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 International Skeptics Forum Merged: Bitcoin - Part 3

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 Tags bitcoin , cryptocurrency

 18th June 2022, 01:49 PM #2401 Babbylonian Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Feb 2007 Posts: 13,994 Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY Waste not want not. 1 ounce of Gold reportedly requires 8.3 Terajoules of energy to mine. As of now that's \$1,841 USD worth of Gold. Let's convert 8.3 Terajoules into Kilowatt Hours: Where 1 Terajoule is equal to 277,778 KWH, 8.3 Terajoules = 2,305,557 KWH 2,305,557 KWH to mine \$1,841 USD worth of Gold. (Two million three hundred five thousand five hundred fifty-seven KWH.) How many KWH to mine 1 Bitcoin? Reportedly it takes an average of 143,000 KWH to mine 1 Bitcoin. (One hundred and forty-three thousand KWH.) Citation: https://minerdaily.com/2021/how-much...ine-a-bitcoin/ Bitcoin is at this moment is valued at \$17,820 USD per Bitcoin. What's worse for the environment mining Gold or mining Bitcoin? If one Bitcoin is worth approximately 10 ounces of Gold, let do the math. 10 ounces of Gold at 2,305,557 KWH per ounce to mine = 23,055,570 KWH (Twenty-three million, fifty-five thousand, five hundred seventy KWH.) Gold requires 23,055,570 KWH and approximately the same value amount in Bitcoin requires 143,000 KWH. Gold is MUCH worse for the environment as it requires exponentially more energy to produce than Bitcoin. Let's get rid of that nasty Environment killing Gold. Even accepting all your numbers (I'm sure someone with an interest can verify or refute them), gold has actual physical, non-ornamental uses. Bitcoin is nothing and represents only the power wasted in its "production."
 18th June 2022, 02:05 PM #2402 marting Illuminator     Join Date: Sep 2003 Posts: 3,688 Originally Posted by Babbylonian Even accepting all your numbers (I'm sure someone with an interest can verify or refute them), gold has actual physical, non-ornamental uses. Bitcoin is nothing and represents only the power wasted in its "production." While gold has actual uses. industrial and jewelry, the amount extant is far more that those consume. So it is used as a sort of store of value. And, of course, is widely held in many countries central banks which is a big reason why there is so much of it beyond it's normal uses. Gold's disadvantage (or advantage in a sense) is that it isn't as easily transferred. Especially across borders as bitcoin. Bitcoin, otoh, has no base value. It's worth what someone else will buy it for. There is no intrinsic limit, up or down to that. It's difference from gold is low friction for buying/selling and the ability to transfer it easily globally. No real barriers across borders. __________________ Flying's easy. Walking on water, now that's cool.
 18th June 2022, 02:16 PM #2403 Samson Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Oct 2013 Posts: 10,357 Another way to look at it is what would you pack to dine at the restaurant at the end of the universe. 10 oz of gold or a bitcoin?
 18th June 2022, 03:09 PM #2404 Solitaire Neoclinus blanchardi     Join Date: Jul 2001 Posts: 2,765 Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY 1 ounce of Gold reportedly requires 8.3 Terajoules of energy to mine. Hold it. I think you're off by a factor of a thousand. That's 77,000 dollars worth of cheep renewable energy at 3 cents per kWh. \$77 seems much more likely. P. S. Visual Capitalist has an interesting graph. __________________ Schrodinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't. Last edited by Solitaire; 18th June 2022 at 03:42 PM.
 18th June 2022, 04:53 PM #2405 a_unique_person Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning     Join Date: Jul 2002 Location: Waiting for the pod bay door to open. Posts: 45,029 Mining gold takes a hell of a lot of energy. But I'm not a gold bug either. __________________ Continually pushing the boundaries of mediocrity. Everything is possible, but not everything is probable. “Perception is real, but the truth is not.” - Imelda Marcos
 18th June 2022, 05:17 PM #2406 ChrisBFRPKY Illuminator     Join Date: Jun 2012 Posts: 3,909 Originally Posted by Solitaire Hold it. I think you're off by a factor of a thousand. That's 77,000 dollars worth of cheep renewable energy at 3 cents per kWh. \$77 seems much more likely. P. S. Visual Capitalist has an interesting graph. Google: "How much energy does it take to mine 1 ounce of gold? The answer is 8.3 Terajoules of energy required to mine one ounce of gold. Convert 1 terajoule to kilowatt hours 1 terajoule of energy = 277777.7777777778 KWH Let's shorten that to a 2 and five 7's and not worry about the right side of the decimal. 8.3 X 277777 = 2,305,549 KWH Keep in mind most of the energy actually used to mine gold would come from diesel fueled equipment and not KWH of electricity, but the converted energy required to do so is correct at well over 2 Million KWH per ounce mined. Gold is more damaging to the environment as well. I still like it though.
