Reason Magazine has a remarkable piece. NewsBTC has been defending the Bitcoin is bad news for the environment story for some time now. This is our new tool. The documentary is short but powerful and focuses on an important premise. “Such environmentalist attacks on bitcoin are best understood as a strategy by economic, media, and political elites to undermine a powerful new form of money that they can’t control.” Boom! That’s exactly what’s happening.
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Let’s explore the idea further, but first, let’s let Reason Magazine define who they are and what they stand for:
“Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.”
You’ve been warned. This is the perspective you’ll get from this article and from “The Fake Environmentalist Attack on Bitcoin” Mini-Doc:
It begins with the propaganda state typically uses as its main focus:
“Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are terrible for the environment,” declares Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). “It’s an extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions,” pronounces former Federal Reserve Chair and current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. “It’s a way to both hide dirty money and destroy the environment at the same time,” says Daily Show host Trevor Noah.
Reason Magazine Summarizes The Government’s Perspective
Elizabeth Warren then brings up the most outrageously outrageous stat she has ever heard. A single Bitcoin transaction is said to use the equivalent energy of a 53-day average home. WHAT? Couldn’t these government people control themselves and provide a more plausible number? These fake stats are true or false? Apparently, They are.This is evident in the Discord story.
“Discord’s founder and CEO Jason Citron hinted at possible integration with the Ethereum ecosystem, with NFTs, and with the incoming Web3. Then all hell broke out.
Discord fanatics spammed Citron’s replies and canceled their subscriptions to their Nitro premium service. Discord’s own employees took to social media to express their discomfort. These videogame culture icons rallied the people and gained hundreds of likes and retweets. Why? Environmental concerns.”
Back to Reason’s documentary, Bitcoin spokesperson Nic Carter dismantles the government’s techniques. They establish an exaggerated per transaction cost, and then “extrapolate Bitcoin’s transactional load to hundreds of billions per year.” They’re not dumb, they know that “The electricity consumed by mining isn’t used to power individual transactions.” However, the average citizen doesn’t. Nic Carter closes with, “Bitcoin’s transactions and Bitcoin’s energy use are not really correlated.”
They aren’t. Bitcoin generates one transaction block per ten minutes. Bitcoin could still be mined using only one machine if we reduce the amount of mining.
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These Media Claims are Outlandish To Put it mildly
The mini-documentary’s host is Nick Gillespie, Reason’s Editor At Large. He admits “The energy used by Bitcoin mining has increased significantly and it will continue to grow, but the media claims are outlandish.” As an example, he offers this ridiculous 2017 Newsweek article titled “Bitcoin Mining on Track to Consume All of the World’s Energy by 2020.” As you might suspect, Newsweek’s prediction didn’t come true.
Then, it’s time for some real stats. According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, Bitcoin consumes “just over a hundred terawatt-hours per year.” That’s 117.02, to be exact. That’s on the high end of the spectrum of Nick Hansen’s estimations. The network would use 14.2 Gigawatts/hour, which is equivalent to 124 terawatts per annum. However, “most likely, the Bitcoin network is between 4.2 and 14.2 Gigawatts.” So, it would be considerably less by Hansen’s stats.
Pick the number you trust the most, it’s a worthy investment considering everything Bitcoin brings to the world.
These facts are often ignored by critics
Reason defines mining as”the process through which a global network of computers maintains the bitcoin network through computation. Though energy-intensive, this process is what makes bitcoin a truly decentralized monetary system.” And that’s a fact. Proof-Of-Work is essential to decentralization. There’s no other alternative. A little later, Reason’s Nick Gillespie hits us with another home run, “the work being carried out by this global computer network is what allows Bitcoin to be controlled by mathematical rules instead of human actors vulnerable to government or corporate control.”
Then, the documentary presents another crucial fact, “Miners are incentivized to use energy that would otherwise go to waste.” The Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein puts it in another way, “Bitcoin miners need energy that nobody else wants.” Why? Because it’s cheaper. These are the clear incentives. After that, Reason brings out the ace under Bitcoin’s sleeve, “In the Western United States, mobile Bitcoin miners are already running on electricity derived from unused natural gas from oil wells that can’t be captured because there are no pipelines to carry it.” Luckily for the government, Reason doesn’t bring up everything The Navajo uses Bitcoin mining Nation.
Reason Closing It Off with More Stats
In a questionable move, Reason quotes the Bitcoin Mining Council controversial report. That one puts Bitcoin’s sustainable energy use at around 56%. Let’s quote NewsBTC’s reportThis number should be used.
“The good news is, there’s data to show that Bitcoin’s “mining electricity mix increased to 56% sustainable in Q2 2021.” Is that data valid? That’s another question altogether. These are the findings of The Bitcoin Mining Council.
The results of this survey show that the members of the BMC and participants in the survey are currently utilizing electricity with a 67% sustainable power mix.”
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We can say that because, here at NewsBTC, we’re partial to Bitcoin. Is it good for Reason to use? Perhaps not. But notice that they chose the conservative 56% and not aspirational 67%. The magazine knows what it’s doing. That’s why they brought back Nic Carter to close the documentary, “Bitcoin is a vote of no confidence in the monetary and financial system that exists today.”
That’s exactly what it is. It’s also a great place to be.
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