The Green Side
To Understand Bitcoin You Must Understand Fiat
If The Root of All Evil is Money, We Should Dig At The Roots
Fix The Money. Fix The World
Welcome to TGSOB! Bitcoin is often examined from a technical or financial perspective however the environmental impacts of Bitcoin are often overlooked in these discussions. The energy-intensive process of mining Bitcoin and the carbon emissions that result from it have the potential to contribute significantly to climate change if left unchecked – well, after 1-2 hours reading & watching you will learn why Bitcoin is a POSITIVE force!
This work takes a different approach, examining the environmental consequences of Bitcoin and comparing them to the traditional fiat system. It provides a nuanced understanding of the complex trade-offs involved in this emerging technology, and offers a much-needed perspective on the sustainability of Bitcoin.
Table of Contents
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
To be open to new ideas, you must first be willing to question your own beliefs.
To address complex challenges, we must shift our thinking and approach in order to find new solutions. This idea is particularly relevant in the context of Bitcoin, a digital currency that has the potential to revolutionize the financial system and address some of the challenges facing the world today.
The cryptocurrency market has experienced rapid growth in recent years, with Bitcoin (BTC) being the most well-known and widely used digital asset. However, the growing popularity of Bitcoin has also brought attention to its environmental impact. Bitcoin mining, the process by which new transactions are added to the blockchain, requires a significant amount of energy and generates a large carbon footprint. While this may be true, it is myopic – this is
The Green Side Of Bitcoin.
Let’s get started.
The Environmental Impacts of Bitcoin
The Role of Renewable Energy in Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin mining refers to the process of validating and recording transactions on the bitcoin blockchain, which is the decentralized ledger that underlies the bitcoin network. The process of mining requires a significant amount of computing power and energy, which can have a significant impact on the environment if the energy comes from fossil fuels.
One way to reduce the environmental impact of bitcoin mining is through the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Renewable energy sources produce electricity without the need for fossil fuels, which means that they do not produce greenhouse gas emissions.
There are a number of initiatives and companies that are working to increase the use of renewable energy in bitcoin mining. For example, some bitcoin mining operations are located in areas with abundant renewable energy resources, such as hydroelectric dams or wind farms. Others are using on-site renewable energy generation, such as solar panels, to power their mining operations.
Overall, the use of renewable energy in bitcoin mining can help to mitigate the environmental impacts of the bitcoin network and contribute to the transition to a more sustainable energy system. As the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies continues to grow, it will be important to ensure that the energy used to power the networks is sourced from renewable sources.
Innovative Solutions for Achieving a More Sustainable Bitcoin Ecosystem
Stranded energy refers to energy that is produced but cannot be used or sold due to a lack of infrastructure or demand. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including a lack of transmission lines or pipelines to transport the energy, a lack of storage facilities to hold excess energy, or a lack of customers to purchase the energy.
There are several types of stranded energy, including electrical, thermal, and fuel.
Electrical stranded energy refers to electricity that is produced but cannot be transmitted or sold due to a lack of transmission lines or customers.
Thermal stranded energy refers to heat that is produced but cannot be used or sold due to a lack of demand or a lack of suitable storage or distribution systems.
Fuel stranded energy refers to fossil fuels or other types of fuel that are extracted or produced but cannot be transported or sold due to a lack of infrastructure, such as pipelines or tanker ships.
Stranded energy can be a significant issue for energy producers and can result in significant financial losses. It can also be a challenge for governments and policy makers, as stranded energy can limit the ability of a region to meet its energy needs and can hinder economic development.
Bitcoin Miners can deploy highly modular and transportable systems in the field to take advantage of stranded energy
and benefit the environment.
There are several real-world examples of stranded energy that illustrate the impacts of this phenomenon.
One example is the stranded natural gas resources. Natural gas is a clean and abundant source of energy that is found in many parts of the world, including the United States, Russia, and the Middle East. It is a versatile fuel that can be used for electricity generation, heating, and industrial processes, and it is often viewed as a transition fuel to help countries reduce their reliance on coal and other fossil fuels.
