Bitcoin causing CO2 emissions comparable to Hamburg

Hardware and IP addresses analyzed to assess the carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency

Technical University of Munich (TUM)

The use of Bitcoin causes around 22 megatons in CO2 emissions annually – comparable to the total emissions of cities such as Hamburg or Las Vegas. That is the conclusion of the most detailed analysis to date of the cryptocurrency’s carbon footprint. For their study, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) analyzed such data as the IPO filings of hardware manufacturers and the IP addresses of Bitcoin “miners”.

Although Bitcoin is a virtual currency, the energy consumption associated with its use is very real. For a Bitcoin transfer to be executed and validated, a mathematical puzzle must be solved by an arbitrary computer in the global Bitcoin network. The network, which anyone can join, rewards the puzzle solvers in Bitcoin. The computing capacity used in this process – known as Bitcoin mining – has increased rapidly in recent years. Statistics show that it quadrupled in 2018 alone.

Consequently, the Bitcoin boom raises the question of whether the cryptocurrency is imposing an additional burden on the climate. Several studies have attempted to quantify the CO2 emissions caused by Bitcoin mining. “These studies are based on a number of approximations, however,” says Christian Stoll, who conducts research at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

“Detective work” to track down the power consumption

Therefore, a team of management sciences and informatics researchers at TUM has carried out the most detailed calculation of the carbon footprint of the Bitcoin system to date. Working like detectives, they proceeded step by step to gather conclusive data.

The team began by calculating the power consumption of the network. This depends primarily on the hardware used for Bitcoin mining. “Today special systems are used, known as ASIC-based miners,” explains Stoll. In 2018 the three manufacturers who control the ASIC miner market planned IPOs. The team used the mandatory IPO filings to calculate the market shares of the companies’ respective products. The study also had to consider whether the mining was being done by someone running just one miner at home or in one of the large-scale “farms” set up in recent years by professional operators. “In those operations, extra energy is needed just for the cooling of the data center,” says Stoll. To investigate the orders of magnitude involved, the team used statistics released by a public pool of different miners showing the computing power of its members.

68 percent of computing power located in Asia

The researchers determined the annual electricity consumption by Bitcoin, as of November 2018, to be about 46 TWh. And how much CO2 is emitted when this energy is generated? Here, too, the research team wanted to go beyond mere estimates. The key question, therefore: Where are the miners located?

Once again, live tracking data from the mining pools provided the decisive information. “In these groups, miners combine their computing power in order to get a quicker turn in the reward for solving puzzles – similar to people in lottery pools,” explains Stoll. The IP addresses in the statistics published by the two biggest pools showed that miners tend to join pools in or near their home countries. Based on these data, the team was able to localize 68 percent of the Bitcoin network computing power in Asian countries, 17 percent in European countries, and 15 percent in North America. The researchers cross-checked this conclusion against the results of another method by localizing the IP addresses of individual miners using an internet of things search engine. They then combined their results with statistics on the carbon intensity of power generation in the various countries.

“Linking large-scale mining operations to renewable energy production”

The conclusion of the study: The Bitcoin system has a carbon footprint of between 22 and 22.9 megatons per year. That is comparable to the footprint of such cities as Hamburg, Vienna or Las Vegas.

“Naturally there are bigger factors contributing to climate change. However, the carbon footprint is big enough to make it worth discussing the possibility of regulating cryptocurrency mining in regions where power generation is especially carbon-intensive,” says Christian Stoll. “To improve the ecological balance, one possibility might be to link more mining farms to additional renewable generating capacity.”

###

Publication:

C. Stoll, L. Klaassen, U. Gallersdörfer: The Carbon Footprint of Bitcoin. Joule, 2019. DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2019.05.012

More information:

The study was produced at the Center for Energy Markets at the TUM School of Management

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69 thoughts on “Bitcoin causing CO2 emissions comparable to Hamburg

  1. dumbshits.
    pools and miners are NOT colocated.
    NONE of my customers use fossil fuels.
    in china they all use hydro.
    when the wet season comes , sales go up.

