It seems that the 10th birthday of bitcoin has produced more studies on its environmental impact:
https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/mining- ... oc-1al4ly1
Extracting a dollar's worth of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin from the deep Web consumes three times more energy than digging up a dollar's worth of gold, researchers said Monday.
There are now hundreds of virtual currencies and an unknown number of server farms around the world running around the clock to unearth them, more than half of them in China, according to a recent report from the University of Cambridge.
A different study:
What they did: The study estimates that Bitcoin usage emitted 69 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2017, while accounting for just 0.033% of cashless transactions in the same year. They then project future emissions based on a variety of scenarios of growing Bitcoin usage in coming years.
The researchers, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, found that Bitcoin could be responsible for greenhouse gas emissions sufficient to propel climate change past 2°C, or 3.6°F, above preindustrial levels within just the next 11 to 22 years.
Previous responses to energy usage complaints often mention Visa or Mastercard energy usage, but this is the first time I've seen a figure noting the tiny percentage of cashless transactions toward which this energy is directed. That makes the comparison to credit cards much worse, IMO.
I saw lots of push-back on this study, but it was all about the future, not disputing the current usage. Among future assumptions that were questioned: the continued use of fossil fuels and if most of the mining continues to be in countries that use them. So I guess advocates of crypto should be pushing for renewables around the world, or at least in China.
There was also mention of the recent increased efficiency of mining applications, though that is no guarantee of future performance either. Another push-back:
https://www.axios.com/no-bitcoin-is-not ... 18da1.html
Also, accurately predicting future use of a novel technology is difficult, and many observers expect Bitcoin to serve more as an investment vehicle than a currency.
Also in the above article was something I haven't seen mentioned here, maybe since it's not actually bitcoin, but blockchain. Since many BS members are also collectors, I thought it might be of interest:
CryptoKitties' maker raises $15 million in new funding (CoinDesk)
Why it matters: Amid the explosion of attempts to apply blockchain technology to just about anything, collectibles has been one promising use case.
Though CryptoKitties—a game for collecting and breeding digital cat pets—has faded from the headlines since its initial debut, interest from investors and the company's hints that it's working on something new could mean it's not over. After all, collectibles and gaming are historically huge business.
The above reminds me of pet rocks, which was certainly a fad, not a trend.