Is crypto ‘mining’ ethical? (No)
Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, will we realise we cannot eat crypto currency. Not even slightly.
I wrote a while ago in the Yorkshire Post regarding the ethics of bitcoin and crypto currency ‘mining.’ The fundamental problem being the vast energy consumption of the process. Creating bitcoins uses more electricity than 159 countries. The effort involved in creating these entirely digital tokens is monumental. It’s a folly, a foolishness, it’s like shooting all the buffalo so their tails can be used to swat flies. It’s a disappointing situation, that given our technological progress and ability, so much combined human effort and materials resources and electricity is focused on creating another illusionary system of finance, even more distorted than the mainstream one. Bitcoin adds zero usefulness to the World. Yes, some people have made a lot of money out of it, but that isn’t a measure of its worth or usefulness. I imagine some people have also become rich from killing elephants, enslaving girls, selling crack, and writing computer viruses. Bitcoin adds no value to the World, yet the vast amount of resources it uses to come into creating is algorytrhmically destined to ever increase. Each bitcoin is harder to ‘mine’ than the one before, and must use more computational power than the one before. There can only ever be 21 million bitcoins created, and the last ones will require enough energy to create as to be comparable to burning every gram of fossil fuel on the planet. Truely, it’s a pointless, dead end, chase the carrot on the stick waste of time, effort, and resources. The media should stop glamourising it and in any way encouraging it, bitcoin prices increases fuel criminality and empower huge organised cybercrime syndicates. It drives increases in the cost of electricity, the burning of coal and fossil fuels, and adds nothing to society, it’s parasitic and exploitative, benefitting the few at the expense of the many, its everything it was supposed to be opposed to.
The only hope is that the vast network of computers built to ‘mine’ these pointless tokens of human greed will one day be reapplied to a more useful purpose.
Here’s an article from Wired on the subject, slightly less prejudiced than mine.