    USA..all my customers use hydro and wind.
    South america, all hydro.

    hydro is by far the dominant source because its the cheapest. you need electricity prices below 5 cents to be profitable. thats hydro and excess wind.

    i supply about 30 percent of the market

    some more detail.
    pools are operated on servers located AWAY from the farms that do mining. my buddy runs a pool.
    he travels the world to install servers at farms and these servers link back to his pool.

    these guys have no clue what they are looking at.

    • Bitcoin mining moves towards the cheapest electricity, I have a hard time believing solar or wind generated power could compete.

      • Consider a solar or wind installation. Rather than try to move railcars, or water up a hill, excess power can be used to mine for bitcoins.

      • texas wind. buy direct from supplier.
        what you believe doesnt beat facts.

        for solar. solar farms unconnected to the grid. no customers. built on spec or by government orders.

        in short there are many opportunities that arise because of mismatch between supply and demand.

      • Nothing is worth more than what a buyer will pay for it, regardless of how much capital and labor went into making it.
        Solar power, due to its unreliable intermittent nature, frequently has excess production during warm winter days. Again, nothing is worth more than what someone is willing to pay for it. If the solar operators have to give it away at certain times, someone who can be flexible about it acceptance can come along a soak it up.

    • First off, if the bit coin miners weren’t using the hydro, it would be available for others to use. As a result, fossil fuel generated power usage still goes up.
      Your attempts to paint yourself as virtuous falls as flat as your other attempts to promote yourself.

      Regardless, could anyone else figure out what steve’s point is?

      • The point that he made is that through the subsidy of renewals, and as a part of the green lie, the bitcoin mining business is indirectly subsidized by the rest of us.

        (paraphrasing; when someone’s income is dependent upon a big lie, they will jump in with a bunch of little lies)

      • huh.
        dam operator has 1gw
        the grid only demands 500mw
        he has 500 to sell with no buyers.

        we buy excess.

        why, because buying from the grid is too expensive. buying where supply meets demand is too expensive.

        • The dam operator reduces the water flow until output equals demand, called dispatch-ability. Something wind and solar CAN’T do.

          • yes, and by coming in to buy his power he can recoup his capex earlier.
            In some cases an operator may me adjusting his flow multiple times during the day
            leading to increased maintenance action on the turbines.

            In simple terms. during the day the operator may have to change his output several times as the grid demand changes. Like any industry in hydro areas we can give the dam operator
            a predictable fixed load 24/7 for years. They value this.

        • Oh bull. They close half the generators and open a few spillways. That’s what “dispatchable” means. Ramp up or down on demand. Something “renewables” can NEVER do.

    • Ah – did someone build hydro exclusively for crypto? I don’t believe it. The energy used for crypto is missing somewhere.

      The excess wind is on the surface a good argument. Do they mine only when the wind blows?

      • no. the hydro is built long ago. usually centrally planned which means there is more available supply than demand.

        you think dams sell all the electricity they can produce?

        think again.

        you think around the world all dams are connected to the grid?

        think again.

      • I dunno tony.
        The market share was in our Hong Kong IPO listing.
        As for the power mix of my customers? not sure they would invite you to their
        facility which is the only way you could truly verify it.
        Cant share their PPAs with you ( who they buy power from an at what rate).

        so you have 3 choices.

        1. Believe the paper that calculated carbon footprint from the grid mix.
        2. Suspend judgement and admit you have have no information of your own.
        3. Believe me when I tell you that miners act rationally and try to reduce their cost and
        A) buy excess hydro and wind
        B) eliminate the middleman and buy direct from the supplier.

    • steven mosher
      June 14, 2019 at 2:34 am
      ——–

      Mosher, with all due respect,
      in the consideration of your above comment (and maybe your other ones following below),
      if I am not wrong, you actually trying to defend and “protect” “Bitcoin”. in one way or another.
      Meaning that you may like, approve, support, accept and engage in the behalf of the expected success of it, for whatever personal or otherwise reasons…there may be.

