For the random people landing here, this is in reply to a previous conversation which became too long for a fb post - https://www.facebook.com/nigeorgieva/posts/10223130532865709
@Nina Georgieva I wouldn’t have mentioned that I’m an early adopter if I haven’t recognized its potential back then, anyways… I get the sense you are in defense mode about crypto for some reason and will try to justify it at any cost, IMHO you shouldn’t, I’m not trying to convince you that DLT - Distributed Ledger Technologies is bad, No they are a great concept but the cost of PoW doesn’t justify the means and we as intellectuals and artists are the people to voice the alarm since there are other solutions already. It’s funny and weird that you believe that most of the energy consumed from mining comes from renewables, although research has been attempted in that area its virtually impossible to estimate, as you are well aware the idea behind is that it’s decentralized, meaning rigs are scattered around the globe and are so many and unknown (anonymous), and for several reasons here, first people running rigs are literally trying to hide from everyone, second government, and taxation, third, the mob and this is the reality. Statistics that have attempted to estimate such consumption are based on the few biggest known farms run by VPs and investment funds that are in contracts with green energy providers and are legitimate businesses, but that is an insignificant portion of all, most rigs are in basements run by individuals for whom such options are not available, and costly investment to begin with. I don’t know if you have ever been into a mining rig operation, I have, and not one, and have never seen a renewable system in place in rigs. Especially with the popularity of using GPUs for mining ETH literally every gamer with a decent machine up to spec is gaming daytime and mining while sleeping… So don’t believe that mining is green, it’s not even close. Also, you did mention in your previous post that heat transformation is a possibility, yeah in a perfect world, but that is only practical for large case industrial scenarios (imagine google datacentre type scale), which essentially makes the decentralization and blockchain concept irrelevant.
Also just want to highlight why I used DLT in the beginning and not decentralized, crypto or coins, this is a paradigm shift that has been pushed by the major players, institutions, investors, and developers now and for a reason, getting and familiarising the wider population to accept the technology by stripping it out of its roots and associations (decentralization, anonymity & association with criminal activity) this is being done purposely with the intended goal of wider adoption and integration by the corporate world and governments at some point.
Also, it is good that you have mentioned money and decentralization, DLTs and Cryptos are not money and won’t be, regardless of the popular view that has gained popularity, especially amongst young adults, they are consensus mechanism technology. There are several points to be made here and I keep stumbling across people that have gotten involved with cryptos fairly recently and are not coming from a computer technology background or have a broader understanding of software, hardware, and politics. And this is another matter that is very poorly discussed in the field and I don’t understand how many, people do not realize or refuse to… I am planning to start a series of talks on the matter as it does not seem that anyone else is bringing the issue up... Let’s start with decentralization, the main point of a fundamental misunderstanding which I can attribute to the refusal of the young generation to participate and/or learn about politics. Money decentralization is actually more of a political shift than technological, it is the goal of the Anarchism political philosophy, and cryptocurrency and decentralization technologies are the birth child of crypto-anarchism, but we live in Democracy and Capitalism with an established system of Governance. Now here is the catch, the so-called cryptocurrencies are a software solution, which relies and functions on top of a hardware infrastructure that is owned, managed, regulated and maintained by Governments and is considered once public utility, second national security (those get disconnected or extremely controlled on a country level in the time of armed conflict, breaking communication), I am talking here about communication infrastructure. So in principle what does it mean? It means If I own the pipes and have control over the valves and let you use them to move water around it doesn’t mean you are independent even if you are completely capable to do it yourself without my assistance. Now why governments control and issue money? Here I wouldn’t go in much economics but in simple words, we as a society have invented that system of governance and have put it in place for a reason, we want order, we want organized society, we want established social norms, we want laws that govern those, we want an enforcement mechanism, we want education, we want health system in place, we want transportation infrastructure in place and so on and so on, you get my point. Now how is that achieved and funded? Through taxation. Now how can taxation be achieved, if the government does not have control over money and every single person have anonymous and complete control over its own money? In a utopian world where everyone is the perfect citizen and an absolute ethical and moral code is the norm, of course, everyone will just pay his taxes for the greater good, but centuries of human existence have gotten us to a point and understanding that is not going to happen anytime soon if at all. So this is why we have built and put in place that system. Not to say it doesn’t have its flaws, but it’s the best we have so far, and Anarchism is not an option for the same reasons. So this is why decentralized money in any form will never be allowed from a political point of view. Even, if you just look at it where are we now with crypto, China and India have completely outlawed cryptos (both counties make up 40% of the world population as of today) don’t expect them to revert at all, will press even harder as popularity and adoption grows. Now, will the rest follow? Absolutely! You don’t see much fuss about it in the western world because there is a quiet agenda that has been underlooked, on one side, there are the western governments that have let the technology to have the space to mature, on the other side you see there is virtually no major bank that is not experimenting with it on the side, calling it just simply Blockchain Technology or Distributed Ledger Technology is one of those first indicators, you can see that half of the cryptos in trading are actually private companies funded by venture capitalists, then you just look at what’s driving the price? Its mainly big financial players pouring money and investing in it, this is where it gets even more interesting because this gives a false illusion this is good for the technology and the false appearance that decentralization is underway bringing big players and wider adoption, but which big players and who is adopting it? For-profit sharks and VCs, Investment funds, and so on, the infrastructure (exchanges) that those trade on are again for profit-driven