Why do so many people waste their time and their computers turning coal into heat? It really pisses me off.

Often I meet smart guys who are fairly decent coders and after what starts as an interesting conversation is instantly destroyed by cryptocurrency.

It is *exactly* like enjoying a discussion of the intriguing nuances of quantum chemistry only to have the guy say, "thats all cool, but how do you make meth?"


You want to use your decked out rig to make money? Fine. But please help us solve important problems instead of literally wasting electricity. Just google search "supercomputer physics" and you will find a thousand current problems requiring extremely fast computers for number crunching. All of them can make you more money than crypto and all of them help society at the same time.

We burn coal to make most of the electricity on this planet. Most coal stations burn around 20,000 tons of coal per day. The world burns about 250 tons of coal every *second*. This is converted into carbon dioxide. (coal = carbon, add two oxygens when you burn it, producing three times as much mass in CO2, which then goes out the smoke stack)

The big picture is this: currently we are forced to burn coal to make the world work. Turning off the boilers would result in an almost instant apocalyptic collapse of society. BUT, we don't need to burn it merely to produce waste heat in your video card array.

Please use your superpowers for good.

<end rant>

  • 4
    hell ya. bitched abt that from the start way back. at the time the collective "bitcoin" mining population was using as much electricity as poland to pump out "money" that wouldn't pay for 1/4 of the electricity.

    so frickin stupid, go play the lotto, gamble at a roulette table, more odds you'd get money back there.
  • 4
    @fuck2code i think you're missing the point. helping a small science community would use less power and has better odds of helping more people than just you, as oppose to playing the cryptocurrency lottery, in which case you should just go buy scratch offs. and quit wasting power/CO2 and hurting humanity as a whole
  • 8
    The big bitcoin bubble in December 2017 was total market manipulation. Lots of people have commented on it. Big players grew it as high as it could go, and when they maxed out, they did a classic pump n dump.

    Someone said "Bitcoin is better money" but money is fucking terrible. And It's not money either! Money is literally Debt. You cannot have Money without Debt. (read: David Graber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years. It's life changing).

    We need less scarcity, and yes, that means an end to money and debt as we see it, if humanity is going to survive.

    That's the long way I say I agree with you. Cryptocurrency is a waste of electricity for sure.
  • 2
    i'm just gona drop "The Venus Project" - just bc
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    @djsumdog Wow.. Money really is debt. I just realized that. The work you put into earning money is debt someone else can owe you.
  • 1
    Agreed, there's too much amorality and greed in our industry and I find it really depressing. I blame Silicon Valley but the attitude has spread everywhere now. Developers don't care if their new startup skins babies so long as they have some slim chance to get rich off equity.
  • 1
    Best rant ever read ✌️
  • 0
    @zlice actually, if you do the math, mining cryptocurremcy is ~2 orders of magnitude more profitable than lottery, penny for penny.
    Also, no serious miner mines at a loss, so your argument that the value of the coins mined is less than the electricity spent is nonsensical. Get your facts straight
  • 0
    @1oo7 as a miner I can tell you this: I find that 99% of people who talk about cryptocurrencies are cringy and utterly clueless on what it's really about.
    But you have to separate the stupid idiots from the tech they're working with. Every group/field has them, some are just more popular and attractive for idiots than others.

    And if you *really* wanna solve the world's pollution problems, you should rather convince people to stop burning coal entirely and switch to much more efficient and less pollutant energy sources, such as nuclear energy and renewable sources. *THAT*'s gonna solve our problems.
    Even if all cryptocurrency mining in the world completely stopped tomorrow, you would barely make a microscopic dent into the world's energy consumption. Focus on the bigger issues first, then fix the tiny details.
  • 1
    @endor the odds of winning a roulette game are over 60% to win for 50% profit

    scratch offs are type of lotto, also better odds per $

    like i said, did the math a long time ago, bitcoin was under $500, but

    you take the electricity cost away from your end profit. not even adding the cost of an ASIC/GPU/hardware, which i've seen calcs leave out.

    but with bitcoin, people group in pools, pools get larger, cuts get smaller. the takeaway odds are slimmed as people increase.

    haven't went to a casino and gotten less money because more people are there.

    i've known people who have lived off of a casino, not one person i've even overheard talking of bitcoin has made money mining. trading, a few.

    and these "serious" miners i can only imagine are the warehouses they have like in china. but what these people don't see, is if a few small groups all have the bitcoin, it will cheapen it eventually.

  • 0


    looking at it today, i'd say if anything it makes LESS sense to mine now at $8k per btc.

    idk if you didn't read what i said, or what you're talking about, other cryptocurrencies?
  • 1
    @endor it's not gona solve the problem. he's ranting. he's saying we could be doing something more productive
  • 0
    @zlice here's a few simple counterpoints:

    > the odds of winning a roulette game are 60% for 50% profit

    If that were the case, all casinos would be bankrupt

    > scratchoffs ... better odds per $

    I genuinely doubt that, see above. All lottery games are not "fair" games: the potential winnings are never greater than your potential losses. That's the whole point of those games, that's how those companies make money. Otherwise they would be bankrupt.

