Bitcoin Mining Energy Use Set To Overtake Homes In Iceland

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by rgMekanic, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    In a report from the BBC, electricity use at Bitcoin mining data centers is set to exceed that of all Iceland's homes. Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson a manager at energy firm Hitaveita Sudurnesja said "If all these projects are realised, we won't have enough energy for it," and that if they accepted all companies wanting to build data centers in Iceland, they simply would not have enough power. Smari McCarthy, a member of the Icelandic parliament for the Pirate Party, tweeted: "Cryptocurrency mining requires almost no staff, very little in capital investments, and mostly leaves no taxes either. "The value to Iceland... is virtually zero."

    And just to think, many of these people don't realize the increase in difficulty and therefore power that is needed as more cryptocurrency gets mined. Hopefully Johann Snorri Sigurbergsson (fantastic name) can get a handle on it.

    Iceland has a small population, of around 340,000 people. But in recent years it has seen a marked increase in the number of new data centres, often built by firms wishing to tout green credentials. Nearly 100% of energy in Iceland comes from renewable sources.
     
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  2. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 Gawd

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    I still don’t understand how crypto has any value....

    “I spent hours using absurd amount of electricity to create this abstract bit of data! I’ll sell it to you for $8000!”

    It’s all very Fool and his money to me.
     
  3. trparky

    trparky Gawd

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    I don't get it either.

    You see, the miners don't care; they don't give a damn just as long as they make mon... I mean "coins". It's the worst kind of greed, the worst kind of "I don't give a damn". We shouldn't be celebrating this kind of behavior.
     
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  4. maxz01

    maxz01 n00bie

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    Can they use the heat generated by mining for central heating of houses? It gets very cold in Iceland you know.
     
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  5. cjcox

    cjcox Gawd

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    In a related report, Iceland says icy roads are no longer a problem.
     
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  6. SecretStash

    SecretStash Limp Gawd

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    Mining isn't a big deal until it affects your electricity supply.
     
  7. trparky

    trparky Gawd

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    I fixed that for you. Which is the truth of the matter. In a day and age where we should be conserving every ounce of oil and gas and every pound of coal that we have left on this planet, here we are wasting it for what? I don't know.
     
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  8. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    Lol. We're not running out of any resource. We have enough uranium to power the entire world for 200 years. In oil reserves alone, due to shale production, the US is the highest exporter of oil in the world. Using oil alone to power the earth and assuming no more supply is found, we'd have 53 years to switch to another resource. In another extreme scenario, we may have enough thorium to last 40,000 years. You would think by that time, they should have stable fusion reactors which if you got a steady supply from space, could last the human civilization for millions of years.
    And every year thanks to advancements in science, we're getting more and more efficient. The future is great.
     
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  9. trparky

    trparky Gawd

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    That's great and all but meanwhile we're polluting our world. Shouldn't we be striving to be better than what we are? I certainly think so!
     
  10. tacohunter52

    tacohunter52 Gawd

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    Is crypto a paperclip maximizer?

    Lols


    I think mostly people are just sour about gpu prices.
     
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  11. lostin3d

    lostin3d Gawd

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    And so much fun watching each state say 'not me' when it comes to waste storage.
    Oh, and the laughs when the local communities have flammable water or other contamination's.
    It takes decades to get things in motion for change, 5 isn't enough. I'm no fool or in denial acknowledging the problems or efficiency rates of wind or solar but pressing our luck on any resource for such low immediate returns is a bad joke.
    I'm honest enough to admit, I got nothing on that one :)
    This is true but energy efficiency and usage often have correlations to each other and my understanding of mining is that for maximum profit potential the hardware is being run a like red lined engine non-stop. Most consumer grade PC hardware isn't efficient at that level. It also remains to be seen what our current heads of EPA will do to the energy star programs and in turn how that'll affect incentives to companies for being energy efficient.

    I'm a firm believer in the 'evolve or die' motto and trying to see bitcoin as the next evolution of money or bartering but the more of these energy related stories I read(and there's been quite a few over the last 6 months) the more disgusted I am at the simple greed and lack of consideration abroad with it. I don't expect it to ever go away at this point but it'd be nice if it bottomed out to a point where the average joe could see literally how much is lost vs. their short term gain.
     
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  12. tacohunter52

    tacohunter52 Gawd

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    Not all coins use PoW consensus...
     
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  13. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    Maybe they should also mine some radioactive isotopes and build a nuclear power plant. They should have enough Bitcoin to fund it. Problem solved.
     
  14. lostin3d

    lostin3d Gawd

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    Thanks for simple heads up. I've been trying to put little time here and there on learning about mining for the last year or two. Generally speaking most tech sites don't go into details about all the nuances of it.