 18th June 2022, 06:01 PM #2408 Roger Ramjets Philosopher     Join Date: Jun 2008 Posts: 6,121 Originally Posted by Samson Another way to look at it is what would you pack to dine at the restaurant at the end of the universe. 10 oz of gold or a bitcoin? What would it take to get you there? Well let's see... Heart of Gold Quote: The unique thing about the Heart of Gold is that it is powered by the Infinite Improbability Drive, a small golden box at the heart of the ship — hence its name. This is, of course, powered by an infinite improbability generator. As soon as the ship's drive reaches infinite improbability, it passes through every point in the Universe, thus allowing the ship to go anywhere without all of that mucking about with hyperspace and what not. Real Gold, that durable metal created by nuclear fusion in stars, or fake money 'created' by twiddling bits in a computer? I know which one I would pack... __________________ We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.
 18th June 2022, 07:23 PM #2409 Samson Penultimate Amazing   Join Date: Oct 2013 Posts: 10,357 Meanwhile we have nearly completed the second "bitcoin halving event" chortle chortle. 69k to 34.5k 34.5k to 17.25k.... Last edited by Samson; 18th June 2022 at 08:08 PM.
 18th June 2022, 08:19 PM #2410 carlitos "más divertido"     Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: USA! USA! Posts: 24,384 Originally Posted by jeremyp Another way to look at it is that they are preventing the people to whom you would otherwise sell the cryptocurrency from being scammed. Just because you got scammed doesn't give you the right to scam other people to make your losses good. It’s a zero-sum game. Those that got in early can’t get real money out unless retail buyers come in with actual currency. That’s why we saw all of the Super bowl ads, NFTs and affinity marketing. That’s why all of the venture capitalists’ projects had tokens attached to them pre-release so they could dump them on “investors” when the project went public. Meanwhile, 2 exchanges, a couple of hedge funds and a handful of “stablecoins” have crashed in the last few weeks. When Tetber goes, it’s a downward spiral for bitcoin and everything else. Originally Posted by carlitos Bitcoin is slightly outperforming most of the other non-stable cryptos year-to-date (see far right #). Bitcoin still underperforming for a week now. “Mining” is about to become unprofitable even in Texas and Alberta. Will be uglier soon.
 19th June 2022, 03:17 AM #2411 jeremyp Master Poster   Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha Posts: 2,417 Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY Thank goodness for volatility! Fingers crossed for \$10K Bitcoin! Probably for different reasons though. Unlucky, it's back up to over 19k.
 19th June 2022, 03:50 AM #2413 jeremyp Master Poster   Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha Posts: 2,417 Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets Bitcoin was touted as the answer to 'worthless' fiat currencies, but in reality it is more like shares in a publicly traded company - without the rules. No, it's nothing like the shares in a publicly traded company. If you buy shares in a publicly traded company, you literally own a small piece of that company. That means you own a share of their assets and you are entitled to dividends as and when the company chooses to pay them. With Bitcoin, all you are buying is the hope that somebody else will come along later and give you more money than you gave to the person who gave you the Bitcoins.
 19th June 2022, 06:13 AM #2414 Captain_Swoop Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Jun 2010 Posts: 43,373 If mining becomes unprofitable and it all collapses, will we see cheaper graphics card?
 19th June 2022, 08:01 AM #2415 Babbylonian Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Feb 2007 Posts: 13,994 Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop If mining becomes unprofitable and it all collapses, will we see cheaper graphics card? That is already happening in both the used and new markets.
