Environmental Implications of CryptoCurrency Mining with GPUs *spawn*

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

  1. tongue_of_colicab

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    Offtopic but normal paper (not with a layer of plastic on it) should be biodegradable in a couple of months, plastic bags basically last forever. I'm also pretty sure paper is easier to recycle. Most people don't use those shabby plastic bags more than once or twice either.

    Paper made from wood pulp probably also has a relatively low environmental impact as you can farm forests and having forests generally isn't a bad thing to begin with. Even if you cut them down and replant them ever couple of years. Pumping oil is pretty much never a clean'ish operation.
     
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  2. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    From what I was told, recycling platsic takes less energy than recycling paper, especially if you're trying to go for white paper color.
     
  3. tongue_of_colicab

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    You are right, looks like I was very wrong on that one.
     
  4. zed

    zed
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    That could be true but the reality fuck all gets recycled

    from a google ~1% of plastic bags in the US get recycled, for all plastic's its only ~10%

    thats one thing I love about the USA, keep using the paper bags. I was in rwanda a few months ago, they banned plastic bags etc years ago, toady you'll never see a cleaner country in the world, yes it even gives Singapore a run for its money.
    kenya has also just banned them
     
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  5. Malo

    Malo Yak Mechanicum
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    There's probably some constitutional amendment that 'mericuns will go up in arms about if they try to take away their plastic bags.
     
  6. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    You cant be putting little sign or decal makers out of business, what would all the "no suffocate" / "dont use as a hat" makers do ?
     
  7. AlBran

    AlBran Ferro-Fibrous
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    #FakeBewbs
     
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  8. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Gizmodo article with some relevance:
    https://gizmodo.com/city-in-new-york-becomes-first-to-ban-new-bitcoin-minin-1823826338

    In particular this section:
    So cryptoshit miners get subsidized by everyone else while earning money for themselves on making nothing. That's fucking awesome!
     
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  9. Pressure

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    Could you perhaps be a little less jaded. We all get you dislike cryptocurrencies more than the average American hate tits in public like it was Super Bowl 2004 all over again.

    Banks also create money out of thin air while consuming copious amount of power.
     
  10. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    No, but you could be a little less butthurt.

    One single cryptominer operation using 10% of all power of an entire city is not healthy. It's ludicrous.
     
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  11. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    There's inherent value in a framework that allows anyone anywhere in the world to transact value with anyone else anywhere else in the world without having to employ (and trust) a third party to act as an intermediary.

    The current implementations are far from perfect, but then again so are the existing financial systems and they have been in development for hundreds of years. So, maybe it's worth giving it a few more years to see where it goes.
     
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  12. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Yeah, if you're a terrorist or a drug smuggler or black market arms dealer or such; if you're a legit person there's reliable services that fill peoples' needs, operating within legal frameworks and also adding some degree of transaction safety against fraud and whatnot.
     
  13. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    I don't have as high an opinion of the existing financial frameworks as you do. They all allow a relatively small group of people to benefit disproportionately to their contributions to the aggregate and they all allow a relatively small group of people to control the flow of money. And often there are overlaps between these two groups. That's not ideal. If there's even a possibility of creating something better, I'm all for it.
     
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  14. Bludd

    Bludd Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall
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    Funny, It Worked Last Time...
    So instead of fixing the problems that existing financial frameworks have, we should just blow them all up and enter into a pyramid scheme where stuff that is patently illegal in regular finance isn't?
     
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  15. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    Who said anything about blowing anything up? Let them fight it out and may the best system win.
     
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  16. Bludd

    Bludd Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall
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    Funny, It Worked Last Time...
    Don't mind me, I'm just going to pump and dump some coins and then cash them out in USD all the while avoiding taxes and flaunting finance laws. Also, do you want to join my exclusive pumping Discord server where you will gain unbelievable amounts of coins if you just invest in our new ICO?

    Oh and I forgot to mention that my 10 mining factories use more electricity than an entire large city, because who needs cities right?
     
    #36 Bludd, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
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  17. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    And existing financial frameworks are full of bad actors despite the incredible amount of resources being expended to try to prevent them.
     
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  18. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    Yet we have nothing better. And no, I don't consider crypto-anarchy any sort of improvement whatsoever. Being able to evade taxes both as companies and individuals would, if widely spread, destabilize the modern welfare state, and enable the conduct of all sorts of illegal schemes; all with near-perfect anonymity which would let crime run rampant with little chance of discovery.

    Our economic system sucks, like parliamentary democracy sucks, but we've invented nothing better so far.

    Cryptoshit gaining widespread use WILL lead to it becoming banned, and all those gigawatt-hours will all have been for nought, and a few new millionaires will have been created; those who had the wherewithals to pull out in time, and/or reinvest their cryptoshit into genuine forms of investment.
     
  19. 3dilettante

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    Is there a source for the numbers or estimates for power consumption you are referencing for comparison?
    There have been some recent articles that tried to gauge the per-transaction power cost for Bitcoin versus Visa, though there's a lot of assumption built into the figures.