      But as far as I can tell, you still not really sure, still one way or another you still doubtful, and not
      a “real believer” in the consideration of the Bitcoin… but still trying “hard” in towards of its support.

      Heck of a stretch there, Mosh…you either really have it or not!

      What is what Mosher?

      cheers

      • Huh?
        what is your question?
        do I support bitcoin? of course. I moved to Asia to work on it. Ya, I went all in.
        threw out everything I owned and got on a plane.
        do I own bitcoin? of course. If you like a mixed portfolio of low risk and high risk
        assets, then owning bitcoin is a good choice for a high risk asset.
        As with all high risk assets never invest more than you can afford to lose.

        Hmm bottom line I have a pretty good track record ( not perfect) of picking technologies
        3d graphics, MP3, Digital Video, smart phones, big data, and now bitcoin.
        Some happened overnight, others will take at least a decade.

        • Ok, Mosher, 🙂

          Let’s put it another way, the question.
          Why you “sweet” so much on trying to support and protect the “tail of the Tiger”, without even considering the rest of the “body”? (without even pointing at it)
          Is this because you still doubt that the “Tiger” as a whole is real?

          Why are you not trying to simply point at the rest of that “body”, while if it is real it will mean a lot more energy there and a lot more efficient the structure that deals with it, which at any moment of consideration will make the Bitcoin energy consumption look like a joke, regardless of efficiency clause.

          As far as I can tell the block chain total energy management and consumption will make that of Bitcoin look like too too tiny, especially if this thingy is a real “Tiger”, and not a paper
          one.

          So the simple question;
          do you think or believe that you have invested in the tail of a “paper”,
          or in that of the “real” thing?
          (maybe you do not and can not see this whole affair as real yet, maybe)

          Hopefully this point makes some sense. 🙂

          Thank you for your reply Steve, wishing also that you do not mind my saying.

          cheers

          • “Let’s put it another way, the question.
            Why you “sweet” so much on trying to support and protect the “tail of the Tiger”, without even considering the rest of the “body”? (without even pointing at it)
            Is this because you still doubt that the “Tiger” as a whole is real?”

            hmm ESL here. you can speak frankly here my friend rather than the metaphors.
            I work on what pleases me.

            “Why are you not trying to simply point at the rest of that “body”, while if it is real it will mean a lot more energy there and a lot more efficient the structure that deals with it, which at any moment of consideration will make the Bitcoin energy consumption look like a joke, regardless of efficiency clause.”

            Not sure what this means. Here is the deal. you seem to be wanting me to make your
            point FOR YOU. I can only make my own arguments. if you have a claim to make about the “rest of the body” then YOU do the work and make that claim. Don’t expect me to read your mind or do your work for you.

            “As far as I can tell the block chain total energy management and consumption will make that of Bitcoin look like too too tiny, especially if this thingy is a real “Tiger”, and not a paper
            one.”

            you ned to be specific about what blockchains you are talking about. outside
            BTC, blockchains are just data structures that can be implemented in any
            DBS.

            “So the simple question;
            do you think or believe that you have invested in the tail of a “paper”,
            or in that of the “real” thing?
            (maybe you do not and can not see this whole affair as real yet, maybe)”

            As for investment? you mean monetary? I only invest what I can afford to lose
            I view it as a lottery ticket. nothing more nothing less.
            As for LIFE investment, my time, my energy, my life… I invest that in the
            TECHNOLOGY, and partnerships, and making new friends in my new homes.
            so, i bet a little money on the actual coin, but I bet my life on technology.
            what I learn here has great value

            Hopefully this point makes some sense. 🙂

            Thank you for your reply Steve, wishing also that you do not mind my saying.

            cheers

            No worries, are you in Beijing?

