Is mining wasteful?
Mining isn't wasteful precisely because energy is consumed. This unusual feature of the Bitcoin protocol is specifically designed to create security by converting otherwise-useful work into thermodynamic entropy. In this video, shot from the Hemingway home in Key West Florida, I discuss this aspect of Bitcoin and how it relates to the Counterparty project
What's up party people! Chris Derose here, Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation, and today's question is, is mining wasteful? So I see this a lot on forums and in chat rooms. People are really kind of struggling with this notion of like what mining is and how it works and why we need to burn energy and can we make it energy-efficient and is there something better? So I think that we really need to be understood in different context. When somebody mines, they do a lot of things for the network. I think primarily what they do is they create the glue by which the newest walk would be adhered to the chain. They have sealed it in a way cryptographically, it prevents it from getting dislodged or detached or removed, and in a way that it does it, it needs to burn energy literally. As much energy as we can burn, that's how strong that glue will be.
If we are burning one megawatt of power or burning 100 megawatts of power, the latter case will be 100 times stronger glue. And mining isn't like a 100 calculation that can be optimized and performed in a way that wouldn't make the same level of glue commensurate with the power. That is what mining is, it is burning energy. When you mine, you attest that usable value has been destroyed and the system external to the existing internal chain or sort of the interval chain. I think I've heard Garvin refer to it as the anchor by which stake or by which . .
. basically stake has been created. So when you talk about energy-efficient designs, it's you miss the boat. It's a game that is played among all miners. It is a game of attrition whereby he who burns the most energy wins, so there is no way that you can make that more energy-efficient. You wouldn't want to.
That would remove all the protection that is the glue. This gets into a bit of like, what is proof of stake, and what are alternate chains. And that's another conversation. I personally believe that proof of stake has nothing at stake because there is no energy, there is no anchor. And there are some things that go with that that I think make proof of stake less secure, and ultimately, vulnerable to energy-based manipulations. So I think you are kind of doomed to repeat that, no matter, in the Bitcoin space.
So for anybody who thinks that mining is a temporary thing or it's wasteful, you are probably not looking in the right direction. I would also say it's too that in some context, what we have now with money is wasteful. So wasteful compared to what? The seigniorage [SP] fee is a loner, probably substantial amount of energy when we're printing currency, but also the amount of energy it takes to run them, to manage them, banking, regulatory overhead, on and on and on. All of that is very real energy, and so when we compare to that infrastructure certainly at an international level, I think that the money that is "wasted" in Bitcoin is very insignificant to any greater aggregate degree. But that's just my opinion; you probably have a different one. If you do, why don't you leave it in the comments below? Tell me what you think.
I know this is like w hot topic; a lot of people have their own thoughts on it, so let's start a dialogue. Let's put that into the global discussion. You could tweet me @DeRoseTech and if you like this video, you want to see some more, subscribe to the channel. Later party people.