Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

As Crypto Mining Grows, Data Centers Begin Accepting Bitcoin

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the market-pricing dept.

Bitcoin 94

miller60 (554835) writes "Citing strong demand from cryptocurrency miners, data center and colocation providers are beginning to accept Bitcoin as payment for large chunks of data center space. It's a sign that the data center industry sees an emerging opportunity in catering to the hosting needs of crypto miners, who typically seek high-density space with cheap power. While many web hosting companies accept Bitcoin, larger data center players have been slower to embrace cryptocurrency. Utah-based C7 Data Centers says it's accepting Bitcoin because of surging demand. The Utah-based company says it now hosts about 4.5 megawatts of mining gear, just down the road from the NSA data center." On-topic: Dish Networks has recently become the biggest company to accept Bitcoins.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Why would they accepts fantasy money? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133063)

Can I pay my house payment with monopoly money? Can I shit on the sidewalk then smear it around to pay my credit card bill? These Republicans that are fans of this immaginary money are insane. They're trying to sucker other people into their scam. It's not money. It never will be. The only stupid people here are the Republicans.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0, Troll)

greenwow (3635575) | about 5 months ago | (#47133079)

> shit on the sidewalk then smear it around

Wow, you are a poet. You described Republicans more succinctly than maybe anyone has ever done before. This BitCoin scam they created is just like smearing shit around a sidewalk.

Profit from mining on datacenter hardware ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134183)

I haven't read the TFA yet, but it hints that people are mining cybercoins using datacenter hardware

" ... in catering to the hosting needs of crypto miners, who typically seek high-density space with cheap power ..."

I wonder if there is any profit left after renting hardware from datacenters to crunch the cybercoins ?

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 months ago | (#47133121)

Of all ways to attack Republicans, you're ranting about "Monopoly Money"??? Back to Twitter with ye!

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#47133175)

Of all ways to attack Republicans, you're ranting about "Monopoly Money"??? Back to Twitter with ye!

Don't worry.... there's another way. I bet someone already has the flaw in all the crypto to let them spend the balance of any one address.

They're just (1) Wanting to keep low key, so they don't undermine the value of their knowledge, AND

(2) Waiting for a single wallet/address to accumulate enough value in it to be worth stealing the balance.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133749)

The exploit only works against a single wallet? What are you smoking..

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#47134423)

If it were that easy, someone would have done it.

Besides, the real money without detection would be to steal idle wallets. There's a huge amount tied up in people who dabbled a bit in the early days, mined a coin or two (back when you could do so easily) and then lost interest.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134629)

Besides, the real money without detection would be to steal idle wallets. There's a huge amount tied up in people who dabbled a bit in the early days, mined a coin or two (back when you could do so easily) and then lost interest.

It's not that much, and if you go for enough of them to matter -- it will raise analysts' eyebrows. Particularly not worth revealing that the crypto has been crackered.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133209)

They believe it is real money? Why shouldn't we make fun of their kind for such stupidity? They are morons. Anyone that doesn't recognize that and doesn't do their part in making sure everyone knows that is an idiot. We need to destroy this scam before they convince too many non-Republicans to invest. At the moment, all of the major players are Republcians so they are only hurting their kind.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133721)

Yep, the entire bitcoin economy is a scam perpetrated by a political party against the entire planet so they can fund another fake moon landing!

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133159)

Thanks to bitcoins, we now have invented the perpetual money machine.

Why would they accepts fantasy money? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133193)

I backed bitcoin from the start, and no longer need to worry about house payments as a result. Nor do I have to worry about credit cards, politics,my IQ, retirement... or anything really. But please keep calling it imaginary and stupid, at least you'll have a good following on slashdot.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133369)

I bought bitcoin from the start, and no longer need to worry about house payments as a result.

FTFY.

Oh, and please tell us about your other ridiculous gambles that have paid off. (I'm gonna leave you a TON of space below this post for you to enlighten us)

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47133457)

If he really mined Bitcoins at the start, then he potentially has hundreds if not thousands of them.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133489)

Actually by backed I mean participated in. I've never thought of involvement with bitcoin as a 'ridiculous gamble' but more of an interesting project with promising possibilities. If you're limiting yourself to the paradigm of trading bitcoin for personal profit then you have completely missed the point of what the blockchain enables.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133539)

The blockchain is nothing more than a transaction record. It doesn't "enable" anything.

Re: Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133613)

Another words, you don't understand bitcoin.

Re: Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133865)

Another words, you don't understand bitcoin.

Another words? Sear yee us lee?!? Understand English, then get back to us.

Re: Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133951)

He doesn't need to understand english, he's rich.

