How will verification work if mining stops? Or will the mining just stop producing new coins but continue being profitable with just the transaction fees?
The profitability of mining never really changes. When rewards for mining increase, profitability briefly increases, but then more miners join, the hash rate goes up, increasing the cost of mining and bringing mining profits back to equilibrium. And vice versa: if rewards for mining were to go down (for example as the block reward reduces according to schedule), the least profitable miners leave, the hash rate goes down, decreasing mining costs and bringing mining profits back to equilibrium.
The hash rate follows total mining rewards (the sum of block rewards and transaction fees). Mining costs follow the hash rate. Mining profitability is the difference between mining costs and mining rewards.
How do you expect to solve the bitcoin problem? Stop mining?
At least the utility of cargo ships is pretty tangible, whereas the utility of bitcoin has yet to manifest itself.
Is it? I've heard that cargo ships are a bubble. They are used only by drug dealers and money launderers. There is no utility of a cargo ship and people who invest in cargo ships are doing that because they believe they will be millionaires. Lol, like moving stuff between places could be worth money!
Do you have any idea how much debate and research there is in the shipping industry to reduce the environmental impact? Meanwhile in the Bitcoin community, apparently no one reads anything other than crypto news and white papers.
High price of bitcoin resulted in surge of "bitcoin is a fraud" kind of articles to HN. Who wants to play bears on Bitcoin market that much?
This is also true for any company handling Bitcoin.
> I'm pretty sure operation of dollar costs much more than operation of Bitcoin.
And if you compare the utility of the two?
It's very worrying that few in the community seems to take this issue seriously.
17.7M barrels of oil annually by bitcoin mining operations
8.16B barrels of oil by US banking sector employees
These numbers don't count the physical infrastructure, servers, and other plant that these businesses own, operate, heat, keep the lights on in.
Here are my sources:
One stat I just read says that the top 20 North American banks employ 1.2 million people. That's 1.2M people eating and commuting 5 days a week for the purpose of supporting fiat.
With a quick investigation:
-US per capita annual barrels of oil: 6800 (1)
-Bitcoin annual Terrawatt hours: 30.1 (2)
-6800 * 1.2M = 8.16B barrels of oil by US banking sector employees (3)
They aren't really "supporting fiat" as you say, they do things that (presumably) have value like storing money, making loans and...whatever else it is that banks do.
If all the world's central banks decided tomorrow to stop the printing presses banks would still have a function in society independent of "supporting fiat" as they have had for a long time.
- Energy required to harvest and process hard currency
- Energy required to run the servers that support electronic transactions for fiat
Then divide that by the overall value of fiat vs bitcoin to see how costly they are per unit of value
The higher the price, the more energy miners can profitably use. The environmental aspect of bitcoin is getting attention because the carbon footprint is no longer hypothetical.
1. Waste is waste and there's only a finite amount of clean energy that can be used. The sun only outputs so much usable energy per day and daming rivers does not happen without consequence.
2. This generates alot of heat. People aren't mining in their house so this is concentrated areas of heat pollution. It may be negligible but environmental hotspots wreak havoc on local ecosystems, especially when dispersed in aquatic ecosystems.
But you are correct, we should not be flying as much, and many people advocate reduced subsidies and increased taxes on flying. Maybe a mining tax would be a good idea.
Completely misses the entire point of why bitcoin was created.