 19th June 2022, 09:43 AM #2416 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by jeremyp Neither is it in the same category as alcohol or drugs. It is in that fools think that they can stop its use by making it illegal. Originally Posted by jeremyp We have good reasons for banning crypto currencies. They are good for nothing legal and they have a terrible impact on the environment. Those are spurious reason for banning cryptos especially since banning won't work. I have addressed the energy consumption many times. It won't be an issue once proof of stake supplants proof of work. __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
 19th June 2022, 09:48 AM #2417 Dr.Sid Illuminator   Join Date: Sep 2009 Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic Posts: 4,033 Originally Posted by psionl0 It is in that fools think that they can stop its use by making it illegal. Stop ? No. Making it completely irrelevant as an investment ? Certainly yes.
 19th June 2022, 11:23 AM #2418 jeremyp Master Poster   Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha Posts: 2,417 Originally Posted by psionl0 It is in that fools think that they can stop its use by making it illegal. Evidence that this is the case please. Quote: Those are spurious reason for banning cryptos No they aren't. Quote: especially since banning won't work. Really? how do you know that? We've never tried to ban cryptocurrencies before. Quote: I have addressed the energy consumption many times. It won't be an issue once proof of stake supplants proof of work. People have been saying "it won't be an issue once proof of stake supplants proof of work" for ******* years. It hasn't happened yet and there's no evidence that it's going to happen. If it ever does happen (and I'd like to see how you are going to move the most popular cryptocurrency - BTC - to proof of stake), it will bring its own problems. Wikipedia says Quote: Proof-of-stake (PoS) protocols are a class of consensus mechanisms for blockchains that work by selecting validators in proportion to their quantity of holdings in the associated cryptocurrency. In proportion to the quantity of holdings? That looks remarkably like "the rich people will get to **** on the poor people". You can argue that it already happens with fiat currency but even so, I have to ask "how is it going to be better?" Bitcoin mining is destroying the environment now. We need to stop it now. Of course we won't, but we need to.
 19th June 2022, 08:05 PM #2419 gnome Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Aug 2001 Posts: 13,570 Originally Posted by Babbylonian That is already happening in both the used and new markets. Nvidia marketed the RTX 3060Ti with the idea that it was impractical for mining without significantly sacrificing its performance as a graphics card. Has that proven true? I actually got one myself but now I'm curious. __________________
 19th June 2022, 08:08 PM #2420 gnome Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Aug 2001 Posts: 13,570 Originally Posted by psionl0 It is in that fools think that they can stop its use by making it illegal. Those are spurious reason for banning cryptos especially since banning won't work. The question of whether to ban something is separate from the question of whether there is a way to. At least, questions of what the consequence would be to existing investors, which seems to presume a reliable method. Quote: I have addressed the energy consumption many times. It won't be an issue once proof of stake supplants proof of work. I've heard that promise. How will that occur, and can we count on it happening? I don't mean how technologically it's possible to do. I mean how the existing market transitions to that method? Who has to cooperate with the idea for it to occur, and do they have sufficient incentive to? __________________ Last edited by gnome; 19th June 2022 at 08:09 PM.
 19th June 2022, 11:44 PM #2421 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by jeremyp Really? how do you know that? We've never tried to ban cryptocurrencies before. No but we have tried to ban prostitution, gambling, alcohol and drugs before. The only winners from such policies are the lawyers. __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
 19th June 2022, 11:44 PM #2422 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by Dr.Sid Stop ? No. Making it completely irrelevant as an investment ? Certainly yes. Even that is highly unlikely. __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
 20th June 2022, 03:14 AM #2423 jeremyp Master Poster   Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha Posts: 2,417 Originally Posted by psionl0 No but we have tried to ban prostitution, gambling, alcohol and drugs before. The only winners from such policies are the lawyers. False equivalence. We've tried to ban various things with various degrees of success. You have presented zero evidence that cryptocurrencies are more like prostitution, alcohol and drugs* than CFCs, asbestos and firearms in respect of how easy it is to ban them. * Crypto currencies are a form of gambling, but while it's hard to ban the entirety of gambling, that doesn't mean it's impossible to ban a specific form.