However, natural gas can be difficult to transport and sell, particularly in regions without pipelines or liquified natural gas (LNG) terminals. These infrastructure investments are necessary to transport natural gas from the wellhead to markets, and they can be costly and time-consuming to develop. As a result, many natural gas resources are stranded in areas without adequate infrastructure, leading to wasted resources and economic losses for energy producers and governments. In some cases, stranded natural gas may be flared (burned off) due to a lack of demand or infrastructure. Flaring is a common practice in the oil and gas industry, but it can be controversial due to the greenhouse gas emissions it generates. In addition, flared gas represents a missed opportunity to use a valuable energy resource and can result in significant economic losses for energy producers and governments.
Another example is the stranded renewable energy resources that exist in many remote or isolated areas. Renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric power, are often abundant in these regions, but they may be located far from population centers or major markets. This can make it difficult to transport and sell the energy, leading to stranded energy and missed opportunities for economic development.
Finally, stranded energy can also occur when there is a mismatch between energy production and demand. For example, if a region experiences a sudden surge in renewable energy production, such as during a period of strong winds or high solar irradiance, it may produce more energy than the grid can handle. This excess energy may be stranded if there is no way to store it or sell it to other areas. This can lead to financial losses for energy producers and can also result in wasted resources if the excess energy is not used effectively.
As a result, there is a new approach to Bitcoin mining that involves purchasing energy from energy companies during times when there is an excess of renewable energy sources, such as wind or solar. This approach allows miners to continue operating at a high rate while also making use of clean energy. Additionally, during times of energy scarcity, miners can shut off their operations to conserve resources. This helps to make renewable energy more financially viable, as it can still be utilized even when there is no demand for it on the grid
Towards a More Efficient Bitcoin Ecosystem
There are several ways in which the Bitcoin ecosystem can move towards greater sustainability. One approach is to transition to more energy-efficient mining technologies. Currently, most Bitcoin mining is done using specialized computers that consume a large amount of energy to solve complex mathematical problems. These problems are designed to be difficult to solve, but easy to verify, which ensures the security of the Bitcoin network. However, new technologies, such as specialized chips known as application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), can significantly reduce the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining.
Moore’s law is a prediction made by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, in 1965 that the number of transistors on a microchip would double approximately every two years, leading to exponential increases in computing power and decreases in cost. This prediction has largely held true for the past several decades, with the number of transistors on a microchip increasing from a few thousand in the 1970s to over a billion today.
Moore’s law has driven the rapid development and improvement of computer technology, leading to the widespread use of computers in a variety of industries and the development of new technologies such as the internet. It has also had a significant impact on the global economy, with the increasing power and affordability of computers driving innovation and productivity.
However, Moore’s law has also faced challenges in recent years as the physical limits of microchip technology have been reached. As transistors continue to shrink in size, they become more difficult to manufacture and are more prone to defects. This has led some experts to predict that Moore’s law may eventually come to an end, though others believe that new technologies and approaches will be developed to continue the trend of exponential increases in computing power.
The Potential for Bitcoin to Promote Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is a concept that has gained increasing attention in recent years as the world faces challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and social inequality. The term refers to the idea that economic, social, and environmental goals should be balanced and pursued in a way that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
One of the key frameworks for understanding sustainable development is the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These 17 goals, which were adopted in 2015, aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all.
Some of the key goals include:
- No Poverty: to eradicate extreme poverty and reduce inequality for all people
- Zero Hunger: to end hunger and malnutrition, and to promote sustainable agriculture
- Good Health and Well-Being: to ensure universal access to healthcare and to combat diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria
- Quality Education: to provide inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
- Gender Equality: to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls
- Clean Water and Sanitation: to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
- Affordable and Clean Energy: to increase the use of renewable energy and to improve energy efficiency
- Climate Action: to take urgent and ambitious action to combat climate change and its impacts
In order to achieve these goals, it will be necessary for governments, businesses, and civil society organizations to work together to find innovative and sustainable solutions. This will require a shift towards more sustainable patterns of consumption and production, as well as greater efforts to protect and restore the natural environment.
Despite some progress, the current state of sustainable development is still far from meeting the needs of all people and the planet. Many of the SDGs, such as those related to poverty and climate change, remain far from being achieved. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the interconnected nature of global challenges and the need for more resilient and sustainable systems.
To build a more sustainable future, it will be necessary to address the root causes of these challenges and to work towards a more equitable and inclusive world. This will require transformative changes at all levels of society, from the individual to the global, and will require the involvement and commitment of all actors, including governments, civil society, and the private sector.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness
that created it.”
