Crypto, Crypto, wherefore art thou Crypto.... Beats me Guv

What’s it all about?

Don’t know, don’t get it… at all. Something about mining using (powerful) computers to solve complex calculations . What are these "calculations "? Who needs them? Who pays for them? And with which currency?
For a simpleton like me (I still like cash too😱), seems like a scam for a few people to create lots of wealth for themselves


Crypto has a dirty little secret that is very relevant to the real world: it uses a lot of energy. How much energy? Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, currently consumes an estimated 150 terawatt-hours of electricity annually — more than the entire country of Argentina, population 45 million. Producing that energy emits some 65 megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually — comparable to the emissions of Greece — making crypto a significant contributor to global air pollution and climate change.

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Not so secret, I know how thirsty this is consuming energy.
It is the main reason that I am delighted to see it, hopefully, going down the financial drain.


Hopefully NFTs (non-fungible tokens) will be flushed away too.

Nothing against intangible art works per se, but Yves Klein’s Immateriels of sixty years ago didn’t make insanely disproportionate contributions to global waming.

Zone of Immaterial Pictorial Sensibility sells for $1.2 million (

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For anyone interested, this article today explains a lot of the ‘energy overhead’. It seems the crypto exchanges are ‘off chain’ so the transactions are not recorded in the bitcoins blockchain so don’t require the blockchain processing.

They must do this by holding the coins themselves and allocating them out to their ‘investors’.

Not for me it doesn’t. Blockchain processing IMO would use very little energy. A blockchain is just a long sequential file that is replicated many times and is thus “unfiddleable”, to coin a term. It’d be virtually impossible to measure the tiny, tiny, tiny amount of energy used to write a recode to a sequential file., even if those sequential files are many and distributed all over the Globe.

On the other hand, mining for Bitcoins, for example, involves complex mathematical calculations and uses a shed load of energy and as the number left to mine decreases the shed gets bigger and bigger. I think I read somewhere the server farms that are used to mine coins are driven by graphics processors, not your old common or garden Intel CPU, because there are to compute intensive.

So, I’m not sure what energy benefit comes from using exchanges rather than blockchains. Nothing IMO compared to the energy used in mining.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and out of touch on this but… I think Professor Rogoff, no doubt an eminent and brilliant economist, should have had a chat with his colleagues in the computer sciences building. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Interesting. I thought the bitcoin mining was part of the chain verification processes. If it’s not then you are quite right as far as I can see!

A quick further read identifies each transaction generates a block which is hashed and includes a hash of the previous blocks - the chain of blocks is replicated across the bitcoin nodes.

I’ll have to read more on the mining process to see if it is quite separate to maintenance of the blockchain and what its role exactly is - it does involve calculation to identify the nonce for the hashes.

Interesting. It’d be nice to know more but I’m too lazy :roll_eyes: I was under the impression that a whole bunch of NVIDIA chips whirred away using the same amount of power as a small nation and came up with a magic number and that fact was just appended to blockchains WW. The actual Bitcoin stayed on your device until “sent” to some one (using blockchain to reallocate ownership?) Probably a far too simplistic assumption on my part. I know that blockchains are used for many other types of transactions because they’re simple and incorruptible, yet it only seems to be mining that has the energy gobbling reputation.

I’ll be meeting with a few ex colleagues who are still active in tech over Christmas, no doubt they understand all this. I’ll ask them to give me helicopter view before we open the wine :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

It’ll be a lot more interesting, for all concerned, if you do it after the wine, believe me :woozy_face::wink:

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Too busy solving all the World’s problems then to worry about technology :slightly_smiling_face::face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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Ask Alfie :wink:

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