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I work for a large provider in the VCS/CI space. While I appreciate the varied opinions in the comments here on the perceived usefulness of Crypto, I think folks outside of the space simply do not understand how much time is being spent combating the issue.

If we, for example, had a team of 20 working on our CI offering, we would have re-allocated at least 50% of them to work full-time on combating the miners. And this trend is not slowing, it is only accelerating.

One week, we may have a breakthrough and find some common heuristic in running binaries that identify _this weeks_ miners, but next week they will have figured out that we have figured it out and make the requisite changes. It's something akin to the early days of anti-virus software, but given the 2021 scale of the internet, the iterations are moving at warp speed in comparison.

If you care nothing of the environmental impact (IMO you should), then take a second and ask yourself what your life as a creator of _things_ be like with no free access to CI tooling? I guaranty you that changes to the free tier of ALL CI services are on the way, and I heavily suspect that when that happens, the miners will take over any service offering paid CI where the return outweighs the price. This will lead to an escalation of pricing such that side-project, FOSS, and anything less than large profitable software will be priced out of hosted CI and be forced into a different model.

Stake: No crypto stake of any kind




In short: Cryptocurrencies create a price floor for:

    * Electricity
    * Now hard drives? (some asshat made a "proof of space" system)
    * CI
    * Graphics cards
    * Any general computation


> some asshat

Bram Cohen, the inventor of BitTorrent. I've rarely seen a first-idea to second-idea decline that bad.


What's the argument against Chia?

I fully agree with the article, but perhaps naively am optimistic about Chia.

I see it as a comparatively ethical alternative to other currencies.


It's inherently evil?

Now let's take this to the extreme: What if you mined cryptocurrency by burning medicine? The more you burn, the richer you are. Clearly that's evil, as it rewards you for destroying the world.

In a perfect world you would mine cryptocurrency by making progress in peace on earth, good will towards man.

But if you can answer this: What useful resource, that's expensive to produce and has an environmental impact, do you want to incentivize destroying in order to further your greed?

Can you think of anything? Is it not by its very nature evil?

But consider even what happened under Imperial rule in India: Locals were rewarded for every dead snake they proved to the British. What happened? Obviously they started breeding snakes!

So now you have MORE snakes! You actually made the problem worse!


proof-of-space is actually proof-of-e-waste

either way, it's literally wasting something to show commitment, and that's bad for every reason in the essay


It may reduce the environmental issues, but now miners will just go from hoarding GPUs to hoarding SSDs.


I wouldn't mind paying the dollar a month for the CPU-seconds I consume across all my 'free-tier' personal project CI pipelines, if that were an option.

There just doesn't seem to be a vendor offering something in-between "enterprise CI/CD solution" and "free"; it probably costs more to track that kind of usage than it would be worth to bill?


You can't win this by being reactive. It's the same dynamic as with terrorism. No government can keep terrorism under control, if it just responds to terrorist attacks. You need special task force which infiltrates and basically terrorize terrorists, so that they don`t have time and resources to plan for new attacks. Same with mining, if all miners have to care about is just how to bypass your heuristics, they will always outnumber and outsmart you, but if they will also have to spend time to constantly patch their own code to keep blockchain and mining pools running, meanwhile maintaining consensus that mining shouldn't be dropped all together, to avoid constant proactive attacks on network, only then you stand a chance.


While this is somewhat true, the numbers are not on the side of the defenders here. With terrorist groups, the amount of people who would actually sign up to commit terrorist attacks or even associate with the groups (outside the countries that spawned them) tends to be fairly low. And you're probably not going to make much money, nor are there any real expectations that you could get rich since it's usually more ideological.

Starting up crypto miners, on the other hand, is a very low-risk endeavor. The worst that happens is you have to sign up for a VPN due to getting your IP banned. You probably won't make a ton of money (unless you do some major automation), but you will get something out of it that could dramatically increase in value, and it's probably small enough that it's literally not worth the time for affected companies to have their lawyers draft strongly worded letters, much less pursue you in court.

So, while law enforcement has a very limited number of terrorist groups to infiltrate, groups of crypto-scammers form and dissolve overnight, making it much more difficult to be proactive.


Where do I sign up to help combat miner abuse of CI?




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