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Topic: Bitcoin: like Git but for killing the environment (Read 118 times) previous topic - next topic

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Bitcoin: like Git but for killing the environment

The electricity required for a single bitcoin trade could power a house for a whole month

Gold production used as "cryptocurrency" wasted about as much energy as Bitcoin. All the transactions that make up the global economy consume about a third as much as Bitcoin.

A barbarous relic
Coming to the numbers, Wikipedia suggests that gold mining uses about 25 kW┬Ěh of electricity per gram of gold produced. If I get the order of magnitude right, that corresponds to 25 GWh per tonne. Current annual production is about 3000 tonnes, so that gold mining uses about 75 TWh per year, compared to a widely cited estimate of 30Twh/year for Bitcoin. But the majority of gold is used for jewellery and industrial purposes, with only around 40 per cent being used for private investment (governments hold gold in reserves, but they have been net sellers for many years). Entirely coincidentally, 40 per cent of 75 is 30.

So, the barbarous relic and its high-tech replacement use about the same amount of electricity every year. Gold is probably more widely used as a pseudo-currency than Bitcoin. On the other hand, gold mining has a lot of destructive effects in addition to the electricity used.

So, at least arguably, gold and Bitcoin, considered as alternatives to the standard financial system, are about equally destructive in environmental terms.

Has Bitcoin been factored into the Drake Equation? It could explain why we humans seem to be alone in the galaxy.
  • Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 07:34:02 PM by Autonemesis

  • ffejrxx
Re: Bitcoin: like Git but for killing the environment
Reply #1
but Au does have a physical use in the real world
not so much for BTC

they should not stop mining for gold just because its less profitable and enviromentally friendly
but they could look for more efficient and less destrucive ways to recover or mine for it