What About Environmental Concerns Over Crypto Mining?

I learned long ago that when institutions decide to ride a subject, they can do so mercilessly. By endless repetition people are worn down into compliance… and then into defense of their compliance. I’ve seen it too many times.

And so, seeing them harping on “Bitcoin isn’t environmentally friendly,” I feel a need to defend reality, before it’s overrun yet again.

Let’s start with some basic engineering, so you can see that it isn’t people on my side who are making wild assertions, but people on the institutional side.

So Much Electricity”

You can substitute electricity for carbon, by the way. The people behind these things simply use whatever words will be best for reaching their goal. That’s why they moved from “global warming” to “climate change,” for example.

So, let’s look at electricity:

The first thing to know is this: If you want to do something about electrical loads (loads being things that demand electricity: anything from a light bulb to a giant electrical motor), you have to start with air conditioning. Far, far more electricity is used for cooling than it is for crypto mining. So, let’s go full stop right here:

Any ‘decarbonizing’ campaign that ignores air conditioning is a fraud.

Please spend a few moments with that thought.

When the impressive suits and titles start throwing around scary terms like terawatts, claiming that crypto mining is a threat and that you may be a bad person for supporting it, please ask this:

How does that compare to the air conditioning load?

Then, after they hem and haw, you can ask:

What about the gross inefficiencies arising from the seasonality of the air conditioning load, requiring utilities to maintain supplemental generating facilities?

They won’t answer your question because they can’t. (Though they may do the political thing and answer a question you didn’t ask.)

Why Utilities Love Mining Customers

You should also know that crypto mining is a nice, steady, continuous load; the kind power companies thrive on.

What’s difficult for utilities are electrical demands that change massively. Those make their lives crazy, and air conditioning exemplifies them: These loads hit them only a few months per year, mostly for half a day, and not even every day. They have to build special generating stations to handle them… generating stations that sit idle ninety percent of the time. It’s tremendously expensive.

Crypto mining loads, on the other hand, are incredibly consistent, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

Bear in mind also, that if crypto mining was so troublesome, the utilities would be raising their prices. And so, here are two more questions for the anti-crypto suits:

If electricity for mining is such a difficult thing, how come the miners haven’t been buried in price increases?

Isn’t crypto minining a tremendously stable load? Don’t utilities prefer that?

Let’s Tax Crypto”

Taxing crypto is where this stuff is going, and it’s simply an effort to stampede people who feel they must act Green in order to retain their standing.

The argument runs that since carbon is such a threat to human life (a dogma you may wish to examine), and since crypto mining causes so much carbon, “we” must tax it, in order to restrain it.

Before I get to a few details on this, please bear in mind that we already have plenty of clean power, and we can have more of it whenever we like. (Please see here.) That much is clear.

So, the whole decarbonizing crypto show is misdirection. Its real goal is to get rid of Bitcoin’s proof of work standard. That’s the stroke of genius that allowed Bitcoin to create trust with no trusted party, overturning the dogma that centralization was inevitable.

The big alternative, proof of stake, is more vulnerable to attack. They need it to get a handle on Bitcoin.

So, “taxing crypto to save the planet” is really about capturing Bitcoin. They just can’t say it, because too many people already hold Bitcoin.

With Bitcoin out of the way, the powers that be would move on to central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), with which they can and will control everything you buy and sell. You can call me overly-dramatic, but I’ve been watching this for a long time.

To understand what CBDCs are, think of what was done to the Canadian truckers, then multiply it by twenty.

So, if you hear talk along these lines, I suggest you respond with this:

How come you’re not addressing air conditioning? It’s a far bigger use of electricity.

If carbon is really going to kill us, they have to start by getting rid of air conditioning. We lived without it until 1970, after all. Germany still doesn’t have it.

(I don’t want them to tax air conditioning either, of course, but I don’t think there’s much risk of that.)