Re: Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134185)

BitCoin cannot function unless a whole bunch (many thousands) of servers are running at all times, continuously processing all transactions that go on. Somebody has to pay for the upkeep of all those servers, and the way it works is they are occasionally rewarded with some BitCoins.

That's what mining is. You aren't just searching for new coins, you are also helping to run the entire money system.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

sfcat (872532) | about 5 months ago | (#47134517)

The blockchain is nothing more than a transaction record. It doesn't "enable" anything.

Bitcoin (and all blockchain tech) solves the Byzantine Generals Problem [wikipedia.org] which is a classic problem of computer science. It means you can create distributed exchanges of virtual or real property in the face of people trying to lie, cheat, or steal. Its actually a pretty big achievement. There are distributed market places, distributed exchanges and other interesting developments in the works all based on the fact that we can now build software on top of blockchains. But please continue to tell us how Bitcoin doesn't enable anything and whatever DB table you (or your bank) use to store transactions is more secure than that.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133439)

17Yvsma9tfiuqVP7QhsFE2VmsFpTEMy17P

Thank you in advance.

P.S.: http://latium.cc/?a_aid=5388d1... [latium.cc]

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47133451)

Right now, if someone was offering me either Bitcoins or U.S. dollars, I'd take Bitcoins without hesitation.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133615)

Surely the amount informs the decision.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about 5 months ago | (#47134043)

I no longer have to worry about paying my bills and putting food on the table thanks to bitcoin.

The existence of the Zionist Federal Reserve is to enslave people through debt. The only way to revitalize the economy and to free the people is to invalidate the U.S. dollar's legal tender status. That way all debt denominated in U.S. dollars will be invalid, unleashing enormous economic growth that were suppressed due to debt. This is the central thought of the New Monetary Theory.

And BTW, Mr. Government Shill, North Korea is calling, may be you should return to your fatherland. The sole purpose of ANY form of government is to restrict people freedom. You can take communism back to your grave.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134767)

I for one prefer fantsy money that actually can buy stuff over real one that can't. Banks have completly failed at buidling a proper international payment system, Bitcoin is simply filling that niche.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

JcMorin (930466) | about 5 months ago | (#47135163)

Monopoly money can be print a zillion time, making it a bad choice. Bitcoin is limited and controlled... that's why it can be used as a currency. Before saying anything stupid, read how the blockchain, proof or works and distributed decentralized consensus works in Bitcoin and you will understand why it's a great invention.

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

jythie (914043) | about 5 months ago | (#47135563)

Because they can pay other people with them? Or they can sell them at exchanges for currencies that can be used for paying other people?

Re:Why would they accepts fantasy money? (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | about 5 months ago | (#47141717)

Please explain how your bank account is any more real.

Also right down the road... (0)

PrimeNumber (136578) | about 5 months ago | (#47133123)

...is Google Fiber. Funny how it also happened to chose this same area as one of the places to run its free fiber service.
Do no evil my ass.

You miscalculated (0)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 5 months ago | (#47133975)

> Google Fiber. ... Do no evil my ass.

You miscalculated as both your ass and Google's ass need lots of fiber to be regular.

Your failure to understand this simple truth is your undoing.

I don't get it (1)

kanweg (771128) | about 5 months ago | (#47133173)

If it is profitable to pay for computer capacity for mining bitcoins, why aren't the datacenters doing it themselves (especially since they'll have spare capacity anyway)? I mean, the miners want to make a profit. So, if they can make a profit by paying for the data center equipment, the data centers would make (more) profit doing it themselves.

Bert

Re:I don't get it (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 5 months ago | (#47133203)

Because there are only 3600 bitcoins per day no matter how many PCs you throw at it. If Amazon started using all their power to mine them, they might get them all, but the price wouldn't rise to accommodate and they would be spending millions to make thousands.

Bitcoin mining is a careful balance between getting enough power to make a profit and not losing money by overspending based on the difficulty. Most bitcoin miners lose money and only make it up by holding the coins until they are worth more. This is by design in the bitcoin protocol, BTW.

Ironically, because of this competition, AWS is considering taking bitcoin even though Amazon is far from it.

Re:I don't get it (2)

PRMan (959735) | about 5 months ago | (#47133213)

Oh, yeah, and if the bitcoin miners never convert to cash, they are probably not paying taxes on the money ever. That saves 25% or so.

Re:I don't get it (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#47133285)

Because there are only 3600 bitcoins per day no matter how many PCs you throw at it.

You mean there's a target of 3600 bitcoins per day, with adjustment of difficulty every 2016 blocks.