  2. “In those operations, extra energy is needed just for the cooling of the data center,” says Stoll”

    err no.

    there are two things you look for in building a farm.
    1. a sub 5 cent electricity price.
    2. weather that does not require cooling.

    machines are rated to run at ambient up to 40C
    youll get optimum performance bewteen 25c and 30c.

    very few people run cooling cause a high PUE will kill you. fans blowing air through the building suffices.

    if you are smart you sell your waste heat as district heating or heat to collocated greenhouses.

  3. So, the UN must now introduce a Bitcoin-Climate tax -to be paid in Bitcoin, of course.

  4. and you cant estimate from the grid mix because we dont buy from the grid. we buy from producers.
    example dam operator has excess supply and is forced to adjust his turbines 18 times a day to throttle his power to the grid. the bitcoin farm takes 50mw of his excess , reduces the amount of throotling he has to do.

    same with wind, but its more cool there since we figured out how to do a variable load farm and ramp or cut our load with a 3 second response time.

    hat tip to wuwt readers for this idea.

    • How do producers supply you? Their own grid? And they can magically tell you what electrons they supply? Its interesting because, at least in Australia, I can buy anything from a producer, but I can’t change the metered gird I am attached to.

      • At a guess the servers run locally somewhat autonomous probably only synching via mobile GPRS or something given Mosher is saying remote locations. From what has been said they are running as clusters so they are all co-operating on the task via some messaging protocol. That allows for servers to fail to complete task etc.

        In someways it is no different to the very internet you are using here. There is no guarantee that this text you are reading arrived in order or even by the same path and some parts may have been resent. Yet to you it all appears as it was at the other end but it’s transit may have been very hap hazzard.

      • depends. In some cases you have to build your own substation (115Kv. input)
        In other cases you can go direct into their substation. Every site is different.

  5. Bitcoin mining is using brute computing power to find a certain number. Each bitcoin represents a certain amount of computing time. Bitcoin use is trivial, but mining is record of computing power used to generate that bitcoin. This can be measured in electricity. Generating electricity? Water power — dams and tides, wind power — ugly wind farm, fire power — fossil fuels, earth power — nuclear. Bitcoin mining is a demand for earth, air, water and fire converted to electricity. Electric utilities get paid.
    Electrified homes, same demand. Internet, same. Cell phones and towers, same. Electric cars, same. ATM’s, same. Vending machines, same. Street lighting, same.
    There will come a time when the last bitcoin is mined (limit 20,999,999.9769 bitcoin). Each one is exponentially harder to find than the previous one found and 87.5% have been mined. The estimate is 2024 to reach 94%. After that the return on investment is so low the number of bitcoin miners may well decline so the last 6% may take another century.

    • I was thinking the same thing, that the number of bitcoins is finite so this “problem” appears self limiting.

      But will the miners turn to other crypto currencies afterwards?

    • The Bitcoin algorithm adjust its difficulty such that the next solution is found roughly every 10 minutes. More computing power on the network increases difficulty, less computing power decreases difficulty.

      Miners never really ‘find’ Bitcoins; they solve the algorithm and are awarded Bitcoins by the network for their efforts. Each solution is represented by a block of data in the blockchain and each block contains space for some number of Bitcoin transactions (spendings). After twenty one million bitcoins have been awarded, miners will be dependent upon the transaction fees required to ‘spend’ an already existing Bitcoin or portion thereof.

  6. “a mathematical puzzle must be solved by an arbitrary computer in the global Bitcoin network. ”

    Why doesn’t a kid solving a Rubik’s Cube get a prize too? This is the part I have never heard a good explanation for. Once the mathematical puzzle is solved, does that answer do any good for us global citizens? What was solved? Where did the inherent value come from by whomever set up the bitcoin in the first place? Who is the final arbitrar of the technology/balance sheet when things get hacked or go sideways? I think these are legitimate questions.

