[Cryptography] Digital currencies

Jeff Burdges burdges at gnunet.org
Tue Jun 21 12:43:11 EDT 2016

On Mon, 2016-06-20 at 12:17 -0400, grarpamp wrote:
> On 6/20/16, Phillip Hallam-Baker <phill at hallambaker.com> wrote:
> > Using as much
> > electricity as the island of Malta does to distribute the ledger is 
> > an abomination.
> Far less than all the electricity consumed by the fiat system
> of the US alone... gov / fed reserve / bank buildings full of
> offices / datacenters / networks / devices, hvac, payroll, healthcare,
> vehicles, maintenance... all the electrons needed to make it go.

It's more precise to say "far less than all the electricity consumed by
the humans who operate the .."

At the transaction level, there are a spectacular number of humans
employed due to the fact that credit cards are based on debt.  It's not
simply debt collectors, but all the humans involved in advertising that
helps trick people into debt.  

You cannot argue in favor of BitCoin based on this poor allocation of
human labor though.  Instead, RSA blind signature based payment schemes
like Taler remove the need for all those humans involved in handling
debt.  http://taler.net 

On Mon, 2016-06-20 at 20:02 -0400, Benjamin Kreuter wrote: 
> Ignoring, of course, the massive difference in scale here.  Bitcoin
> does not even come close to the total number of transactions that even
> a small credit card processor will handle in a given day.

Agreed.  At the same time, there is an enormous cost built into Credit
Cards because they operate through debt.  It's extremely profitable, but
so is exploiting speculation was profitable for BTC investors too.
Both are bad ideas.  We should use transaction systems that avoid all
these problems. 


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