• Max

Bitcoins energy consumption will destroy our planet

Bitcoins energy consumption will destroy our planet

Emotive sensationalist headlines like this demand attention. The BBC, the independent, the guardian, the economist, Forbes and countless other “reputable” sources write relentlessly about bitcoins unsustainable energy usage, telling readers it's dangerous, inefficient and of no use. there’s just one problem, they are all wrong.

They miscalculate how much energy the bitcoin system will use when adopted globally.

They overlook the fact it can solve major issues effecting billions of people today.

They understand far less about the systems it will replace than they wish to believe.

They forget or choose to ignore the reason its invention was necessary in the first place.

Due to the complexity of this technology and its future impact it is not possible to go into full detail in one article. For those of you who wish to dig in deeper to understand more about bitcoin please read through my other work ideally starting with I will also dedicate future material on each subject we touch on today. As always, anyone who has any queries please reach out and ask me, I would be happy to answer any questions. or this article I will lay out my argument in four sections listed bellow.

Section 1) Bitcoin will not destroy the planet

Section 2) Energy consumption is natural

Section 3) Energy production needn’t be a bad thing.

Section 4) Bitcoin is not wasteful

Section 1)   Bitcoin will not destroy the planet

Its probable humans will become extinct, but let's imagine we somehow manage to avoid nuclear war, solar flares, super volcanic eruption, severe pandemics, asteroids and many other real threats. It would certainly be worth addressing the damage humans are causing to the environment and our selves. There’s not much point surviving if we allow this beautiful world to be corrupted and polluted to the point we wouldn’t wish to live here.

The planet will be fine, let's put things into perspective. It's been here for 4.5 billion years, If 4.5 billion years is viewed as a 24h clock humans have been here 4 seconds.

This planet has survived meteors, cataclysms , the extinction of dinosaurs , global warming and ice ages. The image below illustrates what a small percentage of time humans have occupied this planet. It was here before us and it will be here long after we are gone.

Section 2).  Energy consumption is natural.

Energy consumption is often viewed as a bad thing yet plants , animals and humans literally can't live without a source of energy. plants and animals get all the energy they require from the food that they eat, or from sunshine through photosynthesis.

Humans were the same until we discovered how to control energy, since then our thirst for energy has been unquenchable. We used food to fuel animals to labour instead of us. We discovered fire and used its energy to keep us warm and to power steam engines, and machines to produce more energy.

We built systems to create energy from wind, solar, hydro , coal , oil , gas , and nuclear.

No matter how much energy we produce we always find a way to consume it.

We have created transport networks, digital communication networks and infrastructure that modern life depends on. use of energy for transportation, technology, electronics, lighting , manufacturing and healthcare were used to improve our standard of living and accelerate our productivity. We have rapidly and continuously increased the amount of energy we produce and consume and look unlikely to stop.

It's hard to determine what can be classed as wasteful. The legitimacy of energy use is subjective and therefore impossible to regulate. If you have purchased or produced energy it is yours to use as you wish.

Section 3) Energy production needn’t be a bad thing.

Energy production is what really matters, not consumption. If energy produced from a solar panel is used to light a Christmas tree its environmental impact is far less than if the energy is produced from burning coal. If all energy consumed was from renewables and we stopped burning fossil fuels there wouldn’t be any carbon emission.

Wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy have made substantial progress over the last decade, both in terms of energy production and practicality. These sources of energy are clean, efficient, and infinitely renewable, so why aren’t we making them the primary sources of energy?

One issue with renewables is unless we have immediate use for the energy produced it needs storage. Batteries are currently inefficient for storing energy as well as harmful to the environment to produce and dispose of. Many solar, wind and hydro plants are in remote locations with ought proper infrastructure so much of this energy goes to waste.

When building energy plants it is common practice to build for forecasted future demand, until that demand is met the overproduced energy goes to waste. You can’t turn off the sun or ask the wind to stop blowing when you have met current local demand. Sadly we can’t teleport our homes or businesses around the world to match our demand with the farmers supply.

If only we could use the stranded energy it would be a win win situation.

We would get a discount on energy and farmers profits would increase instantly.

Farmers would continue to expand creating more renewable energy. Demand for energy is ever growing , in theory the key to the rapid and continues growth of renewable energy is to find a use for stranded and otherwise wasted energy.

Section 4)   Bitcoin is not wasteful

Energy produced or purchased then consumed in a way deemed useful to the owner can’t be wasteful. I might think one of the largest consumers of energy in the world, the united states military could find better uses for its energy than currently employed. I might also argue that the energy used for watching the kardashians on TV is wasteful.

Forbes, the BBC and Paul Krugman might view bitcoin as a waste of energy but views and opinions don’t matter. What matters is ownership and freedom of choice.

Many people around the world today find bitcoin useful, it has many uses but it is currently used mainly as a separate financial system to the State-issued fiat systems which are Intrinsically valueless money used as money because of government decree.

many users;

  • Living under oppressive governments and dictators find its Pseudonymous nature useful.

  • Find its fixed supply appealing in contrast to inflation and hyper inflation eating away at their hard earned savings.

  • Prefer its low cost remittance payments to the overpriced monopolies it competes with.

  • Love its unparalleled security and 99.98% uptime, how many banks do you know that open 24/7 and never go down due to technical issues ?

  • Find its open access life changing because with ought it they would continue to be unbanked or underbanked.

  • Have built businesses on top of it that simply aren’t possible with ought it.

  • Are using the excess heat produced as a byproduct fro mining bitcoin to save on there energy bills

  • Are using the excess heat produced as a byproduct fro mining bitcoin for farming

Energy and time are two vital ingredients used to create products and services. all value is basically stored energy and time. Therefore as with storing energy in a battery it would make sense to use the most efficient storage possible to hold our value.

Low quality batteries have short life spans and loose energy over time. Poor monetary policies and systems have short life spans (an average of 27 years for fiat) and loose value over time. if our current system is not effectively storing value why don’t we use joules of energy as currency?

There was no efficient way to store or transfer energy,  we used pounds dollars and yen to store the value created from our time and energy and use them as mediums of exchange to purchase more energy in the future. The problem is this financial system is flawed, corruptible and works fairly and effectively for a very small percentage of humans.

Imagine if there was an invention that could effectively and efficiently store time and energy as well as transmit it anywhere in the world instantly with ought cables or batteries?

Imagine it can’t be cheated, can only produce truth and operates using verifiable predetermined mathematics and physics to turn energy into digital gold transportable at light speed and secured by the most powerful computer network in the world.

No need to imagine any longer, its here and its name is Bitcoin.

In conclusion bitcoin is perfectly designed to use stranded energy in the most remote areas on the planet.  it's useful too many people therefore it can’t be wasteful. It won’t destroy our planet and it gives us the hardest soundest money in history.

To learn more about the effects this new technology can have on us all please read my other articles or listen to the bit buy bit podcast.