    I don’t care much about the carbon footprint of bitcoin mining since I don’t think CO2 is the problem it is being made out to be, although it does seem to be a waste of perfectly good electricity. While blockchain has a brilliant future in its own right, as well as some type of legitimate crypto currency should also be a legitimate goal as it is superior to a credit card with less fees, I just don’t understand where the value comes from with this solving a mathematical puzzle. Having said that, and as an investor, I am disappointed in myself for missing the boat on this when I could have bought in at less than $500 a coin when I become aware of it. But it didn’t make sense to me then, and it doesn’t make sense to me now. My BS detector just goes off the charts. And it does too for a lot other intelligent folk that I see on the business channel. Some say it is the ultimate Ponzi scheme, and will all be bust when the music stops.

    My theory is that Bitcoin was developed by the NSA/CIA industries to have a hidden backdoor to monitor illegal transfers of large dark money amounts by terrorist organizations and dark state actors like North Korea and Iran. And incidental gangs/mafiaso types for a bonus for the domestic forces. With the way Bitcoin and many of the other crypto’s operate in a vacuum and virtually untraceable if concealed correctly to exchange funds anonymously, what other use is there for this product, other than hiding your identity from authorities presumably dealing in nefarious activities of some sort? That may be one thing… and not entirely undesirable given the potential dark nature of our deep state to mess with us normal law abiding citizens who just want to remain anonymous. I understand that too, which is why I also use cash for some things as I don’t want every detail of my life ‘public’ forever on a credit card statement like why the health insurance company is quizzing me about my diet at McDonalds. But there is still something nagging me that something just doesn’t add up with Bitcoin the way it has been deployed. Maybe its just me…and it doesn’t get air-miles either.

    • “Why doesn’t a kid solving a Rubik’s Cube get a prize too? This is the part I have never heard a good explanation for. Once the mathematical puzzle is solved, does that answer do any good for us global citizens? What was solved?”

      the puzzle is simple

      h is the sha256 hash function

      h(x) =h’

      given h’ find x
      this can only be done by brute force guessing.
      given the collective computational power of the network it will take approx 10 minutes for one lucky guy to find it.

      he is rewarded 12.5 bitcoin or about 100000 usd.

      his cost to play is the price of his electricity and his machine cost.

      the solution to the puzzle serves one purpose.

      proof of capital expenditure which demonstrates his belief in bitcoin, freedom and profit.

      the solution also demonstrates the security of the blockchain. it cannot be erased or rewritten without investing hundreds of millions of dollars

      • “the solution to the puzzle serves one purpose.

        proof of capital expenditure which demonstrates his belief in bitcoin, freedom and profit.”

        Either lies or ignorance.

        The cost of the ‘solution’ simply keeps the supply/demand roughly in line. The puzzle also restricts the “mining” from the general public allows a select group to make a profit off of the “mining” process.

        And, in no way at all does it demonstrate that those involved have a belief in real freedom (some freedoms, like paying for child porn or prostitutes, without being tracked, really shouldn’t be encouraged.)

        • “The cost of the ‘solution’ simply keeps the supply/demand roughly in line. The puzzle also restricts the “mining” from the general public allows a select group to make a profit off of the “mining” process.”

          The supply is controlled by algorithm. The general public is not restricted from mining
          I mined for a year, never owned a machine, or paid an electricity bill. I bought shares
          in a mining concern. just like buying shares in a gold mining company.
          The mining concern has a long capitial investment. To get liquidity they can
          A) sell the gold they mine quickly.
          b) sell shares in the operation.
          now the mining concern got more profit than I did. they laid out capital on machines
          and building that are illiquid. I mined, using their equipement, and took a smaller profit

          “And, in no way at all does it demonstrate that those involved have a belief in real freedom ”

          hmm pretty much everyone I know involved in the business is liberatrian. But you are welcomed to your beliefs. thanks for your concern

    • “I just don’t understand where the value comes from with this solving a mathematical puzzle”

      the value is determined by the market.
      how much is unseizable, unforgeable, uncensorable money worth to you?

      • To me it’s worth nothing if you can’t buy anything with it.

