Bitcoin either needs to be outlawed outright or treated the same way other CO2e intensive industries: an ever increasing carbon tax on it.

@szbalint The carbon tax is a pretty good idea.

Just worried that people would want to pay the carbon tax with... bitcoins :D

@juliobiason @szbalint if it were outlawed then that would basically be like trying to pay your taxes in monoply money

@carcinopithecus @juliobiason @szbalint you already pay your taxes with monopoly money, lol. These Federal Reserve Notes are printed by a nongovernmental private banking cartel. They are as "federal" as Federal Express.

@jahway603 @juliobiason @szbalint itt we imply there's such a thing as ~"real"~ money that represents something not merely backed by state force lol

@szbalint Bitcoin mining itself does not emit CO2. It is free software that runs on computers, which emit heat. The carbon tax can easily be implemented wherever miners buys electricity at market rate from. But as bitcoin miners are mostly using excess capacity of already produced electricity, and a lot of it being fairly low-CO2-intensive sources like hydro, the price for mining electricity likely wouldn't change that much anyway.

@szbalint Also consider that as it grows it creates huge incentives to develop cheaper electricity production. And digging for oil or coal is definitely not high on the list of as-cheap-as-we-can-get with technological progress I think.

@raucao this is like saying if i burn down the town, i stimulate lots of economic activity in rebuilding, so arson should be legal



@raucao no, it’s orders of magnitude too small for that, but large enough to cause a lot of environmental damage though.


@szbalint I said "as it grows". I'm sure your argument is about it growing. Otherwise it wouldn't make sense to begin with.


@raucao no one has excess generation capacity the size of Netherlands’ annual energy use hanging around idly.

Please do not make the argument that this amount of electricity couldn’t be used for anything more productive, literally anything else than bitcoin mining would be more useful.

The most straightforward option would be just to reduce coal/gas generation from what’s used to mine bitcoin atm.


@szbalint That's a nonsensical statement. The bitcoin network is decentralized and using small amounts of electricity in tens of thousands of places. Also, it's literally using less than is wasted by standby power in the US alone.

But it seems to me like you haven't even seen just how much capacity there is e.g. in Sichuan, a region with more than 3000 hydro plants alone, and how the price for excess goes down to a cent per KWh in the rainy season:


@szbalint Another fun fact, regarding excess production and consumption: in 2019, about 67% of generated electricity in the U.S. was literally, actually wasted. The numbers for bitcoin mining aren't even remotely close. And that is a single country, not worldwide overproduction.

@szbalint I think such a thing would be very counterproductive to your end goal: it would heavily incentivize (force) mining operations into non-taxing jurisdictions, and thus reduce the availability of less carbon-intensive/trapped energy sources to be used for mining.

@szbalint Here it's just outlawed. And nobody cares about CO₂ whatsoever.

@szbalint the last I checked up on it, the majority of the hashrate is powered by hydroelectric sources in China and other areas where that is abundant and cheap, which is positive

miners have a lot of freedom to migrate where cheap power is available and in most areas renewables are already cheaper than fossil fuels, and even then the majority of carbon emissions actually *don't* come from power generation, with transportation and agricultural/manufacturing accounting for more

it's still *bad* but the way the incentives are set up currently, most of the effort is being put into making best use of the resources that are already being expended to maximize the overall utility of it


@lunch utility which is negative atm.

Blowing a bubble, speculation and money laundering are not positives.

It’s still energy that could be literally spent on anything else, regardless of how cheaply it is produced. It still has a carbon impact due to opportunity costs.


@szbalint @lunch i'm trying to think of the exceptions to this "anything else" and all of them are either military, police or the sort of thing people pay for with bitcoin


@carcinopithecus I'm not sure what you're trying to say

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