 20th June 2022, 03:39 AM #2424 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by jeremyp Crypto currencies are a form of gambling, but while it's hard to ban the entirety of gambling, that doesn't mean it's impossible to ban a specific form. You are just dreaming. In spite of global cooperation, the war on drugs has been a spectacular failure. There is no reason to believe that the "war on cryptos" would have any more success - especially since a ban would be most unlikely to be universal. __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
 20th June 2022, 06:24 AM #2425 ponderingturtle Orthogonal Vector     Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: 52,943 I don't see banning bitcoin as likely, though I think regulations to treat it more like the speculative investment it is being held up as would have a similar effect in the long run. I don't think we can get rid of crypto, but that is a very poor reason to leave it totally unregulated and a pretty poor argument against banning it. There are lots of things that are best banned that we can not totally get rid of. We aren't ever going to end child molestation but that is not a good reason to make it legal. __________________ Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody "There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
 20th June 2022, 06:27 AM #2426 ponderingturtle Orthogonal Vector     Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: 52,943 Originally Posted by psionl0 No but we have tried to ban prostitution, gambling, alcohol and drugs before. The only winners from such policies are the lawyers. Exactly we tried to ban child molestation and kiddy porn and it has gotten us nowhere. Clearly the catholic church was right and just covering it up is the real solution not throwing people in prison. That a law get broken is not actually a terribly good argument against the law. You have to look at why they were outlawed in the first place and what the goal was, and if it could be better achieved some other way. __________________ Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody "There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
 20th June 2022, 08:45 AM #2427 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by ponderingturtle Exactly we tried to ban child molestation and kiddy porn and it has gotten us nowhere. "Child molestation and kiddy porn are bad therefore bitcoin is bad" is a lousy argument. Maybe you also think that we should continue the war on drugs? __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
 20th June 2022, 08:47 AM #2428 ponderingturtle Orthogonal Vector     Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: 52,943 Originally Posted by psionl0 "Child molestation and kiddy porn are bad therefore bitcoin is bad" is a lousy argument. Maybe you also think that we should continue the war on drugs? I get it you think Bitcoin is the new Methamphetamine and want to get in on the ground floor. __________________ Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody "There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
 20th June 2022, 09:53 AM #2429 Babbylonian Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Feb 2007 Posts: 13,994 Originally Posted by psionl0 "Child molestation and kiddy porn are bad therefore bitcoin is bad" is a lousy argument. Maybe you also think that we should continue the war on drugs? Should I be surprised that the Bitcoin advocates here are disingenuous to the point of being outright deceptive?
 20th June 2022, 10:31 AM #2430 gnome Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Aug 2001 Posts: 13,570 Originally Posted by psionl0 "Child molestation and kiddy porn are bad therefore bitcoin is bad" is a lousy argument. It would be a lousy argument, if someone had made it. __________________
 20th June 2022, 06:59 PM #2431 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by Babbylonian Should I be surprised that the Bitcoin advocates here are disingenuous to the point of being outright deceptive? I'm not the one who tried to associate bitcoin with child molestation and kiddy porn. __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
 21st June 2022, 12:35 AM #2434 gnome Penultimate Amazing     Join Date: Aug 2001 Posts: 13,570 It is deceptive to deliberately misstate the logic of an argument in order not to respond to it substantively, and provide a straw man instead. I've seen it twice recently. __________________
 21st June 2022, 03:26 AM #2435 jeremyp Master Poster   Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha Posts: 2,417 Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY I double checked and the numbers I quoted should be accurate. Still comes out to 8.3 Terajoules of energy required to mine 1 ounce of Gold. I did look at the chart from your link posted from Goldmoney.com and they do list energy requirements in "GJ" in the chart which evidently is a misprint of Table 1 on the site as directly above it and I quote: "The data allows to calculate roughly what the energy intensity of the individual companies by dividing the total direct energy consumption in one year by the amount of gold mined. On average, the top gold miners need about 8.3 Terajoules (TJ) per ounce of gold1. However, there are some caveats; The companies report energy consumption in the form of fuels and electricity. The electricity consumption data is broken down into electricity that is purchased, electricity that is produced from renewable sources and electricity that is produced from non-renewable sources. The latter thus comes from power production based on the fuels the company consumes, which it reports separately. In addition, all energy data is reported in Terajoules (TJ)" Yet in table 1 they list energy reported in "GJ", which is incorrect by their own admission, quote taken from just above it. No. The table is right. The text is wrong. The energy consumed by the top 20 gold producers is given as 306,646 TJ. The gold produced by the top 20 gold producers is given as 30,857 koz. Divide the one figure by the other and you get approximately 8 GJ/oz. The figures only make sense if the column labels are correct. And think about it: if the energy requirement was as high as you say it is, nobody would be able to afford to mine gold. Quote: I do see where you are going, but with the mining of Gold the energy requirement doesn't stop there as energy is also required to refine and there's always the transportation costs associated with the Gold too. So Bitcoin requires energy to mine and energy to transfer it as does Gold. You do realise that trading in gold doesn't require it to be moved anywhere, don't you? It only needs to be moved when somebody wants to use it for something. Quote: I get that you'd rather have Gold and there's nothing wrong with owning Gold, I've purchased Gold and Silver with Bitcoin in the past. No, I would rather have stocks and shares. Quote: I've noticed it's much easier to purchase Gold with Bitcoin than it is to purchase Bitcoin with Gold. I'm not even sure you can purchase Bitcoin with Gold? Or make payroll with it? And one thing's for certain, the next time I visit Thailand I won't be bringing along Gold bars on the plane. I may transfer a few BTC though which will already be waiting for me when I arrive. And I'd rather just take a credit card with me. Credit cards just work. The conversion into local currency happens automatically and I am protected if I do get scammed.