        This is nothing nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

        • weird i buy things with it. and people buy things from me with it.

          i have physical us dollars in china.
          worthless because i cannot buy anthing with them?

        • @Reg
          If I use your logic diamonds and gold are worthless because they aren’t cash. Some things require a bit more effort to redeem their value but they are still have a cash value all the same 🙂

          • I never said they were worthless. What they aren’t are currency. 99.9% of businesses do not accept payment via Bit Coin.

            Bit Coin and all the other crypto “currencies” are not currencies, they are speculative investments.

            At least gold and diamonds have some intrinsic value — people want to buy jewelry made out of them.

          • reg.

            Gold and diamonds dont have intrinsic value. As you argue, they have value because people want to make jewlry out of them.

            Intrinsic means has value independent of other agents. eg. if humans go extinct gold will have no value. the value is not IN the gold, is not INSTRINSIC to the gold, but is dependent upon human choice: I want to make rings, or whatever.

            The thing is you continue to deny the reality of human freedom. human choice, and the
            human determination of what has value.

    • Earthling2 – same here. Missing investing in Bitcoin hasn’t caused me to miss a single heartbeat, because I am quite simply not interested in gambling real money on something so opaque and antisocial. The missed “opportunity” is only visible in hindsight – like the missed opportunity of investing in a junior miner before its drilling actually found something.

      It can be argued that Bitcoin and their ilk are parasites – they generate “value” by sucking electricity out of the system. Bitcoins have no other value, except perhaps to the extent that they help organised crime to keep ill-gotten gains out of sight of law enforcement agencies.

      Will all be bust when the music stops? Maybe, and if so the schadenfreude will be something to savour for a long time.

    • Bitcoin has value because people attribute value to it. For example, gold is sought after because it is relatively scarce, and diamonds because they are perceived to be rare. Centuries ago, certain tulips achieved astronomical value in Holland, then crashed to near nothing. Bitcoin, because it is a finite resource, and because of the manner it can be owned and transferred, has value as well. Like gold and anything else, its value in dollars will change over time, as people’s desire for it waxes and wanes.

  7. Lucky you, Bitcoin is being demonized.How much of this is infighting over energy control (and monetary control)? Bitcoin is widely known and different study showed how much AI training was taking. This study was done before with Singapore as the amount of energy and actual energy used at a BitMiner underground site with coal powered energy. I would like energy study of other sectors like entertainment streaming aka YouTube, university research, communications monitoring, and Internet of Things. That is just opposition research ideas for who is the biggest evil.

    What impact will BitCoin halvings have on your market? Are you already looking at other targets for that amount of compute power?

    I do not underestimate the penetration hack used to find this intelligence. Your counterpoint may have.

    I was amused that cooling for individuals machines was discounted. Those are likely in homes which still use cooling and are less efficient compute machines and cooling systems.

    • “What impact will BitCoin halvings have on your market? Are you already looking at other targets for that amount of compute power?

      The compute power can only be used for this.

      At the halving the demand for better power efficiency will get louder. Prediction of the market dynamics
      at the halving is very difficult. could be a boom, could be a death spriral.
      could be a winnowing of the market.

      hows that for uncertainty?

  8. And what? Hamburg doesn’t cause any global warming at all, and the rest of us neither…

  9. The reward for Bitcoin mining is halved every fourth year. Currently the reward is 12.5 Bitcoin and this will be reduced to 6.25 B in may 2020, and 3.125 B in May 2024 and so on. Reduced reward should lead to less investments in mining and then less energy use.

    That is unless the Bitcoin value increases quicker than the halving in rewards.

  10. Not sure why bitcoin is singled out. How many tons of carbon are emitted from facebook users? Twitter? Instagram? Youtube? Forums? Chatrooms? TVs connected to the internet? Etc, etc, etc…..

    PS I don’t think carbon emissions are any problem, just asking the questions.