Finally…

To conclude, please consider that communist China is leading the way: They banned Bitcoin mining and they’ve implemented a CBDC. Already they’re either allowing or forbidding travel, based upon your “social credit score.” If you obey the Party, you can go where you wish; if you don’t, you can’t buy a ticket: your money simply won’t work.

Again, remember the Canadian truckers and how their bank accounts were shut down on a politician’s whim.

That’s where taxing Bitcoin leads. Controllers want to control, and Bitcoin stands in their way. So, please tuck this away in the back of your mind, even if you think I’m being dramatic. Thanks.

**

Paul Rosenberg

freemansperspective.com

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6 thoughts on “What About Environmental Concerns Over Crypto Mining?”

  1. “Far, far more electricity is used for cooling than it is for crypto mining.”

    … and in exchange people’s bodies are made comfortable rather than miserable. One can not cite a similar benefit from the electricity Bitcoin consumes.

    “Utilities love mining customers.”

    Of course they do, just like liquor manufacturers love drunks, who are also nice steady customers.

    You don’t address the reason I think Bitcoin can’t last very long in its present form: somebody’s got to pay for all that electricity. At some point (so I understand) no more Bitcoins will be created, so the people transacting will be on the hook for the entire bill. Meanwhile, competing cryptocurrencies won’t be saddled with the same incredibly huge electricity consumption, because they’ll be using (already are using) less wasteful verification procedures. It’s going to be horse and buggy vs. automobile.

    Maybe Bitcoin can save itself by switching over to a more efficient verification method. But on its present course, I see only its death.

    In case it needs to be said, I’m strongly in favor of normal people engaging in peaceful transactions without the government being able to watch what they’re doing. I just don’t see Bitcoin as the panacea you do.

    1. Hi JdL, just some snips and responses:

      > … and in exchange people’s bodies are made comfortable rather than miserable.

      True. I’m not opposed to AC, just saying that an argument excluding AC is flawed.

      > One can not cite a similar benefit from the electricity Bitcoin consumes.

      I can. Bitcoin is an essential hedge against full-blown tyranny. I can get past being hot better than I can being in a prison camp.

      > You don’t address the reason I think Bitcoin can’t last very long in its present form: somebody’s got to pay for all that electricity.

      They’re already paying for all that electricity, and quite nicely.

      > But on its present course, I see only its death.

      It has been declared dead literally hundreds of times.

      Cheers.

    2. I find investing in crypto currency more important than any other economic activity. If we as a human race want to see economic and social development we need to have stable, predictable, independent financial system. Cryptos is the answer for the problems we are facing now.

      1. Quite so, Peter, thanks.
        Gold and silver could help, if people actually used them (rather than stacking them harmlessly on their shelves).

  2. > That’s why they moved from “global warming” to “climate change,” for example.

    “Climate change” is more accurate, that’s why it caught on. Plus, it stopped idiots, unable to differentiate between a global trend and a short-term local event, from citing a cold winter as “evidence” that there was no such thing as “global warming”.

    I’m disappointed to see you using a false dichotomies and straw manning in your arguments above. And your views on energy (ref. “clean” energy article) and the environment reek of ideology rather than science, knowledge, or logic.

    Bitcoin uses 110 TWh/year, which is only 0.4% of the world electricity production. Small in proportion, but not inconsequential. A single 1200 MW power plant produces 10 TWh/year. I doubt you’d want 11 of those near your house.

    Waste is a judgement call – gotta compare cost vs. utility. Cost of Bitcoin? Apparent. Utility? Not so apparent.

    1. You’re of course welcome to your opinion, Greg, but you give the climate hustlers the benefit of the doubt and I do not.

      I’ve watched, sometimes closely, a long string of imminent apocalypses, failed predictions and new terminology, for minimally 50 years. I attended a couple of the central UN meetings and observed the core group first-hand.

      They get no benefit of the doubt from me, and 0.4% of world electricity for truly free, decentralized and non-monopolistic money is a screaming bargain.

      The last word can be yours if you wish.

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