Decentralization and Environmental Protection
Decentralization refers to the distribution of power, authority, and decision-making away from a central authority or location. In the context of technology, decentralization often refers to the creation of decentralized networks and systems that allow for greater autonomy and control by individual users.
One area where decentralization has the potential to make a positive impact is in the realm of environmental protection. By decentralizing the production and distribution of energy, for example, it is possible to reduce the negative environmental impacts of centralized power plants and transmission lines.
One way to achieve decentralization in the energy sector is through the use of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. These sources of energy can be generated and used locally, reducing the need for long-distance transmission and the associated environmental impacts.
Another way to decentralize energy production is through the use of microgrids, which are small-scale electrical grids that can operate independently from the traditional grid. Microgrids can be powered by renewable energy sources and can help to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, which are a major contributor to climate change.
Decentralization can also help to reduce the environmental impacts of transportation. For example, the use of electric and self-driving vehicles can reduce the need for individual car ownership and the associated environmental impacts.
Overall, decentralization has the potential to promote environmental protection by reducing the negative impacts of centralized systems and promoting the use of sustainable technologies. By enabling individuals and communities to take control of their own energy production and transportation, decentralization can help to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. Bitcoin provides a further incentive to do this.
Financial Inclusion and Reducing Remittance Fees with Bitcoin
One of the main potential benefits of Bitcoin is its ability to facilitate financial inclusion. The traditional financial system often excludes marginalized communities, such as those living in poverty or in countries with unstable currencies. Bitcoin, on the other hand, can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, making it a potential solution for those who are excluded from the traditional financial system.
In addition to promoting financial inclusion, Bitcoin could also help to reduce the costs and friction associated with traditional financial transactions. The use of intermediaries, such as banks and payment processors, can add layers of complexity and cost to financial transactions. Bitcoin, on the other hand, allows for direct, peer-to-peer transactions without the need for intermediaries, which could lead to lower fees and faster processing times.
Overall, the potential benefits of Bitcoin as a solution to some of the world’s challenges highlight the importance of looking beyond traditional approaches and considering innovative solutions. As Einstein’s quote suggests, it may be necessary to shift our thinking and approach in order to address complex problems and create a more sustainable and equitable future. By enabling people to send and receive money more easily and at a lower cost, bitcoin can help to improve the financial lives of people around the world and contribute to economic development and environmental sustainability.
Exploring the Use of Bitcoin for Promoting Environmental
Conservation, Protection & Responsibility
There are several ways in which bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could potentially be used to promote environmental conservation and protection. Some potential ideas include:
- Using bitcoin and blockchain technology to track and verify the origin and supply chain of environmentally-friendly products, such as sustainably-sourced timber or fair trade coffee. This could help to ensure that consumers are able to make informed decisions about the products they purchase and promote environmentally-friendly practices within the supply chain.
- Implementing carbon offset programs that allow individuals and businesses to offset their carbon emissions by making payments in bitcoin to fund environmental conservation projects.
- Using bitcoin and blockchain technology to facilitate the trading of carbon credits or other environmental assets, such as water rights. This could help to create financial incentives for businesses and individuals to reduce their environmental impacts.
- Developing cryptocurrency mining operations that are powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power. This could help to reduce the carbon emissions associated with bitcoin mining.
- Implementing blockchain-based systems for tracking and verifying the conservation efforts of businesses and organizations, such as protected areas or reforestation projects. This could help to ensure that these efforts are transparent and verifiable. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency that utilizes a public ledger, known as the blockchain, to record and verify transactions. The blockchain is a distributed database that is maintained by a network of computers, known as “nodes,” which work together to validate and record transactions on the network.
One of the key features of the blockchain is that it is a public ledger, which means that all transactions that take place on the network are recorded and can be viewed by anyone. This transparency makes it possible to track and monitor the movement of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Community-Led Efforts to Promote Environmental Sustainability in the Bitcoin Ecosystem
There are a number of community-led efforts to promote environmental sustainability in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Some examples include:
- The Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative is a project that aims to increase the use of renewable energy in Bitcoin mining. It encourages miners to switch to renewable energy sources and provides resources and support to help them make the transition.