If Amazon started using all their power to mine them, and switched it on right after a difficulty adjustment, 50400 bitcoins might be mined in fewer than 2 weeks, for example, they might mine 8000 bitcoins a day, for 7 days.

Also, if their mining power exceeded 50%, of the Bitcoin network: they might be able to cheat. They could start "pre-mining" blocks, and furthermore, they could start tampering with the difficulty.

Re:I don't get it (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#47135093)

Also, if their mining power exceeded 50%, of the Bitcoin network: they might be able to cheat.

The fastest current supercomputer, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , has a bit over 55 petaFLOPS. The Bitcoin network, on the other hand, has around 980,000 petaFLOPS, accordgint to Bitcoin charts. So that's a pretty big "if".

Re:I don't get it (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#47139033)

has a bit over 55 petaFLOPS. The Bitcoin network, on the other hand, has around 980,000 petaFLOPS, accordgint to Bitcoin charts. So that's a pretty big "if".

It doesn't matter how many FLOPS the biggest supercomputer has. If Amazon seriously decided to get into mining, it would be by manufacturing or buying from manufacturers extremely large volumes of silicon containing specialized ASICs, ULAs, or structured ASICs; yes it would require more infrastructure and massive logistics to online the suitable infrastructure --- I am sure the challenge is well within Amazon's capabilities, as long as the profits to be made suit the effort and expense required.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134319)

If Amazon started using all their power to mine them, they might get them all

I doubt it. Unless AWS has some secret stash of ASICs lying in wait, the average CPU thread would hash something like six orders of magnitude slower than a current miner.

Amazon's got a lot of compute power for sure... but it's generalized computing power. It honestly wouldn't surprise me if Amazon couldn't pull off a 51% attack with their present hardware.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133205)

The data centers could also copy any other hosted service....

Re:I don't get it (1)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 5 months ago | (#47134195)

It is easier to make a business plan around charging predictable rates for a service, than participating in a game of mathematics where the value of your yield is market driven.

You may argue stock funds here, but they have fund fees which typically decrease if you let them play with your money longer.

These people are not going to spend money on coin mining if it potentially may harm their main business. What happens when China and Russia outlaw it and the bottom drops out? Lots of expensive equipment to write off. And no, writing off only helps minimize the losses a tiny bit.

And, they may well have some set up in the unused space, especially if they accept bitcoins. I would not advertise that were I in the business.

Re:I don't get it (2)

sir-gold (949031) | about 5 months ago | (#47134671)

During every gold rush throughout history, there is always one group of people who are guaranteed to make money, regardless of the actual gold supply, and that is the merchants selling the equipment to the miners.

Re:I don't get it (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#47134427)

Risk. Bitcoin prices are highly volatile.

Re:I don't get it (1)

dirtaddshp (1188189) | about 5 months ago | (#47135015)

another name for price action, which investors love!

Re:I don't get it (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 5 months ago | (#47135035)

Investors love predictable price action, ideally upwards. With bitcoin, you may lose everything you invest, or may make a thousand percent in a month. It's all over the place. It seems to be slowly going down right now, but any news could cause that to change.

What a dumb waste of energy... (2, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 months ago | (#47133181)

Bitcoin mining is for suckers. It barely covers the cost of electricity. Plowing through large swaths of finite numbers, chugging along 24/7 puzzling away, is the stupidest excuse imaginable for damaging the environment. Can we just move to a system where you freeze a block of dry ice, launch it into space, and get a newly minted Bitcoin?

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (0)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#47133325)

Chugging along 24/7 puzzling away, is the stupidest excuse imaginable for damaging the environment.

No... humans damage the environment already. Anything that increases energy demand ultimately helps the environment by raising energy prices and creating incentives for the development of more efficient ways of supplying power.

Bitcoin mining actually is doing useful work -- it is also a small-scale activity helps create an economic incentive for people to look for new, more ample sources of energy, such as molten salt reactor tech, and to look for new ways of cooling ---- advancements in energy efficiency developed by Bitcoin miners required for their profitability, can be re-used in other large scale industries, such as datacenters.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

guises (2423402) | about 5 months ago | (#47134971)

No... humans damage the environment already. Anything that increases energy demand ultimately helps the environment by raising energy prices and creating incentives for the development of more efficient ways of supplying power.

Is this something that you actually believe, or are you making a joke? It's a little hard to tell. I'll contribute: Patent trolls are good because they create incentive for patent reform. Littering is good because it creates incentive for companies to release products with reduced packaging. Copyrights that never expire are good because they create incentive for people to live longer. Air pollution is good because it creates incentive for people to find alternatives to breathing so damn much.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#47136123)

Littering is good because it creates incentive for companies to release products with reduced packaging.

