. It almost never worked.

    Well, I guess this is getting into the realm of politics, so I'll stop here :)
     
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