- The research report, titled “Bitcoin Is Key To An Abundant, Clean Energy Future,” was released as part of Square’s Bitcoin Clean Energy Initiative, an ongoing effort to support companies working to integrate green energy technologies within bitcoin mining. Square also supports Bitcoin projects financially through its Square Crypto arm and offers BTC for sale through its payments app Cash App.
- The Bitcoin Mining Council is a group of leading Bitcoin mining companies that have come together to promote the use of renewable energy in the mining industry. The council aims to increase transparency and accountability in the industry, and to work towards reducing the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining.
- The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index is a tool that tracks the energy consumption of the Bitcoin network in real-time. It provides data and insights on the energy usage of Bitcoin mining and helps the community understand the environmental impact of the network.
- The BitGive Foundation is a nonprofit organization that uses Bitcoin and blockchain technology to improve public health and the environment. Some of the projects that the BitGive Foundation has supported include providing clean water to communities in developing countries and supporting reforestation efforts.
- The Bitcoin Schools project is a initiative that aims to promote the use of Bitcoin in education. Through this project, schools can receive donations in Bitcoin and use the funds to purchase equipment, materials, and other resources enhancing
education, infrastructure, extracurricular programs, and employment opportunities.
- The Bitcoin Relief Fund is an organization that uses Bitcoin to raise funds for disaster relief efforts around the world. By accepting donations in Bitcoin, the organization can quickly and efficiently transfer funds to those in need and provide assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters and other emergencies. (via transparent blockchain, real purchases can be verified)
Exploring the Use of Bitcoin for Carbon Offsetting and Climate Action
One of the key factors that determines the carbon footprint of bitcoin is the source of the energy used to power the network. If the energy comes from fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, the carbon footprint of bitcoin will be higher. On the other hand, if the energy comes from renewable sources, such as solar or wind power, the carbon footprint of bitcoin will be lower. The carbon footprint of bitcoin has been a topic of ongoing debate and controversy. Some studies have suggested that the carbon footprint of bitcoin is relatively small compared to other industries, while others have argued that it is significantly larger.
Carbon offsetting is a way to mitigate the impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by funding projects that remove or reduce CO2 from the atmosphere. This can be done through a variety of means, including reforestation, renewable energy projects, and energy efficiency measures. Bitcoin has the potential to play a role in carbon offsetting and climate action through the use of carbon credits. Carbon credits are units of measurement that represent the reduction or removal of one ton of CO2 from the atmosphere. They can be bought and sold on carbon markets, and can be used by companies and individuals to offset their own emissions.
One way that Bitcoin can be used for carbon offsetting is by allowing individuals and businesses to purchase carbon credits using cryptocurrency. This can make it easier for people to participate in carbon offsetting, as it eliminates the need for traditional financial intermediaries and allows for fast and secure transactions.
In addition, the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network means that it can facilitate peer-to-peer carbon trading. This allows individuals and businesses to buy and sell carbon credits directly with each other, without the need for a central authority or exchange. This can help to increase the efficiency and transparency of the carbon offsetting market, as it allows for direct communication between buyers and sellers.
Overall, while Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not a complete solution to the problem of climate change, they do have the potential to facilitate the development and adoption of clean energy technologies and help to offset carbon emissions. As the use of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, it will be important to carefully consider their potential role in carbon offsetting and climate action.
Bitcoin’s Role in Driving Innovation in Clean Energy
In recent years, Bitcoin has gained significant attention for its potential to drive innovation in clean energy. This is because Bitcoin mining operations are typically located in areas with access to cheap and plentiful electricity. As such, they have the potential to be powered by renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power.
In addition, the decentralized nature of the Bitcoin network means that it can be used to facilitate peer-to-peer energy trading. This allows individuals and businesses to sell excess renewable energy directly to others, without the need for a central authority or utility company. This can help to increase the adoption and deployment of clean energy technologies, as it provides an economic incentive for individuals and businesses to generate and use renewable energy. Furthermore, Bitcoin’s PoW infrastructure is decentralized and can operate without the need for a central authority or intermediary. This means that it does not require physical infrastructure in the same way that traditional finance systems do. As a result, there is an economic incentive to set up where energy is cheapest or renewable.
El Salvador, a small Central American country known for its volcanoes and beaches, has recently made headlines for its innovative approach to bitcoin mining. In an effort to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and combat climate change, the government of El Salvador has partnered with private companies to harness the power of its volcanoes and other natural resources to mine bitcoin.
