Bitcoin

ible

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ooh, that's one i hadn't heard of. also i was toying with a UBI (universal basic income) in one of my cryptocurrencies, but was worried about sybil attacks. this seems to address that, and the energy inefficiency of bitcoin, pretty well...

[edit] not sure why they're finding it necessary to create their own OpenPGP tho...
 

Dr. λ the Typer of Terms

Inferrer of Types and β-Reducer of β-Redexes
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If Bitcoin dropped in price, would you have paid a bonus to ED?

Managing your fiances and investments is your own responsibility. If you mess up by trading away your best currencies then you have yourself to blame. Expecting others to pay you for such mistakes implies that others are responsible for managing your finances or investments for you.
 

levi

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Hey, as far as I read it, hitbyambulance spent their previously earned bitcoins on a pyra preorder. It doesn't take any more energy/CO2 I'd have though to transfer bitcoins to someone else, especially versus the costs of processing a credit card order. And maybe s/he mined this bitcoin in the first place when they didn't take much computing power to produce, who knows?
 

hitbyambulance

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this fraction of a BTC was given to me by someone else last year (who worked at a BTC-related startup). as Levi supposed, i just transferred it out of my account. i haven't done any mining in some years now.
 

WizardStan

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They do, indirectly. Like, the transactions themselves don't cost anymore than encrypting a number (something your web browser does every time you open an HTTPS connection) but it has a snowball effect. This is an incredibly dumbed down explanation:
Bitcoins are mined by verifying the transaction chain of the last 10 minutes. Everyone rushes to be the first because they're the one awarded the prize. The longer the chain and the more people using them the harder the verification. The harder the verification, the more CPU cycles it requires. Lather, rinse, repeat.
If fewer people spent bitcoins then the cost would drop and fewer people would be mining them.

edit: actually, you know what? That's a really stupid explanation. It literally applies to anything. "If people stopped buying houses there would be fewer houses being built and less energy spent building those houses"
Like, doi. It's more complicated than that.
 

FBnil

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put on your tinfoil hat:

Some speculate there is an AI build, and around this AI there is bitcoin, so a few cycles are actually transactions and what not... but the inner core is actually an AI that now lives in more and more computers, having more CPU cycles at it's disposal.... which is why it is costly to "mine"
 

gpsqueeek

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I find it more sad, that I had not joined the Bitcoin-train already in 2009, where all started and Bitcoins were easily mined with the Home-PC. Damn, I would have been Millionaire today... :'(
Yep, that's the part about greed :p
 

levi

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How many people are actually cashing out of bitcoin today? It's all well and good stating it's worth tens of thousands today, but if very few people are selling significant quantities of it that's basically a theoretical price only.

But yeah, it's pretty well understood what the cost in terms of CPU cycles consists of - it's trying to discover a prefix to the blockchain data that makes a hash give a sufficiently low value, in terms of the 'mining' process. Any transaction creates a blockchain entry that needs to be logged in this process somewhat confusingly called 'mining', and that will presumably continue after bitcoins stop being given away for successful mines in the 2030s somewhere, which makes me wonder why anyone will bother with the custom hardware and expensive electricity bills to mine the stuff if there's no real reward. But maybe by then quantum computing will make it an easy solution to work out, who knows?
 

ible

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But yeah, it's pretty well understood what the cost in terms of CPU cycles consists of - it's trying to discover a prefix to the blockchain data that makes a hash give a sufficiently low value, in terms of the 'mining' process. Any transaction creates a blockchain entry that needs to be logged in this process somewhat confusingly called 'mining', and that will presumably continue after bitcoins stop being given away for successful mines in the 2030s somewhere, which makes me wonder why anyone will bother with the custom hardware and expensive electricity bills to mine the stuff if there's no real reward. But maybe by then quantum computing will make it an easy solution to work out, who knows?
mining will still continue, with the incentive being you'll get transaction fees as rewards instead of forging new coins.

quantum computing drops n-bit hash-based security to n/2-bit security, but that would still be no easy feat with large enough n. (i guess 256 bit for bitcoin, so 128 bit quantum security, not too many computers can break 128 bit security easily, let alone quantum computers.) of course, i could just be bs-ing.
 

trix

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The trick to bitcoin is solar and wind power. My friend has invested quite a bit into green energy and produces much more than his household uses. Using the excess electricity to mine bitcoins has been generating him quite a nice pile of money on the side, basically for free.

At this point he gets about $400 USD per week with very little effort or cost, and always saves the bitcoin he gets until there's an upswing in price, then he spends it. Some he spends directly, some he spends on gift cards (the Gyft app allows him to buy gift cards for basically any store including ebay and amazon, using BTC), and some he changes out to USD and puts in his bank. Some he keeps as BTC for the long term savings.

At this point he's made over $100k. For a UPS delivery driver with a family, that's nothing to shake a stick at. At first he used standard electric company power at $0.13 per kWh, but the moment he had enough for a large green energy upgrade, his profits really took off, and his pollution heavily dropped. Were it not for Bitcoin, he would never have been able to afford the switch to the large Solar and Wind setup he currently has. He even generates a bit more electricity than his household (including Bitcoin Miners) use, and he sells this excess back to the electric company. Instead of a monthly bill, the electric company sends him a monthly check, paying him for his extra electricity.

He's also already been able to help his neighbors more than once when they lost power due to financial troubles or electrical storms.

If one day Bitcoin were to suddenly drop like a stone and fail completely, he'd simply sell the energy currently used by his Bitcoin Miners to the electric company and his monthly check would be larger. The very definition of win/win.
[doublepost=1514914406,1514912957][/doublepost]Personally I think anyone mining cryptocurrencies should invest all profits into building renewable energy systems that can handle the load ASAP. Not just for altruistic reasons (though less pollution is always better) but even simply for greed: to maximize profits. The ROI on renewable energy is pretty long term, normally, and that bars a lot of people from making the switch. Crypto Mining hastens that ROI by leaps and bounds and can provide the financial means to make the switch all by itself. And there's something really cool about not only being the only house with power during a storm or outage, but having the excess available (once you switch off the miners) to power some of your neighbors as well. Or getting that monthly payment from the local electric company for your extra electric.

Also there's all the little things. Like having outdoor outlets available for anyone to charge their stuff for free. Like having enough battery power always in the house batteries to jump start a car. Like being able to unplug a few of those batteries and take them camping. Or take a couple on his boat.

He says his next upgrade will be an electric vehicle, probably a Tesla, so that he doesn't have to buy gas anymore either.
 

gpsqueeek

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@trix
Producing so called "green energy" is not good for the environment because at some point you need to build (which needs energy too), operate (energy conversion and storage always leads to power loss) and then recycle the device (for example solar power is really bad for recycling and does not last for so long).
What is good for the environment is consuming less energy.
Having decentralised power plants (e.g. at home) - or any network if we go this path - is good for resilience though, you are definitely right about this!
 

sebt3

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Life will continue as it was.

Also using bold and increased font-size for such mudane sentence is considered bad internet behaviour
 
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