A recent news report out of the UK had the police raiding a property in the Midlands with suspiciously high energy usage. They figured it was a grow-op. Instead, it turned out to be a bitcoin mine.
I’ve never given a lot of thought to cryptocurrencies, but this piqued my interest. There are a lot of primers and basic introductions to the subject online so I tried to get somewhat up to speed. I was not entirely successful. I still don’t know what, exactly, a blockchain is, or what bitcoin mining involves. Yes, the former is a ledger and the second refers to the process of validating transactions (which is what I believe takes so much energy), but that doesn’t help a lot.
As with anything involving a lot of tech, a lot of money, and a lot of secrecy, I am suspicious of all of this. “Cutting out the middleman” and facilitating faster financial transactions may be of some value, but they don’t seem like really pressing needs for anyone. Meanwhile, avoiding any oversight is the kind of thing mostly bad actors want to take advantage of.
We know a lot of sketchy businesses exploit the crypto part of cryptocurrency, as it keeps shady dealings hidden in dark markets. Throw in the energy consumption (with cryptomining generating some 22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which is as much as some small countries), and illicit cryptomining (through “permissionless blockchains”) and I’m not sure why governments aren’t cracking down more.
But as I said, it’s a subject I know little about. Given that this is where things are heading I’m going to try to learn more. Not to invest in bitcoins but to better understand what’s going on.
5 thoughts on “Cryptoscepticism”
Well when you get there with it all explain it to me! I’ve been reading up about it and am none the wiser except to know I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole!
Yeah, I definitely wouldn’t invest in it. I don’t think you should invest in things you don’t understand. But what gets me is how shady the whole business is. I have a hard time believing that faster transaction speeds are what’s really driving this.
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No it all sounds very dodgy to me, but I don’t know enough. Telling that the Chinese have made it illegal as it leads to money laundering.
Money laundering seems to me to be a big part of what’s driving this.
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I think so too. WIll stick with my pounds and pennies 🙂