private companies ready to sell themselves to the highest bidder at any point (meaning Banks will start to acquire those once the technology and infrastructure mature and prove its potential) then comes the 51% attack (if a party or a collection of parties combined control 51% of the network can refuse and reverse transactions, can rearrange blocks in the network and so on, basically manipulating it on will) Side note I just want to mention Etherium classic has suffered 3 such attacks (proof of concentration) in just a month in August last year just days before the core developer conference when they were announcing changes in the PoW mechanism (btw now will say massive financial investment in mining rigs by parties are stalling innovation because those rigs will be irrelevant once the transition happens so money down the drain) To go back to the beginning of the 51% and mention whales, over the past 5+ years crypto has become a playground for the white collars and is literally “controlled” by a small group of people called whales, back in 2017, 1000 accounts were holding 40%+ of all the btc, now 2% of the accounts own 95% of all btc and around 3% are actively trading… Also once upon a time in the early years of bitcoin, there were personal wallets, everyone held the whole blockchain copy on its computer, now usually just miners and large crypto owners do, people who happen to own some small amount keep their crypto in a wallet in the exchanges or cloud services (centralized), the bitcoin network has become so slow and impractical for day to day use (and believe me I have been trying for over 10 years) and its size of about 350GB to date a number which will keep growing infinitely as long as it exists, as well as data corruption on personal devices as well as software maintenance, drives the average user to opt-out of keeping it themselves, the convenience of just having banking like app in the cloud is always preferred (so here is another point where the concept of decentralization and ownership of money fails). This is far from the initial concept and dream of decentralization Satoshi had and you might think you participate in. What we are currently witnessing and will keep witnessing for the next decade is the silent acquisition and assimilation of the technology that will be fully integrated within the current capitalistic system and make use of its advantages while silently dropping the idea of decentralization and private ownership. Now knowing the political side of it is one part, let’s move to my second point. Why true decentralization of money through blockchain will not be achieved in its current state? For such a system to be truly and completely decentralized, it has to operate on an independent hardware infrastructure or some sort of p2p decentralized communication hardware, which unfortunately doesn’t exist and probably never will, because of a couple of reasons, even if there is some random person to invent it as Satoshi did with bitcoin it will still require mass manufacturing and mass adoption to function and I have been thinking about p2p hardware network since I was 14 and inspired to become a hacker. While operating as software on the current network (internet) big brother will always be able to pull the plug on any crypto through ISPs whenever they decide. Neither mass manufacturing on a world scale can be achieved for such a device nor its distribution and adoption by the whole world as an indipendent endeavour… Currently, we have just very few factories around the globe that are producing semiconductors and those are also controlled by corporations and governments. So its wishful thinking and dream on cryptocurrencies will ever be truly decentralized and left by governments to take their role… The big fishes just exploit the tech and its popularity momentum for profit, then it will mature and will be swallowed… anyway, this is not bad particularly, but it won’t be decentralized which so many have been led to believe. At this point, only its application as DLT (noncurrency applications) has any value, its promise of a decentralized currency has failed in conception regardless of what its inceptors have led you to believe, don’t forget they are making tons of money while convincing you that and their financial success puts them in a pink bubble even if they truly believe they will bring financial independence/decentralization. So to come back to the beginning of our conversation, knowing this (which in my case took about 10-12 years participating in crypto) a transaction in crypto is no different than a transaction in using fiat (say bank transfer, paypal or whatever), I am making the case for the environmental cost that we currently incur by participating in a system that functions because of and relies on the promise of financial decentralization which will never achieve. So the cost is a cost and when the end goal is an illusion, to me that brings questions, should I keep being part of it, or should I ring the bell? The problem with the society we see today are not coming from who controls the “accounting notebook” but are problems that have been emphasized by crony-capitalism and the concentration of wealth. Inequality, Poverty, Climate Crisis, Education and Development, Environmental Sustainability, Public health, Human rights, and access to justice are the real ones. Neither of those problems will be solved with a decentralized monetary system even if it existed. Also, the ideology of private property and heritage born in the 17th century and early capitalism is not fit for an ever-increasing world population and modern society, all it does is you end up with more concentration of wealth and even wider inequality and financial privilege, this is what we suffer from now. Sharing economy is the future, universal basic income and so on, it sounds very familiar and many here try to argue that we have seen that with communism and USSR but far from it, communism never succeeded because of the time and the way that was enforced. We live in a time where AI and automation is reality, where resources can be managed and distributed much more efficiently than ~50 years ago, where we can have a planned economy where the necessities of life are free and available to everyone and keep and limit the free market for additional “luxuries” only, with advances in automation and robotics we can transition to a society that has less and less use of money in general. You also brought a point where you said that who controls my money is not important to me, and yes its not, money is means, its a value we give to something, whether printed paper or a data point in computer memory, it doesn’t exist and without social agreement, it has no value on its own. My currency of choice is my time and skills, my intellectual capacity, this is what I believe and invest in, this is what has value and this is what brings me the life I live the way I want it, so who keeps track of numbers is irrelevant, this is a capitalistic mindset that has been culturally imprinted in today’s society and makes capitalism possible, a blind belief that a medium of mass choice has actual value, and funnily enough this is what’s currently pushing the price of crypto, blind belief… so lets not keep distroying our environment, this is something we have control over with the personal choices we make every day.