You know something’s not right with this bitcoin thing, when even those guys, who ran some Ponzi schemes (basically stole money from people), say that this is just a sham… or maybe they’re just jealous it wasn’t their idea. I doubt it though… Anyway, I feel like a tiny intro is in order. What is a bitcoin?
Can I just put a Wiki quote here? I think the quote will explain it better (this is an excuse for being lazy)
“Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator”
Sounds great! So, how can you get it? There are 2 ways.
1) You buy it. I’ll talk about this later.
2) You mine it. I’ll talk about this now. I mean it’s the main reason why I’ve decided to write about bitcoins.
Here’s the thing. Whether bitcoin is a shame or not, currently it’s in action and if you think about it, this was going to happen. I mean, we’re going digital in so many areas… we’re digitizing everything we can. This is the new reality, there’s no escaping it, unless you pack your things and go and live in the forest or something. What bothers me though, is how it’s impacting the way people think about making money in general or how it’s affecting ecology.
Yes. Ecology. You’ve read it right.
Let me unscramble this for you. If you don’t have those thousands of dollars (10220$ at the moment) to buy a bitcoin, you can get it by mining. How? You download and install a program, click “start” and… nothing. That’s it. You’re mining bitcoins. Well… not you exactly, your computer is doing the whole thing. Easy right? Not so much. You know how a dollar consists of 100 cents? Well, 1 bitcoin consists of 100.000.000 Satoshis. So, it took my average laptop 1 hour to mine 10 Satoshis. How long it’ll take to mine 100 million of those… you do the math, I’m not in mood for that. Worthless waste of time.
There are people and even companies who buy supercomputers, servers and all that jazz, get super fast internet connections and mine bitcoins round the clock. Is it worth it? Financially speaking – hell yeah. Few months ago the answer would be something like “Are you crazy? Duuuuh. It’s 18000$ for a bitcoin, man”. Fine, but what’s the price? Nothing comes without a price.
First of all, computer manufacturing companies didn’t waste any time and came up with special, super exclusive, bitcoin mining computers. That’s business for you. Ok, what else? The ultimate price you pay for a bitcoin is… you ready?…
“How the hell did you work that out?” – I hear you asking. Well, think for a moment. To mine bitcoins, you go and get that powerful computer, get an expensive and a very fast internet connection, press that “start” button and go back to your online gaming. The thing is that your bitcoin mining computer uses more electricity, than the usual one and it works 24/7 because you want to get that bitcoin in this lifetime.
Now imagine thousands of people doing the same. And now imagine big rooms of servers working day and night on that one thing, mining bitcoins. It all comes to this. Because of bitcoin mining we’re using much more electricity than we used to. So unless you live in Paraguay or Costa Rica or Iceland or even Albania, where they run on 100% renewable energy (almost) – you’re contributing to air pollution. Coal plants, Gas plants, Oil plants… Many countries are working on moving from these things to Solar power, Wind power, Dams… but the process isn’t going fast enough. Bitcoin mining on the other hand… let’s just say, if we don’t slow down, by 2021 we’ll be consuming twice the power, than we’re using now.
Check the math here
I could write this whole thing in 3 or 4 sentences. I don’t even know why I stretched this one out…
1) Mining bitcoins = more electricity consumption.
2) Electricity is mostly provided by coal power plants that pollute the atmosphere
3) By using more power – you contribute to more pollution.
So will anyone stop or slow down the mining because of the air pollution factor? I highly doubt it. Even if they’re perfectly aware of these simple facts.
If there is something in this world that cannot be measured – it’s human greed. It has backfired so many times that we’ve lost count. Did we learn the lesson? Nope.
Will we stop and think for a second about the consequences of our actions? Don’t be ridiculous. We didn’t before, we won’t now.
So yeah, go ahead, do whatever you’re doing, screw the world. We’re all gonna die anyway, right?