    For those who don't know, here's a link I found when looking up your post: https://blockgeeks.com/guides/proof-of-work-vs-proof-of-stake/

    One thing I've been wondering lately. Exactly how many kinds of bitcoin are there currently?
     
  15. NeoNemesis

    NeoNemesis 2[H]4U

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    It's really no different than gold. "I spent hours over a stream panning for this soft, yellow metal that has no practical purpose! I'll sell it to you for $1250 an ounce!"

    That said, I hope crypto currencies all collapse and we never hear from them again because of what they've done to the GPU market.
     
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  16. tacohunter52

    tacohunter52 Gawd

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    If you mean types of consensus algorithms, That I know of, there is PoW (proof of work), PoS (proof of stake), PoC (proof of capacity), and PoWT (proof of work time), PoET (proof of elapsed time), PoL (proof of luck), PoB (proof of burn), PoA (proof of activity).., there are probably more that I don't know of.

    If you meant what other cryptos are there, www.coinmarketcap.com


    Edit: crypto didn't do anything to the gpu market. That was the combined result of greed and stupidity.
     
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  17. lostin3d

    lostin3d Gawd

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    Thanks. After clicking on 'view all' it still took a couple of seconds for my 200Mb/s just to populate the screen. Jeez, over 1500! Thanks also for the consensus #'s :)
     
  18. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 Gawd

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    Gold is at least a physical tangible object. It’s value originally came from a combo of semi-rarity and “ooo shiny”. We’re a simple creature, shiny shit impresses.

    A better argument would be comparing it to credit cards or anything The Federal Reserve puts out. Those are just as imaginary, but at least they’re regulated and not nearly as volatile.
     
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  19. tacohunter52

    tacohunter52 Gawd

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    Not that I want to debate this.., i hate this debate..., but many coins have "semi-rarity".


    Bitcoin for example has a maximum supply of about 21million, of which a fair amount is considered to be lost. That's quite a bit more rare then say, the dollar. (Some coins are way more scarce.., 42 for example)
     
  20. Mega6

    Mega6 Gawd

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    So now we are going to have one of these every time BTC power usage surpasses.. East Jahunga - or whatever?
     
  21. Smashing Young Man

    Smashing Young Man [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm one of those snarky assholes who purposely uses more electricity on Earth Day, and this bugs even me. I'm also a libertarian anarcho-capitalist who has found himself calling for governments to regulate cryptocurrency out of existence. This shit is destroying my worldview. Next thing you know I'll be wearing a Che Guevara shirt and pink pussy hat while calling for Bernie Sanders to run again.
     
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  22. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 Gawd

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    True but they’re still rather intangible.
     
  23. MrDeaf

    MrDeaf Limp Gawd

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    Can't Iceland charge more for their electricity, thus making Iceland a worse RoI location to mine coins with?

    Or am I missing something?
     
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  24. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    It takes 5-15 years to build a nuclear power plant. We went from the bomb to gen 1 and 2 nuclear reactors in less than 50 years. We could build enough nuclear plants in 30 years to fully replace coal and reduce the atmospheric pollution down significantly.
    Fast reactors could reduce nuclear waste down 96%. It could burn all those storage facilities in a decade to a small fraction of waste that wouldn't last for thousands of years.
    I'm all for efficiency. But i'd much rather be positive about the future instead of pretend everyone's running out of resources and we're all headed back to the stone age.
     
  25. trparky

    trparky Gawd

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    I'm not saying that we should go back to the stone age, all I'm saying is that we need to be more intelligent about how we use our natural resources and that means making sure that we don't waste it. Cryptocurrency is just that, wasting resources chasing down a bunch of 1s and 0s for absolutely nothing. Is it helping humanity? Helping to cure disease? Contributing to research? No.
     
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  26. dragonstongue

    dragonstongue 2[H]4U

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    IMO the products needed to mine crypto with as well as the electricity to "mine" them might be considered "wasteful" and "trivial" but, correct me if I am wrong, the products themselves as well as the electricity is PAID FOR, who gives a flying fk..my $0.2..now the global impact of resource drain, added pollution etc is terrible
    but then again so are stinking high horsepower gas guzzling machines, massive bombs, pollution generating wasteful factories, farmland cultivated for the soul purpose producing billions of tons of WASTE annually Worldwide at usually crazy low pricing for the PRODUCER, but very far reaching global effects.