How does that work?

Patent trolls are good because they create incentive for patent reform.

Yes, but only if the patent trolls are highly disruptive and cause shutdowns / outages for products that congressmen, judges, and the average joe rely on, in order to spark protest and government response against the general problem.

Bitcoin mining does a few interesting things... it creates a "shock" for datacenter and equipment operators, who currently can't necessarily justify the expense of major innovations in developing more efficient facilities. Unlike traditional workloads; miners tend to pull high energy usage.

Since mining can be conducted anywhere you can build a datacenter; it encourages the construction of facilities in areas where power is very cheap --- resulting in absorpotion of the "excess" and increase of energy cost in those areas.

Consider basic economics: If energy usage goes down due to lack of demand or due to conservation, then prices will go down, which will encourage waste --- such as people driving around in Hummers for no good reason. The basic laws of supply and demand guarantee this will continue to happen until the surplus is consumed, and supply/demand return to a point of equilibrium; any reduction in usage or 'savings' by one portion of the population is going to be consumed by waste + then some.

Bitcoin, however, is only worth about 3600 BTC a day, a couple million a day, which means there is an upper limit on how much mining will be practical.

Still, turning up a big datacenter with heavy mining capacity is going to also "shock" the local energy markets, and exploit any overly low energy markets, so the fuel prices tend to go up.

Short-term "shocks", or large increases in local energy prices are good --- as they provide a selling point to shorter term more efficient products, such as LED lightbulbs, which have a cost barrier to overcome.

The more 'shocks' in a shorter span, the earlier, the better. We also know.... mining reward tapers in August 2016, it goes down by 50%, so there is a definite expiration schedule to mining, at which point, there will be empty highly-efficient datacenter facilities, ready to put computers in.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | about 5 months ago | (#47141071)

sooo... You are predicting that bitcoin will disappear in August 2016?

as long as there is bitcoin, there is miners. The reward simply halves and halves, and eventually it's the transaction fees which will cover the expense of mining. At this point 1BTC is probably 50k +

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 5 months ago | (#47142167)

sooo... You are predicting that bitcoin will disappear in August 2016? The reward simply halves and halves, and eventually it's the transaction fees which will cover the expense of mining.

No, but the mining incentive will go down by 50%. This will most likely bleed most miners out of the market altogether. The transaction fees are miniscule, and they won't support much mining in the long run.

At this point 1BTC is probably 50k +

How or by what mechanism do you propose 1 BTC approaches 10k+, let alone 50k+?

It is much more likely to approach $0, as it saturates the market of early adopters, but more conservative folks who stick with mainstream technologies aren't being won over.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (2)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 5 months ago | (#47133359)

Have you considered just how much energy half a million bank branches worldwide consume? Some of those bank buildings are the largest skyscrapers in the world. For a valid comparison, you need to look at total energy consumed per dollar/bitcoin transaction.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47133467)

Don't forget the energy and costs of armoured trucks, printing money, ressources required, etc.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 months ago | (#47134045)

Why is this so hard for everyone to understand? Why is the idea of wanting to unplug our computers before bedtime so alien to everybody? Running a computer all day to mine a Bitcoin yields nothing to the world except a big finite number and some CO2.

Money is needed as a way for people to handle the flow of resources, not just for handling more money. Dollars can also be handled electronically. They do not consume natural resources when printed except for the piece of paper. A dollar doesn't derive its value from a scarcity of paper.

Mining Bitcoins is environmentally destructive. As time goes on and the keys get exponentially sparser, the system nominally sustains expansion of its monetary base by surfing on Moore's Law forever- which is a failure point since electrical power is becoming the rate limiting factor to Bitcoin production. Bitcoins are a currency that requires cotinuous destruction of real resources just to sustain its monetary base.

These comparisons to running a bank branches are weird. It's not as simple as the "total energy consumed per dollar/Bitcoin transaction". We need bank branches because the public actually has dollars to put in them. Bitcoins are mined by suckers within the scheme, immediately enter the financial stratosphere, and are rarely seen by the public afterwards, simply because they're volatile and not safe long-term investments. Skyscrapers wouldn't disappear or go dark if people used Bitcoins instead of dollars. Bank branches will not close; the public need for them will still exist.

The inherent energy inefficiencies in transferring and handling ordinary money within bank branches is generally considered a nuisance, not a founding principle behind the currency's supposed value. People want dollars because they can be traded, not because finding them consumed someone a lot of work. The energy inefficiencies involved with handling money itself are generally considered to be a nuisance, something to avoid. but now we're sowing a new currency based on the kilowatt-hours that must be wasted by minting it. A Bitcoin economy makes resource scarcity worse to deal with, and it's a bad currency with no usefulness to the vast majority of us.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47135119)

We need bank branches because the public actually has dollars to put in them.