Using geothermal energy from the volcano and solar panels installed on the slopes of the mountain, El Salvador’s bitcoin mining operations are completely powered by renewable energy sources. This cutting-edge approach has not only reduced the country’s carbon footprint, but it has also made El Salvador a leader in the world of bitcoin mining.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the government of El Salvador has also seen economic benefits from its bitcoin mining efforts. The revenue generated from the mining operations has helped to boost the country’s economy and improve living standards for its citizens. Overall, El Salvador’s innovative approach to bitcoin mining using renewable energy and its natural resources has not only helped to combat climate change, but it has also helped to improve the lives of its people.
The Role of Governments and Regulators in Promoting Environmental Responsibility in Bitcoin
As Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained in popularity and mainstream adoption, governments and regulators around the world have begun to take notice and consider how to address the potential environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining and use.
One way that governments and regulators can promote environmental responsibility in the cryptocurrency sector is through the use of regulations and incentives. For example, governments could require cryptocurrency mining operations to meet certain environmental standards, such as using renewable energy sources or limiting their carbon emissions. This could help to reduce the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining and encourage the adoption of clean energy technologies.
In addition, governments and regulators can use financial incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy in the cryptocurrency sector. For example, they could offer tax breaks or subsidies to cryptocurrency mining operations that use renewable energy sources. This could provide a financial incentive for miners to switch to cleaner energy sources and reduce their carbon footprint.
Another way that governments and regulators can promote environmental responsibility in the cryptocurrency sector is through education and outreach efforts. This could include providing information and resources to help individuals and businesses understand the environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining and use, and encouraging them to adopt more sustainable practices.
Bitcoin and The Circular Economy
The circular economy is an economic model that is based on the principles of resource efficiency, waste reduction, and sustainability. It aims to create closed-loop systems in which resources are reused and repurposed instead of being discarded.
Bitcoin can potentially be beneficial for the circular economy in a number of ways:
- Bitcoin can provide a secure and transparent way to track the ownership and movement of resources as they move through the circular economy. This can help facilitate the reuse and repurposing of resources, and enable more efficient resource management.
- Bitcoin can be used to facilitate the exchange of value between different actors in the circular economy, such as consumers, producers, and waste management companies. This can help create new economic incentives for resource efficiency and waste reduction.
- Bitcoin can help create new business models that are based on the principles of the circular economy. For example, it can enable the development of peer-to-peer marketplaces that facilitate the sharing and reuse of resources.
- Bitcoin can also help reduce the environmental impact of economic activity by enabling the use of digital currencies instead of physical cash. This can help reduce the need for resource-intensive activities such as printing and transporting paper currency.
Overall, the use of Bitcoin in the circular economy has the potential to help create more efficient and sustainable economic systems.
The Role of Industry Standards and Certification
in Promoting Environmental Responsibility in Bitcoin
Industry standards and certification programs have emerged as a way to promote environmental responsibility in the Bitcoin industry. These programs aim to establish guidelines for sustainable mining practices and to recognize companies that meet these standards. By promoting environmentally responsible mining practices, industry standards and certification programs can help to reduce the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and improve the overall sustainability of the industry.
One example of an industry standard for sustainable Bitcoin mining is the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4) Bitcoin Mining Standard. This standard establishes guidelines for energy efficiency, renewable energy usage, and waste reduction in Bitcoin mining operations. Companies that meet these guidelines can earn C4 certification, which serves as a symbol of their commitment to sustainability.
Another example is the Bitcoin Mining Council, which was formed in May 2021 in response to growing concerns about the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. The council is made up of major Bitcoin mining companies and is focused on promoting transparency and sustainability in the industry. One of the council’s goals is to establish industry-wide standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy usage in Bitcoin mining.
In addition to industry standards, there are also certification programs that recognize individual Bitcoin mining facilities for their sustainability efforts. One such program is the Blockchain Infrastructure and Services Standard (BISS), which evaluates the environmental performance of Bitcoin mining facilities and awards certification to those that meet its standards.
Overall, industry standards and certification programs play a crucial role in promoting environmental responsibility in the Bitcoin industry. By establishing guidelines for sustainable mining practices and recognizing companies that meet these standards, these programs can help to reduce the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining and improve the overall sustainability of the industry.