    IMO, the people choose how to use the products they buy, the electricity is paid for, kind of a crappy way to put it, but it basically forces those producing power or the tech that allows the mining in first place to get better and better at cost and impact reduction, whereas, if we were not using high end tech more and more expecting more and more, they would not bother in making as efficient/low cost as possible, they likely would rather push out extreme cost slow as shit products that break every 10 minutes.

    anyways.....demonize crypto all you want, just like I will demonize big pharma, big oil, big insurance etc....either way someone pays.."the human condition" at least in theory, with "mining" the costs are accounted for...if costs X for the product, it means jobs, if it costs X for power it means jobs, and the "tax purposes" needs to take into account how much it cost vs how much it made type deal....carbon tax should be on factories, fuel production etc, not individuals..just saying :)
     
  27. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    People mine crypto to make money. If there was no money to be made they wouldn't be doing it.
    If you want to take the utilitarian approach, then why do people play video games instead of researching on how to cure cancer? Obviously people utilize their resources in trivial ways for a multitude of reasons. Making money or profit is a very strong factor that isn't always a productive one. Entertainment from almost any standpoint has no meaning other than metal health.

    People aren't robots. I wouldn't question why they're doing things or call those activities wasteful unless you're going to go all the way.
     
  28. RC-Heli-3D

    RC-Heli-3D Limp Gawd

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    Interesting, so many people doing it and sucking power from the electrical grid. Look at it this way, everyone is making $.
     
  29. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    2 questions. What is the "product?" And how many jobs is a warehouse full of antminers pulling as much power as a small city providing?
     
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  30. griff30

    griff30 I Lower the Boom!

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    That's Greenland you're thinking about.
     
  31. northwoodsf

    northwoodsf [H]Lite

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    I agree and could not have said it better.
     
  32. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics I don't get it

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    Sure they could, however then you fuck over the majority of people in the country who can no longer afford to heat their homes. Not everyone is mining crypto in Iceland.
    You could of course go straight California and set up tiered amounts, be nice though and have a set amount for heating through the whole winter and what not, then above that 200% the cost for the next amount of electricity, then beyond that 1000% the cost.
     
  33. gamerk2

    gamerk2 [H]ard|Gawd

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    But the USD is backed by the US Federal Government; it's value is essentially based on investor confidence in the US Federal Government. By contrast, Bitcoin is backed by nothing, so it will be far more volatile and prone to failure.
     
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  34. M76

    M76 [H]ardness Supreme

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    GPU prices are just an immediate symptom. Mindless global waste of energy is much more serious than that.

    It doesn't matter how "easy" it is to create fusion reactors. Or how much oil is left. Waste is still waste. The energy and resources that are poured into creating literally nothing could and should be used better.

    I despise people who don't care about anyone and anything but themselves. They are the ones who take 10 sandwiches from the bar even if they only can eat 2, and throw out the other 8 a day later. They are also the people who buy 20 flatscreen tvs when it is discounted and try to sell them for profit. Instead of letting those who really need a new TV buy them. And now they're the ones who buy dozens of mining rigs, giving zero fucks.
     
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  35. Riptide_NVN

    Riptide_NVN [H]ard|Gawd

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    You answered your own question without realizing it. Something is worth what a person will give you for it. You don't have to understand anything past that point it is irrelevant.
    World mining electrical use is a speck. 0.21%

    Whoopty doo

    The idea that it will continue to grow at an exponential rate is unproven and IMO a bunch of nonsense.

    What I do with my power is none of your business.
    At least some of them would love to do just that. Sieg Heil!
     
  36. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    There's no taking 10 sandwiches, they are paying for 10 sandwitches and rubbing them all over their naked bodies. It might be something you disagree with, but they have that right to do it (because they paid to do it).
    As for the TV analogy, it's not like the crypto guys are buying electricity at a discount and misappropriating it. Or are you a commie and suggesting that the government regulate the amount of electricity a consumer can buy? Because i think in many places there is an excess in costs for going beyond the average consumption.
     
  37. Riptide_NVN

    Riptide_NVN [H]ard|Gawd

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    If Iceland isn't getting any taxes out of this then they're doing it wrong. Here in the US miners are soaked just as much as any other investor. Arguably even moreso.
     
  38. lostin3d

    lostin3d Gawd

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    [QUOTE="Gigus Fire, post: 1043484830, member: 93377"
    I'm all for efficiency. But i'd much rather be positive about the future instead of pretend everyone's running out of resources and we're all headed back to the stone age.[/QUOTE]

    I couldn't agree more. I may disagree with you on a number of things but I do respect your credible responses on nuclear power.
     
  39. Nolan7689

    Nolan7689 Gawd

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    No I realized that worth is determined between buyers and sellers. I still fail to see any value though and redirect you to my closing statement about fools and money.

    Good for those mining and selling and making bank. But the people spending money on something that has fewer uses than a fabrege egg....
     
  40. Riptide_NVN

    Riptide_NVN [H]ard|Gawd

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    lol how much is that fabrege egg worth though?

    Diamonds are the same thing really. No "practical" use at the moment yet people are willing to pay a lot for them. I don't question it nor do I really care. People like what they like and buy what they buy.