And we need bitcoin mining because the public actually has bitcoins put in the blockchain. Stop being so one-sided and let people try stuff. Maybe tax CO2-emitting power plants.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (2)

ultranova (717540) | about 5 months ago | (#47135167)

Why is the idea of wanting to unplug our computers before bedtime so alien to everybody?

Nobody's stopping you from unplugging your computer, or are they? But this isn't about "we" can do. It's about other people doing things you don't like them to do, such as leaving their computers running performing work you deem unworthy.

Money is needed as a way for people to handle the flow of resources, not just for handling more money. Dollars can also be handled electronically. They do not consume natural resources when printed except for the piece of paper. A dollar doesn't derive its value from a scarcity of paper.

A dollar derives its value from the cmbination of a scarcity of dollars and the ability to give them to other people. Both scarcity and transferability require resources to maintain. In the case of dollars these amount to elaborate manufacturing process, armored deposit boxes, armored vehicles, guards, police, bank central computers, mailed checks, etc. In the case of Bitcoins they amount to the energy costs of Bitcoin mining, which is a lot cheaper.

Mining Bitcoins is environmentally destructive. As time goes on and the keys get exponentially sparser, the system nominally sustains expansion of its monetary base by surfing on Moore's Law forever- which is a failure point since electrical power is becoming the rate limiting factor to Bitcoin production.

Bitcoin monetary base has a fixed point where all the coins have been mined, it isn't going to expand forever. The real purpose of the mining process is to determine which log of transactions is the "official" version. Doing this algorithmically is far less destructive - enviromentally or otherwise - than doing it through physical force, as is done for the US dollar.

Bitcoins are a currency that requires cotinuous destruction of real resources just to sustain its monetary base.

This is true for all currencies, and for all systems for that matter. Entropy is merciless mistress, or alternatively a very efficient cleanup process.

It's not as simple as the "total energy consumed per dollar/Bitcoin transaction".

True, you also have to add the energy consumed by anti-counterfeiting and anti-theft operations.

We need bank branches because the public actually has dollars to put in them.

We need bank branches because our current economy is based on debt, and someone has to manage it. But the really fancy banks are simply investment firms that want public to cover their potential losses. The inability to tell those from actual banks is what ultimately caused the current economic crisis.

The inherent energy inefficiencies in transferring and handling ordinary money within bank branches is generally considered a nuisance, not a founding principle behind the currency's supposed value. People want dollars because they can be traded, not because finding them consumed someone a lot of work. The energy inefficiencies involved with handling money itself are generally considered to be a nuisance, something to avoid. but now we're sowing a new currency based on the kilowatt-hours that must be wasted by minting it. A Bitcoin economy makes resource scarcity worse to deal with, and it's a bad currency with no usefulness to the vast majority of us.

You are incorrect. The guarantees backing dollar ultimately depend on the US government being able to expend more energy - or work - than an attacker. This is inherent in fiat currencies, altough still a better deal than the idea of mining and then guarding gold.

Bitcoin is also based on the network being able to outpower an attacker. The difference is that with Bitcoin, every attack must take on the network as a whole. With dollars, you can find a bank or a store that is lax with enforcement, and spend fake dollars there, thus enforcement has to epxend enough work to maintain local superiority at every location. With Bitcoins, there is no "local enforcement" and thus no local weak points - for an attack to succeed, it must overpower the entire network. This, of course, means that Bitcoin requires far less resources to get the same level of guarantee than a traditional currency.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 months ago | (#47136973)

Nobody's stopping you from unplugging your computer, or are they? But this isn't about "we" can do. It's about other people doing things you don't like them to do, such as leaving their computers running performing work you deem unworthy.

Uh huh. Me and 97% of climate scientists.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 5 months ago | (#47140395)

> Uh huh. Me and 97% of climate scientists

I'm so glad that you know what 97% of climate scientists think about bitcoin. Nice way to not actually argue on points, though, like showing that the CO2 generated by mining over the life of the bitcoin protocol will exceed the CO2 which might be saved?

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 months ago | (#47142827)

OK, I think you see the point, that wasting electricity is one reason why the life of the bitcoin protocol should be kept as short as possible. A better-designed protocol might not need this phase of heavy computation at all. Instead of paying money to an electric company, you might do something else with it to get new "coins". The challenge there would be getting around the need for a certifying authority.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 5 months ago | (#47145843)

You're still not arguing against the points raised by DanielRavenNest and ultranova. Neither of them claimed that the bitcoin protocol was the "best-designed" protocol from an energy efficiency point of view.

