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posted by martyb on Saturday January 08, @10:43AM   Printer-friendly
from the charge-the-miners-more? dept.

Kosovo bans cryptocurrency mining after blackouts:

The government says security services will identify and clamp down on sources of cryptocurrency mining.

The mining is energy intensive and involves verifying digital transactions to get cryptocurrencies as a reward.

While all of Europe faces sharp price rises, Kosovo is enforcing rolling blackouts amid an electricity shortage.

The Balkan state's largest coal-fired power plant was shut down last month over a technical issue, forcing the government to import electricity at high prices.

A 60-day state of emergency, declared in December, gave the government powers to allocate more money for energy imports and impose stricter restrictions on power usage.

The blackouts have sparked protests and calls for the resignation of Economy Minister Artane Rizvanolli.

Energy prices are skyrocketing across Europe for various reasons, including low supplies from Russia and high demand for natural gas as economies recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The spike has been fuelled by geopolitical tensions with Russia, which supplies one third of Europe's gas. Russia has rejected European accusations that it has limited gas deliveries while tensions are raised

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by owl on Sunday January 09, @03:03AM (5 children)

    by owl (15206) on Sunday January 09, @03:03AM (#1211181)

    Be careful with comparisons, it is always possible to invent any desired outcome.

    I.e., watch: Research: Bitcoin Consumes Less Than Half The Energy Of The Banking Or Gold Industries []

    A recent report from Galaxy Digital found that the Bitcoin network consumes less than half the energy consumed by the banking or gold industries.

    A recently released research report from Galaxy Digital has calculated the energy consumed by the Bitcoin network and then compared it to other industries, including the banking industry. It found that Bitcoin consumes 113.89 terawatt hours (TWh) per year, while the banking industry consumes 263.72 TWh per year.

    So based on that comparison, Bitcoin is only 43% as bad as the traditional banking sector.

    Now, granted, "Bitcoin" is but one cryptocurrency in the set of cryptocurrencies, but the reality is, these 'comparisons' that begin with "Thing X, uses 3x the Y of country Z" are setting up a specific narrative to convince you to believe a specific point. If there is no discussion of why "country Z" or why "Y" was chosen, then the default assumption should be "to spin the story in the direction someone wanted it spun.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @01:45PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @01:45PM (#1211238)

    OMG! how can bitcoin use less energy then the system it relies on?
    the "price of bitcoin" is always in a fiat currency.
    it makes no sense to say "one bitcoin is valued at 0.78 bitcoins today".
    also so much infrastructure required for cry-top is bought with fiat and energy bills are paid in fiat.
    no fiat, no bitcoin (value).

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @04:46PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 09, @04:46PM (#1211258)
    Next look up the number of transactions done by the banking sector per day vs the number of bitcoin transactions done per day.
  • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Sunday January 09, @05:21PM (2 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Sunday January 09, @05:21PM (#1211268)

    So here's another way of looking at it:
    1. What would happen to the world if all crypto suddenly disappeared?
    2. What would happen to the world if all banking suddenly disappeared?

    That should give you a good gut check about whether crypto is a good use of energy.

    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Monday January 10, @05:36PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Monday January 10, @05:36PM (#1211546) Journal

      That's dumb. The world would keep on ticking, if I didn't get a nice cup of tea every now and again. Sure would suck, though. Just because the world won't come to a screeching halt, if X thing ceased to exist, doesn't make X thing good/bad.

      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday January 10, @05:53PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday January 10, @05:53PM (#1211554)

        It's not about good vs bad, it's about essential vs luxury. When you're trying to allocate resources, "what if it doesn't happen at all" is always a useful question to ask.

        As a simple example, "Should I pay the rent, or should I order another round of drinks?" is an easy question, because of the consequences of not paying the rent vs not buying another round.

        Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.