    > I did the math long ago for BTC

    You might wanna check your math, because mining with proper gpus/hardware *is* profitable - nobody would be doing that otherwise. And if lotteries were profitable for the players, everyone would be making a living off of them (that's what profitable means: on average, they make more than they lose) and lotto companies would be bankrupt.
  • 0
    > pools get larger, cuts get smaller

    Wrong. If you actually do the math, you can easily prove that (fair) pools make no difference on your overall earnings (other than a minor pool fee, which for decent pools is <1%).

    Cuts get smaller, but more frequent: these two factors cancel out perfectly, and poola help reduce variance significantly, ie you see a more constant trickle of money over time, rather than nothing for a long while and a sudden spike because you've found a block.

    > never heard of a person making money mining btc

    I mine Monero, and I can assure you I'm making money. I just have a few gpus in my house, so I'm not large-scale enough to make a living off of it, but I *am* making a profit. So is a friend of mine (he's already recovered the cost of his gpus and is currently making positive net profit!)

    Mining BTC is about similar in profitability, but the hardware costs are larger nowadays, and getting into the game is tougher due to ASICs, but the idea is the same
  • 0
    @zlice > today it makes even less sense to mine btc at $8k

    Based on what? Gut feeling? Or did you make an actual profitability calculation?
  • 0
    I argued and the counter argument received were...power consumption of banking sector and maintenance of ledger is about 50x of what cryptocurrency use.

    What are your views on this?
  • 1
    @endor Yes you make money mining. That is why people do it. That is the *only* reason people do it. Hence my rant. It does nothing for society except use resources. It doesn't even teach anything since most miners are clueless about the details. They are what we used to call script kiddies. Somebody else wrote the code, they just buy the gear and press play.

    See what happens? Somebody like you, who loves wasting your gear mining crypto currency, has jumped into the debate. Soon we won't be talking about resources, science, or technology anymore. The whole thread will be about how much money one makes mining cryptocrap.

    Like anything else, it is only worth something if people will trade real products for it. But unlike precious metals or government legal tender, there are infinitely many possible cryptos. It is too easy to invent new ones. I can start a new pyramid every week.

    In fact, we can turn the entire planet into a giant Easter Island if we like. A statue for every crypto.
  • 0
    @1oo7 you are making far too many assumptions about me and my motives, and you are not even considering why cryptocurrencies were born in the first place.

    The crypto world is littered with scammers and clueless idiots, sure. It's an easy market for thieves, because hype attracts lots of morons with money, and cryptography protects the ones who take advantage of it.
    But that doesn't mean the whole thing is a fad, there are a few legitimate projects among the crap.

    Your 'government legal tender' is just as legitimate as the next cryptocurrency out there, except you have no control over it and are at the mercy of banks and politicians.
    Your bank account is no less virtual than my Monero wallet.

    Personally, I've only ever supported a single project, Monero, because it's the only (serious) one that has successfully created a *real* sound, fungible currency, controlled by its users. If adoption will keep rising the way it does now, it might be an economical revolution.
  • 0
    And no, just because you can make your next pyramid scheme tomorrow, it doesn't mean it will ever do anything.
    You can create a million different coins and make yourself the richest holder in each one, by design. If nobody cares, you'll be the only one using it, and it will have no value.

    The power of cryptocurrencies is in their users: the more, the better. The goal is a system where nobody can steal, nobody can cheat, and everyone has the same equal rights over their own money, and the same incentive to ensure the network is secure by mining it.

    This is why I support Monero. This is why I mine. This is the real value or cryptocurrencies.
  • 1

    Bitcoin, etherium, monero, etc etc. You have your favorite one. That's not my point. You have bought into a fallacy. I said I could invent a new one every week to make a point about its valueless nature... and your response is about how I won't get rich that way. argh. What does rich mean?

    No currency has inherent value. All that matters is that I can use it as a middle man in a transaction of goods and services. Your monera has to be converted into something more common before it can be used for goods and services.

    The goods and services are the things with value. I am not interested in holding currency unless the pizza delivery boy will give me a pizza for it. My pizza boy doesn't accept monera, or etherium, or bitcoin.

    You want a get rich quick scheme? Produce a real product or service that people need. You won't even care what currency it is traded in.
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  • 1
    @1oo7 Bitcoin is also contributing to a weird form of gentrification (not sure how else to describe it). Rich entrepreneurs move into some small town and completely take it over to set up huge bitcoin mining operations, locals be damned. https://politico.com/magazine/...
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