If you're really interested in solving the problem which seems to irk you so, just go out and make Peercoin (or whatever other alternative cryptocurrency you invent which doesn't require proof-of-work in the long term for maintaining the block chain) more popular than Bitcoin. You could start by talking about Peercoin's advantages every time Bitcoin comes up...

> OK, I think you see the point,

What? I merely see that you don't know how to argue logically well.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

Skal Tura (595728) | about 5 months ago | (#47141095)

You are assuming that bitcoin mining will exponentially keep increasing and no new efficiencies discovered. Wrong.
Bitcoin mining is auto balancing by the value of each bitcoin. If energy spent costs more than bitcoin acquired, people will not invest in new mining hardware. How could they, or is money somehow infinite for the miners, to be able to purchase more and more gear?

FIAT money is not energy free neither.
Bitcoin is revolutionizing how money is conceived, FIAT money is basicly a huge scam, there actually are parties in this world for who money *is* infinite, such as goverments and world bank. See documentary Zeitgeist.

Bitcoin takes the power from the elite to just print more money away, and that's a bad thing?!?!

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133483)

I know, right? If only we could re- purpose all that computing power to something more socially beneficial...like, say, video games or sumpthin.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#47134529)

" It barely covers the cost of electricity."
This is only true if bitcoin is not a fiat currency. ;-)

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 5 months ago | (#47134693)

Considering the amount of energy it takes to actually produce dry ice, you would probably end up releasing more CO2 than what you captured.

Not to mention the pollution from the rocket launch.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

Xyrus (755017) | about 5 months ago | (#47135729)

Bitcoin mining is for suckers...

In this we agree. Cryptocoin mining, no matter which coin you mine, is not profitable for anyone except really large players. Coin difficulties increase with overall network hashing rates, so any hashing power you have is effectively reduced every time the difficulty rises. This is something that people don't take into consideration when they go and buy those big ASIC rigs for $10,000 thinking that they're reach break even in a month. Honestly, if the machines were that profitable then the companies making them would just keep them and mine on their own, as it would be more profitable than just selling the hardware.

If anyone reading this is planning on getting into mining, thoroughly research the subject and make sure you correctly calculate projections.

Re:What a dumb waste of energy... (1)

Mathinker (909784) | about 5 months ago | (#47140463)

Honestly, if the machines were that profitable then the companies making them would just keep them and mine on their own, as it would be more profitable than just selling the hardware.

This actually isn't totally true, since cryptocurrencies rely on several kinds of trust, and one of them requires that no single entity controls the mining. So it can sometimes be in the interest of a mining equipment manufacturer to even sell mining equipment at a loss, if the manufacturer also mines.

Ecological Impact. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 5 months ago | (#47133223)

How many millimeters of ocean ride is from Bitcoin mining?

Re:Ecological Impact. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#47133385)

so close to zero we may as well say zero. But all IT tech together is using a measureable chunk of fossil fuel. All IT together is about ten percent of electrical consumption, and fossil fuel is used in two-thirds of all electricity production, and forty percent of fossil fuel use is for electricity. So 0.03 percent of fossil fuel use is used by IT tech.

Re:Ecological Impact. (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#47133521)

so close to zero we may as well say zero. But all IT tech together is using a measureable chunk of fossil fuel. All IT together is about ten percent of electrical consumption, and fossil fuel is used in two-thirds of all electricity production, and forty percent of fossil fuel use is for electricity. So 0.03 percent of fossil fuel use is used by IT tech.

Fossil fuels are used in ALL forms of electrical production. The difference is simply how direct the use is. Current Solar Cell technology for example, puts horrible amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere because of the processes used to mine and make the glass and silver in them. (Silver mining is terrible for the environment) It's still not as bad as coal (nothing is as bad as coal) but it's still bad.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/1... [acs.org]

Re:Ecological Impact. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about 5 months ago | (#47139403)

not much fossil fuel used in many forms of electrical production compared to total energy output by say a hyrdro or nuke plant

Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (4, Insightful)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 5 months ago | (#47133309)

No one seems to mention that they accept bitcoin like they accept VISA cards. All of these places actually want dollars. Any bitcoins they accept through a payment provider are instantly converted to dollars by that provider and that is what they really want. In that scenario, it is failing to pick up as a currency, but is gaining some ground as a money transfer device. The downside is that now instead of just the third party payment provider, there is a third party payment provider plus the bitcoin network.

