Sometimes progress is a mixed blessing or the Shock of the New
November 6, 2018 11:55 AM   Subscribe

How should Paraguay invest it's Energy wealth? In bitcoin ‘mining’ or fighting poverty?
Bitcoin Mining Turns Electricity Into Money but this is, as posted previously, what happens when Bitcoin Miners Take Over Your Town .
How much power does it take to produce Bitcoin which could consume 7.7 gigawatts by the end of 2018.
posted by adamvasco (13 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Sure sounds like they should invest it in fighting poverty.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 12:08 PM on November 6 [7 favorites]


Well I guess it’s carbon neutral in this case even if it’s still deeply stupid and I’ll still stand by Bitcoin is a plague. Investing in literally anything else would probably be good. Maybe get the old carbon sequestration racket going? That’s deeply dumb as well but if someone will pay for it less dumb than bitcoin.
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Wasting so much power to "mine" bitcoins when it could be used for anything else has got to be one of the dumbest things of all time.
posted by snofoam at 12:11 PM on November 6 [10 favorites]


In 1979, Brazil’s military regime murdered its ambassador to Paraguay to prevent him from revealing the billions of dollars of kickbacks involved in Itaipú’s construction, it was officially confirmed in October.
This is so unbelievably sad.
posted by ambrosen at 12:17 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


What with the good old days being back, yeah.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on November 6


Does it really matter whether the power-hungry consumers are bitcoin miners, datacenters, battery manufacturing, or smelting aluminum? It all comes down to what's the price of electricity and where does that money go.

This article is arguing over what to do after they get the cheap power back from Brazil, when they should be arguing over whether Bolsonaro will declare war if they try.
posted by allegedly at 1:00 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


When I read about Bitcoin energy use (which I recognize is both monumentally irresponsible and monumentally stupid), I do wonder how it compares to, say, Facebook energy use. I mean, has anyone tried to quantify how much Instagram server side and consumer energy use might add up to?
posted by latkes at 3:22 PM on November 6


If we could get that usage 3 times higher we’d have enough power to send our DeLorean back in time to stop this stupid waste of energy before it starts.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:40 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


> When I read about Bitcoin energy use (which I recognize is both monumentally irresponsible and monumentally stupid), I do wonder how it compares to, say, Facebook energy use. I mean, has anyone tried to quantify how much Instagram server side and consumer energy use might add up to?

As the post says, Bitcoin is estimated to be consuming around 7 gigawatts. I think I read that's about two Irelands.

I suspect it completely dwarfs Instagram usage. Bitcoin, by design, wastes energy (technically it is designed to waste computing power).
posted by justkevin at 4:29 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


But... to help the poor you need... cash, and one day you have access to millions of 'free' watts, convert that to dollars, hmm, make steel, ok mine ore and build gigantic factories with a huge upfront investment... or... probably have ASIC optimized datacenter shipped on credit by next week and churn out a couple bitcoins in the next couple weeks later. There are vastly more stupider bad choices at this point in time.
posted by sammyo at 4:49 PM on November 6


I dunno, if you count every facebook packet switched by every router on the internet, every "like" from every smartphone, tablet, laptop, pc, etc.. plus the server farms and the hot standbys and the content distribution networks etc... I imagine it's up there.
posted by some loser at 6:43 PM on November 6


Facebook publish their numbers - 2,460,000 megawatt hours in 2017.
posted by simonw at 7:07 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Bitcoin is estimated to be consuming around 7 gigawatts. I think I read that's about two Irelands

It's about three quarters of an Ireland.
posted by biffa at 2:00 PM on November 7


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