  11. The big bitcoin farms that I have heard about are in Iceland using geothermal where a combination of surplus energy and cool weather/cheap cooling maximizes profit. Or China where power can be stolen or co opted. In countries where currency is unstable like Venezuela or the third world where the financial system is corrupt, holding crypto presents a practical and anonymous solution outside of government and banking taxes, fees, rampant inflation,and corruption. Also, there is its use in the underworld for those same reasons.
    Crypto exists because there is a need for it. All major financial institutions are seriously looking at it, problem is they haven’t yet seen a way to make it profitable. For kicks, I bought one bitcoin and a wallet for it. Fun to play with and drop into conversations (“Oh, I own Bitcoin”). For my son he has made a 12k investment grow to nearly 100k today (down from well over 200k last year.) He has sold his home built mining equipment as high CA energy price make it break even or loss at current BC price. I keep telling him to cash out, but he is a hodler.

  12. Steve Mosher is right, this research is mostly without any value. Too many dubious assumptions. Too many wrong guesses. Hmmm, where have we seen that before?

    But for the climate alarmist establishment, obsessed with reducing the carbon footprint on anything from your cat to Bitcoin mining, it is one more excuse to tax things. Or force the miners to move to another country, turning them into a footprint challenge for another bunch of climate bureaucrats. A tax on bitcoin mining will favour other cryptocurrencies needing less energy.

    A few other things:

    Hydro is not always cheapest. When there is plenty wind, in Germany the spot price for electricity goes negative, and no hydro supplier will ever compete with that. As more wind mills are added, this happens more often that a few years ago.

    Miners started migrating to other cryptocurrencies already by 2013, due to better return on their investment. As some governments will outlaw cryptocurrencies in order to save the world or because they dislike the competition, we’ll get bitcoin climate refugees 😮

    And what is preventing the anonymous inventor from increasing the number of bitcoins to be mined? The miners I asked had no good answer, some even regarded the question as heresy.

  13. Surprised a miner would not be able to answer the question about the possibility increasing the number of bitcoins to be mined. That is pretty basic, I cannot imagine a true miner not understanding that it would require the protocol to be changed which would require the owners of the majority of bitcoins voting to devalue their holdings. Not going to happen. That is unlike fiat currencies that can be devalued arbitrarily by a minority of individuals in power who can decide to print more when ever it suits. Like the US dollar. I don’t recall being asked each time the US Treasury has printed more money. (I bought a house and six acres in the Napa Valley on a $6500 salary out of college in 1970 when a dollar actually bought something.)
    The limit of bitcoin will be reached in about a hundred years. A bitcoin is composed of 100,000,000 satoshis. One satoshi is about 0.0000870518 USD today. There will be plenty of Satoshi’s to circulate in the future.

  14. Steven: You are a lot more credible as an entrepreneur than you were as an archivist of global temperatures (and an author of absurdly cryptic, excessively terse comments on blogs). Good for you. Congratulations.

    Next time, try turning your skill to something that improves peoples’ lives. Please.

    And don’t be afraid of whole sentences.

  15. steven mosher June 14, 2019 at 5:20 pm said:
    “no. the hydro is built long ago. usually centrally planned which means there is more available supply than demand.”

    Plausible, but I am sure that many centrally planned dams create less supply than demand, if only due to population increase. Also to the government being adverse to spending money on excess supply when they can see no vision of increased demand, due to supply being there. Think so many light rail schemes where the constant refrain is “We already have demand at the level we thought of 2 (or 5 or how many) years into the future.”

    “you think dams sell all the electricity they can produce? think again.”

    No, because production is limited, whereas demand is variable. So they sell exactly what they produce as demand varies, but if demand is greater than production capacity, they cannot supply. At that stage price goes up to ration demand.

    “you think around the world all dams are connected to the grid? think again.”

    No, I think of the many dams in Australia that do not generate power, and are therefore not grid connected. Required to provide water for stock or irrigation!

    But congratulations, Steven, on being able to make money out of bitcoin. I agree with Smart Rock..

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