It seems to me that this is only maintainable while new coins are being mined. Once the mining approaches 0, people will start wanting a transaction fee to process the networks transactions. At that point it can't possibly be cheaper than the traditional payment processing networks. I don't believe in bitcoin as the lasting cryptocurrency. Unfortunately (or fortunately), as bitcoin is the dominant one, if it falters and fails, it will be a long time before anyone would trust another cryptocurrency even if the bugs are worked out.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47133399)

Why can't it possibly be cheaper than the traditional payment processing networks? I'd like to see an explanation.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (2)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 5 months ago | (#47133577)

Well, I very well may be completely off base, but my theory is that you have two situations. Situation #1 has just a third party payment processor. Situation #2 has a 3rd party payment processor like bitpay + a non-zero fee from the bitcoin network.

Of course, my assumption is that all 3rd party payment processors are approximately equal and that may prove to be totally unfounded with bitcoin processors.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134207)

The point behind getting a currency started is making it available, easy to tender in, and widely accepted.

When someone that has NO interest in bitcoin, finds out that EVERY supplier you have (think you local grocers, coffee shops, clothing stores, etc) accepts it, (even if they only accept it through payment processors) you're likely to be willing to accept it when it's offered to you.

Now, when suppliers of goods and services start getting more and more % of their customers paying in BTC, they're more and more likely to start really looking into how it all REALLY works (accepting it through a payment processor is one thing, but few of them are interested in holding BTC!) they start finding out THEIR suppliers accept bitcoin. (again, even if it's through a payment processor) If it becomes cheaper to accept say, 5% of the bitcoin transactions directly and USE that directly to purchase from others, things really start rolling.

I've said it a million times before: Every currency ever started began exactly the same; some "governing authority" walked in and said: "don't trade like that anymore, use these!" and it takes YEARS for people to even stop laughing at how silly the entire system is. One day, years have passed and people start warming up to the idea of using the "currency", international trade begins
which always starts wonderfully:
1. "oh hey there! I want some of your [wheat], will you take my [insert currency of choice here] for that?"
2. "Uh, no. why would I want that?"
1. "Well, a group of people say that you can use them to get other things!"
2. "well, I sure can't get anything of use for them.."
1. "huh, maybe only some people get it.."

YEARS later, 2 hears about the "wonderful things" that 1 and his friends have done, and runs into 1 again, suddenly willing to accept some of their "currency" now knowing what they can do with it.

EVERY currency ever started has gone through these pains. The difference here, is that EVERYONE get's a say in how it's created, maintained, and governed. The more people involved, the more votes there are.

Side fact: to the people that STRONGLY believe that bitcoin "can't be a currency because you can't issue more": There's NOTHING preventing more from being issued. It's not some "hard baked, the algorithm can't be positive again after date X": it was simply agreed upon by the majority of people running the software. (the codebase simplys halfs the block reward 210000 blocks)
If anyone wanted to fork the current code base and allow for inflation over time (vs the current deflation) it's less than 20 lines of code. The trick isn't implementing it in code, it's getting the network to hard fork; the vast majority of NODES would need to agree on the protocol change, nothing more.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47135749)

I question your assumption. Third party payment processors for $ have costs not associated with Bitcoin and something of a lock-in due to network effects (Don't take Visa? You just cut out 80% or more of your potential customers. Take Bitcoin? Use any one of an increasing number of processors).

Of course, hopefully the processors will fade with time anyway as suggested below by the AC.

Mining fees will be kept low by intense competition amongst miners. This is also an incentive for merchants to accept and use Bitcoin rather than directly converting to $.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 5 months ago | (#47134563)

Costs will increase because you have to do all of the same work as a traditional payment processing network plus you have one additional currency exchange. The supply curve will hist upward to try to capture more of the surplus to compensate.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 5 months ago | (#47135713)

Well, you actually don't have to do all the work of a traditional payment processing network and there is much more room for competition, driving prices down. The current players are already much cheaper than the alternatives. Mining fees will be kept low due to, again, competition. Raise the fees you require to process a transaction and someone else will process that block instead. The protocol is very well designed in this regard (IMO).

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (2)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 5 months ago | (#47133445)

> All of these places actually want dollars.

That's because their supply chain doesn't yet accept bitcoins. For a data center, I imagine their main costs are IT hardware, electricity, and staff. Once those also accept bitcoin, they don't need to use a payment processor to convert, just send the coins along to the next person.

There's a natural progression from hobbyists paying for pizza, to small online retailers taking it for socks, to larger retailers, now to satellite TV. Eventually second level suppliers will start taking it, and you begin to get a complete economy in bitcoin. But such things don't happen overnight.