    For example the following tries to compare, but I am not familiar enough with the field to know what assumptions might have be in error.
    https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

    It does reference Visa's internal estimate of 675000 GJ for the year 2016, although its data centers use slightly over half and Visa performs more functions than just the strict handling of electronic transactions versus the Bitcoin mining base.

    Half of Visa's total consumption in GJ translates into ~.1 TWh in 2016 versus tens of TWh per year for just Bitcoin.
    From that source, Bitcoin is projected to have ~56 TWh/year of consumption and Ethereum has a separate listing with ~16 TWh/year. In another crypto mining thread, there was an off-the-cuff estimate of 1/3 of GPU sales going into Ethereum versus other GPU-friendly coins. If that were to hold now, the overall consumption of GPU-mined coins would put Bitcoin+GPU coins at ~100TWh/year or 1000 times more consumption than one of a handful of world-spanning credit networks.

    Even if accurate consumption numbers are found for the transactional processes, that's a separate consideration from money creation since Visa isn't a bank.
    Actual money creation in the USA involves a smaller subset of banks with accounts that are adjusted by the Federal Reserve. That's a handful of increments/decrements at a slower/occasional cadence, with fractional lending amplifying the effect down the chain of credit and loan transactions. The power cost of the creation of money might be contained in a relatively low number of mainframes worldwide, while the individual fractional actions of the financial system would be occurring regardless.

    There is utility in the capability, but that's an ideal divorced from having to weigh that value versus the full accounting of the pros and cons of an implementation.
    There is similarly an inherent value to being able to transact value with anyone in the world via a third party capable of navigating a wide variety of complexities, risks, and eventualities an individual may not be able to account for.

    Past that, something like cryptocoin is more than just a transaction method. The distributed ledger functionality covers transferring specific tokens, but the question of their "value" and Bitcoin's (and all coins relevant to this discussion) choice of validation, incentives, and monetary policy go beyond just that initial source of utility.


    I'm pretty convinced at this point that much of the cryptocoin market is an example of ignoring the lessons of the existing systems, since so many of the disasters that struck them over the centuries are happening in overdrive, and it's a possible mark of the immaturity or possibly unsoundness of the approach that many cryptocoin proponents have that one common reaction to attempts to learn from these repeated mistakes is to take one's ball and go to another cryptocoin that makes a point not to have learned from them.

    I think the concept of a decentralized, proof-of-work, zero-sum reward, and deflation-directed trustless transactional network is likely to be considered in hindsight to be a lesson in what not to do.
    The mining and reward system needs to keep the cost of overriding the trustless system too high for a hostile actor, and it does so with a function that pretty generally devolves to cost of electrical power for the coin type under discussion.

    That's separate from the delivered utility for the transaction throughput of the system.
    The incentive system does not see power consumption as a limiting factor, and in fact rewards greater absolute consumption without limit. Existing financial entities see power costs as an expense to be minimized, whereas any power not consumed is competitiveness lost for mining.
    The unbounded profit function is coupled with an arms race where the motivation is to make it as hard as possible on everyone else to succeed at successfully adding a (valid or invalid) block to the consensus.
    The system has relatively few methods for stabilizing value, which hurts the transaction utility of the system.

    Being decentralized, attempts at corrections or the application of lessons learned run into the problem that those currently enjoying the benefits of the reward system tend to not agree if corrections impact their unbounded profit function.

    The cryptocoins being gauged by their price in fiat also makes it in the interest of those with the most coins or mining throughput in a system whose value stability and transaction utility is marginal to force the fiat to crypto ratio as high as possible, which tends involve minimizing the few remaining rational levers for moderating the system.

    I think the current implementation is half-built on something that sets an actor's rational self-interest towards abuse outside of the transactions themselves, and the structure or lack thereof is opposed to imposing collective action or individual restraint necessary to change that.
     
  20. mrcorbo

    mrcorbo Foo Fighter
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    What's wrong with starting with an ideal, building what's possible and then striving to progress closer and closer to the ideal over time? There was a point when Bitcoin was by far the dominant cryptocurrency, but that time has passed as newer implementations take root that put their own spin on the concept. It's the degree of experimentation in crypto and the disruption to the status quo it is causing that I find most interesting. Not any specific implementation.

    If there's no better way. I'd like to see if a better way can be found.

    Sure, there's tons of complexity around the basic simplicity of the core concepts. But there are enough different approaches to dealing with those complexities both in practice and in development that at a certain point which approaches are and are not effective will start to become apparent.

    Why the rush to judgment? I doubt that when currency was initially invented it changed people's approach to economics (or whatever passed for economics at the time) overnight.

    Collectively or as individual concepts?

    PoW has definite problems at scale. Unfortunately it is the only method that has been vetted to work at scale, at least at the scale that Bitcoin has reached. This is one of the areas that is seeing the most experimentation, though. If one of these alternative block creation methods can be proven as secure, then this argument becomes moot.

    There's still the most powerful lever of all. If the system doesn't work for most people than most people won't use it. The best thing about crypto is that in it's current, flawed, form you have the choice to not participate in the system.

    Possibly, but the current implementations need just be a foundation on which to build.
     
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