16 responses

  1. Facebook – oliness
    November 18, 2013

    The problem with bitcoin is that it is inefficient and wasteful. Like the gold standard it’s modelled on, it wastes computing resources. You have computers sitting around doing nothing useful, just solving a meaningless cryptographic problem. This is similar to the problem with the gold standard – it’s a waste of work and materials, as miners have to make a huge effort to find gold, only to hoard it away in a bank vault instead of using it.

    The fact that people make money off of it doesn’t refute this. It just shows that’s an empty speculative bubble. As futurists, we should discourage bitcoin because it is wasting valuable computing power that could be put to many other uses. Scrap bitcoin mining and put that computer power into the folding@home project, which is supporting fundamental biology research and contributing to life extension.

    • sjcs88
      November 20, 2013

      I do not agree with you, you see the computing resources in use as a waste because you dont believe in a decentralized virtual currency system. In my view computing power should be used in the way the user wants, at the end of the day it is an extension of our own work. On top of that the “Meaningless cryptograpgic problem” is what gives its value to each Bitcoin, virtual currency NEEDS some characteristics mining is the process where it gets them.

      • Facebook – oliness
        November 20, 2013

        Of course the user can use his computing power in any way he wants, but I’m asking whether bitcoin mining is the best use of that power for the progress of people as a whole. It has no use beyond getting a virtual coin. Whereas something like protein folding or processing data from telescopes has enormous value.

        If we want to design a new virtual currency, then it needs to be one that doesn’t tie up a large amount of processing power that could be put to good use doing things genuinely productive.

      • Facebook – doug.kaerny
        November 25, 2013

        mining for bitcoins helps authenticate the block chain and prevent peoples transactions from being processed incorrectly, without “wasting computer power” on mining bitcoins wouldn’t really be secure, or work at all.
        tell me more about how mining for bitcoins aren’t productive?

      • Facebook – oliness
        November 25, 2013

        It is productive within the system of bitcoin, but my point is that bitcoin itself is using up lots of computing power. And that computing power could be used for something else, like simulating diseases and helping to find cures.

        I understand that mining is necessary within the bitcoin system, but I don’t think it’s a good system because it discourages people from participating in distributed computing programs that are much more useful.

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