> Once the mining approaches 0, people will start wanting a transaction fee to process the networks transactions.

They already collect transaction fees, but they are about 1% of miner's incomes. The real limiter is transactions/hour on the block chain. There is a 1 MB limit per block, and you can fit about 2500 transactions on average, so 15,000 per hour. This will drive up fees once the supply of transaction slots is eaten up, which in turn will drive off-chain transactions. This already happens to a limited extent. If you use your Coinbase wallet to pay a merchant that uses Coinbase as their processor, it never hits the block chain. It's just internal at Coinbase. Nothing prevents Coinbase from arranging with other processors and large merchants to do bulk transactions on the block chain, which represent many individual small customer amounts. Transaction fees to miners can then be made as small as necessary, because it's spread over many users.

BTC will never... (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#47134555)

be a replacement for the US dollar....or any other fiat system...we'd have to legislatively change our entire economic system and get the world to co-operate.

GP was right, All of these places actually want dollars

That's because their supply chain doesn't yet accept bitcoins....There's a natural progression from hobbyists paying for pizza, to small online retailers taking it for socks, to larger retailers, now to satellite TV. Eventually second level suppliers will start taking it, and you begin to get a complete economy in bitcoin.

This is a fantasy not backed by reality. There is no "natural progression" in currency, we have a fiat system & only legislation changes that.

BTC are not insured...but you know the problems...what I'm saying is that your idea that there is some mathmatical certainty to BTC's progressive adoption you're very wrong.

I am a business owner. I have a company that sells tshirts online. If your livelihood depends on daily sales you see how unrealistic BTC's fanboi's notions are.

I agree it's fun to talk about! It's not what you think it is, however.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133633)

>It seems to me that this is only maintainable while new coins are being mined.

Then I guess we'd better hope for a different coin to take over sometime in the next 100+ years.

I know I won't be caring. I'm sure whatever children are born just as I'm dying will and they'll make tons of money on the "problem" :D

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134249)

you can also mine altcoins and trade them for bitcoins, thats where much of the action is now.

Re:Lots of places "accept" bitcoin now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47141097)

You obviously did not read the article. And I quote: "Both C7 and Server Farm Realty said they will convert some of the Bitcoin they receive from customers into U.S. dollars, but will also hold some of their Bitcoin in anticipation that it will increase in price."

Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133321)

What do you mine "As crypto mining grows" ? Didn't that junk crash long ago and now require very specialized hardware and consume way too much power for most people?

Re:Wait... (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 5 months ago | (#47134699)

It requires too much power on general-purpose hardware like a PC to be even remotely profitable. But it is still profitable with specialized hardware and a cheap enough electricity rate.

Re:Wait... (1)

ClownPenis (1315157) | about 5 months ago | (#47136865)

Following your logic.. If something "crashes" it is "junk".
Gold, Securities, Commodities.. ALL JUNK.
Noted. Thank you for the insight!

A new coin, again? (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 5 months ago | (#47133349)

Citing strong demand from cryptocurrency miners, data center and colocation providers are beginning to accept Bitcojn as payment for large chunks of data center space.

Damn, and I was just getting used to Bitcoin.

Re:A new coin, again? (1)

alostpacket (1972110) | about 5 months ago | (#47134567)

The Swedish Chef has started a new crypto currency.

Makes sense (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47133379)

The best way to make money in mining is to sell equipment to the miners.

A collosal waste of energy. (0)

quax (19371) | about 5 months ago | (#47134073)

Bitcoins should be priced in CO2

Re:A collosal waste of energy. (2)

themusicgod1 (241799) | about 5 months ago | (#47134433)

...and the legacy financial system runs on unicorns and fairy dust, I take it?

Re:A collosal waste of energy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47137159)

It used to but the unicorn stockpile has run out. That was the real cause behind the financial melt down, the system has been somewhat stabilized by increasing fairy dust usage but without the unicorn things just don't seem to be quite right.

Re:A collosal waste of energy. (1)

quax (19371) | about 5 months ago | (#47137367)

Unicorns and fairy dust are much cheaper, they don't require CPU intensive mining.

Re:A collosal waste of energy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134575)

It would be an interesting comparison to compare the CO2 output of a solar powered Bitcoin farm to even the cleanest process used to make US $1 bills.

Re:A collosal waste of energy. (1)

quax (19371) | about 5 months ago | (#47137387)

That would make sense if bitcoins were only supposed to replace actual physical money, but my understanding is that the ultimate goal is far grander.

TALK ABOUT A BUBBLE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47134301)

This is the beginning of the actual end.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?