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Yeah except that would create massive amounts of electronics litter..

You can already buy single use phone chargers at convenience stores which, while ecologically horrifying, also speaks to how the economics of mass manufacturing work.

Then again, are single use phone chargers any more ecologically horrifying than non-rechargeable AA batteries or have they simply been around for much longer and have become mundane.

I recently saw those, I was shocked by both the price and the fact they were single use, surely a charging port and the extra circuitry would barely touch the BoM?

I've got a battery bank integrated into my wallet anyway, so I won't be caught out.

Actually, I took apart a similar device, a single-use e-cigarette battery, and it turns out to be identical to the rechargeable version, except on the tiny PCB inside the chip for handling the charging from USB was absent. The battery was the same Li-ion rechargeable, supplied charged up for ~1 days usage. The economics of these cheap electronics are insane...

And a new recycling waste stream.

Fair enough, as long as that would actually happen. I live in the downtown of a major city and on a weekend morning the amount of flyer/advertising garbage that is strewn across the sidewalks and streets as a result of the previous night's flyering is always depressing.

Even now with that all being paper, I'm sure most of it goes to the trash and not to recycling because of how ripped up and soiled it gets.

And Bitcoin doesn't?

Who said anything about Bitcoin?

"Massive amounts of electronic litter" and "amazing how technology has advanced" into a mad rush to waste resources and energy reminded me of this fire, and all the obsolete PC's and GPU's and ASIC's and coal power plants littering the landscape due to Bitcoin mining:



Bitcoin mining consumes enormous amounts of electricity, which is why miners seek out locations that offer cheap energy. The Ordos mine was set up in 2014, making it China’s oldest large-scale bitcoin mining facility. Bitmain acquired it in 2015. It’s powered by electricity mostly from coal-fired power plants. Its daily electricity bill amounts to $39,000. Bitmain also operates other mines in China’s remote areas, like the mountainous Yunnan province in the south and the autonomous region of Xinjiang in the west.


Coal is a killer in China. Coal burning and the secondary effects of sulfate and nitrate contribute to almost half of the dangerous air pollutants in China's polluted cities, compared to 20% from car emissions.

That (i) is absolutely irrelevant to the discussion at hand and (ii) a completely fallacious argument, since Bitcoin mining amounts to less than 0.01% of the world's energy consumption, providing a useful service in return (compare with gold mining, which is actual mindless busywork and consumes way more energy than Bitcoin does.

> less than 0.01% of the world's energy consumption

Actually, it's 0.08% and rising. The energy for 1 transaction could power almost 6 U.S. homes for a full day.


#Bitcoin enables Chinese entrepreneurs to export coal by burning it and using the energy to mine.

— Emin Gün Sirer (@el33th4xor) July 20, 2015


Gold mining doesn't provide a useful service in return, huh? As will_brown pointed out, Bitcoin isn't a necessary ingredient in smartphones, electronics, jewelry, medicine, dentistry, aerospace, glassmaking, like gold is.


Forget about US homes: How many homes in underdeveloped countries could one Bitcoin transaction power?

Only about 5% of gold is used in industry. The rest is stored as bullion or used in jewellery.

You sound very confident with using strong words like "absolutely irrelevant" and "completely fallacious" and "actual mindless busywork" and definitive quantities like "less than 0.01%", when it turns out that your numbers are off by almost an order of magnitude base 10 or three orders of magnitude base 2. So they're only burning eight times more coal than you claim (and rising).

You're saying that because worldwide production of gold is so small and insignificant and practically useless compared to Bitcoin, and since only 5% is used for anything but bullion or jewelry, it doesn't matter and it's absolutely irrelevant to the discussion at hand that the smartphone and computer that you're using contains and depends on gold?

If not for gold, then how would you be communicating your strong confident words and impressive sounding but inaccurate numbers with us? Do you use bitcoin in your smartphone instead of gold?

Where did you get your "less than 0.01%" number and your gold-free smartphone? Is it made of clay?

I could do without the smug lecture, guy. Anyway:

From https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

>16.26 TWh/yr

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_consumption

>109613 TWh/yr

Which yields 0.0148%. So you're right, not less than 0.01%, less than 0.015% instead. Still a far cry from 0.08$.


I would really like to know when have I said my smartphone was gold-free, how that is in any way relevant to the discussion anyway and not a completely inane pseudo-gotcha, I would like to know why you keep linking bitcoin mining to coal (another completely transparent appeal to emotion), I would like to know when have I said worldwide production of gold is insignificant... I would like to know all those things but from the tone of your confident lecture responding to points I didn't even make I conclude you're not really into discussing this. Intellectual dishonesty is more your thing, I presume.


And my point is that gold (of which, again, 95% is "useless" in the sense of not being destined to any practical application) costs on the order of ~1MWh per ounce to mine. At a yearly production of ~3000 metric tons that comes to 109TWh, almost an order of magnitude more than bitcoin.

As an aside: is there a list of the energy consumption of common Internet activity anywhere?

How much is used by a single DuckDuckGo / Bing / Google search? Or Reddit post? Or email?

I'll use that much energy by performing a google search for the answer, and then offset my carbon footprint by performing some extremely accurate mathematical calculations using ancient Babylonian clay tablets, instead of depending on gold:


According to a 2009 post by Google: Together with other work performed before your search even starts (such as building the search index) this amounts to 0.0003 kWh of energy per search, or 1 kJ.

How much energy is required for one Google search? - Quora


Compared to:


How much electricity does an American home use? In 2015, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,812 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 901 kWh per month. Oct 18, 2016

How much electricity does an American home use? - FAQ - U.S. ... - EIA


So if "Electricity consumed per [Bitcoin] transaction (KWh)" is 173.00 kwh, and one Google search consumes 0.0003 kwh, then you can perform 173.00 / 0.0003 = 576,666.67 google searches (over half a million) per Bitcoin transaction.

If a house used 10812 / 365 = 29.62 kwh per day, then you can perform 29.62 / 0.0003 = 98,733.33 Google searches with the energy it takes to power a house for a day, or power the house for (24 * 60 * 60) / ((10812.0 / 365) / 0.0003) = 0.875 seconds with one Google search, if these gold-free clay tablets are as accurate as news reports say they are.

Oh and I sent with a 3c txn fee!

As you type away your response on a smartphone or computer that contains gold (and other mined precious metals).

The gold used in industry amounts to only 5% of gold mined. The vast majority of gold is not mined for "practical" use.

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