 21st June 2022, 03:39 AM #2436 jeremyp Master Poster   Join Date: Aug 2003 Location: ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha Posts: 2,417 Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY Deceptive? I don't think so. psionl0 has been open and honest in this forum as long as I've been reading it. Well on this thread in the last few pages he has accused others of "false equivalences" whilst failing to acknowledge that his own points about the difficulty of banning Bitcoin are false equivalences. His latest tactic is to affect outrage because somebody pointed out we often ban things like child porn even though it's impossible to completely stamp them out. He's totally misrepresenting the arguments of others. I wouldn't call it deception though because it's pretty blatantly transparent. Quote: For the life of me I cannot understand how he stands the never-ending barrage from those who are anti-Bitcoin to the point of hysterics. If you advocate for something that has no utility, consumes the energy of the Netherlands and is a focus for scams, you are going to get some pushback. Quote: If you think Bitcoin is evil or a scam, then use it to make a few million and start a charity with that money. Do some good and get back at the evil of BTC. Buy a homeless person a home. Or one could continue to complain about BTC and point a finger. I've noticed it's been the case here since 2011. The only way to make a million from Bitcoin, if you don't have a warehouse full of specialised computer hardware, is to buy \$x worth of BTC and later sell it for \$1,000,000 + x + fees to some other poor sucker. I don't think starting a charity makes that morally acceptable. Last edited by jeremyp; 21st June 2022 at 03:59 AM. Reason: work -> worth
 21st June 2022, 03:46 AM #2437 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by jeremyp Well on this thread in the last few pages he has accused others of "false equivalences" whilst failing to acknowledge that his own points about the difficulty of banning Bitcoin are false equivalences. GOTO 2464. __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975
 21st June 2022, 03:53 AM #2438 ponderingturtle Orthogonal Vector     Join Date: Jul 2006 Posts: 52,943 Originally Posted by psionl0 I'm not the one who tried to associate bitcoin with child molestation and kiddy porn. Why are you so focused on trying to associate it with drugs? __________________ Sufficiently advanced Woo is indistinguishable from Parody "There shall be no *poofing* in science" Paul C. Anagnostopoulos Force ***** on reasons back" Ben Franklin
 21st June 2022, 04:24 AM #2439 Pixel42 Schrödinger's cat     Join Date: May 2004 Location: Malmesbury, UK Posts: 15,300 Originally Posted by ChrisBFRPKY If you think Bitcoin is evil or a scam, then use it to make a few million and start a charity with that money. Before I do that, can you please explain to me where those "few million" would have come from? Did they just materialise out of thin air, did they use to belong to other people who are now a little (or a lot) poorer, did making them have an environmental impact? I'd need to know what the cost of them was so I can choose the most appropriate charity to pay it back, and then calculate whether I'd done more harm than good. __________________ "If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams ... and follow your star ... you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things" - Terry Pratchett
 21st June 2022, 08:52 AM #2440 psionl0 Skeptical about skeptics     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: 31°57'S 115°57'E Posts: 19,922 Originally Posted by ponderingturtle Why are you so focused on trying to associate it with drugs? GOTO 2416. __________________ "The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled. Where something so important is involved, a deeper mystery seems only decent." - Galbraith, 1975

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