Conclusions and Recommendations for a More Sustainable Bitcoin Future
Here are some potential conclusions and recommendations for a more sustainable Bitcoin future:
- Increase the use of renewable energy in Bitcoin mining: This can be achieved by providing incentives for miners to switch to renewable energy sources, such as through carbon pricing or renewable energy credits.
- Enhance energy efficiency in Bitcoin mining: Improving the energy efficiency of Bitcoin mining hardware and operations can also help reduce the environmental impact of the network. This can be achieved through technological innovation and better management of mining operations.
- Promote the use of second-layer solutions: Second-layer solutions, such as the Lightning Network, can help reduce the energy consumption of the Bitcoin network by offloading some transactions from the main blockchain. Promoting the use of these solutions can help reduce the environmental impact of the network.
- Encourage the use of Bitcoin in a responsible and sustainable way: The community can also play a role in promoting the use of Bitcoin in a more sustainable way. This can involve educating users about the environmental impacts of Bitcoin and encouraging them to use it in a responsible manner.
- Increase transparency and accountability in the Bitcoin industry: To ensure that the network is operated in a sustainable and responsible manner. This can involve promoting greater disclosure of energy usage and carbon emissions by mining companies, and encouraging the adoption of industry-wide standards and best practices.
The Environmental Impacts of
The Traditional Financial System
The Physical Energy Consumption of the
Traditional Financial System
The traditional financial system plays a significant role in the global economy, facilitating the exchange of goods and services, managing risk, and facilitating investment. However, this system also has significant energy consumption, environmental impacts and carbon emissions associated with it. It is difficult to quantify the exact energy cost of fiat currency, as it depends on various factors such as the type of currency, the methods used for production and distribution, and the infrastructure in place for financial transactions.
The energy consumption of the entire banking system is complex and diverse. It is hard to quantify as an industry that operates on a global scale and the indirect environmental consequences are myriad and extensive. The negative environmental impacts associated with traditional financial systems include; Carbon emissions, Resource consumption, Waste generation, Land use, Pollution, Deforestation, Water scarcity and Habitat destruction.
The components of the fiat system that inflict these negative impacts are as follows:
- Physical buildings: The banking system consists of a large number of physical buildings, including branches, offices, data centers, and other facilities. These buildings require energy for lighting, heating and cooling, elevators and escalators. and the operation of electrical equipment. This includes the energy used to operate exchanges, clearinghouses, and other financial market infrastructure, as well as the energy used to support financial services such as payment processing and data management.
- Heating and cooling systems: Many banks have large, complex heating and cooling systems in place to maintain a comfortable temperature in their buildings. These systems require energy to operate.
- Logistics and transportation: The banking system involves the transportation of people, documents, coins, physical assets, cash, financial products, equipment, ATM’s, uniforms, office equipment (pens,paper, fans, etc) . This transportation often requires energy in the form of gasoline or diesel fuel. Financial institutions often have employees and assets located around the world, leading to significant energy use for air and ground transportation.
- Production of cash and coins: The production of cash and coins also requires energy, as it involves the operation of manufacturing facilities and the transportation of the finished products to banks and other distribution points. In addition, the production of cash and coins can have negative environmental impacts in other ways. One significant impact is the use of natural resources, such as paper and metal, in the production of cash and coins. The production of paper and metal often involves the use of toxic chemicals, and the extraction of these resources can have negative impacts on forests and other ecosystems. For example, the production of paper and pulp can lead to deforestation, as trees are cut down to make way for new plantations. Similarly, metal mining can have negative impacts on the environment, including water pollution and habitat destruction. Another environmental impact of cash and coin production is the use of plastic. The production of plastic requires energy, and it can produce greenhouse gases and other pollutants as a byproduct.
- Data centers: The banking system relies heavily on digital infrastructure and technology. One major source of energy consumption in the financial sector is the data centers that support online banking, trading, and other financial services. Data centers require large amounts of electricity to power and cool their servers, and the energy demand of these facilities is expected to increase as financial institutions rely more heavily on digital technologies. In addition, the financial sector is responsible for significant energy use in buildings, including office buildings, branch locations, and trading floors.
In conclusion, the environmental costs of banking and financial services are a significant and often overlooked aspect of the traditional fiat financial system. From the energy used to power bank branches and data centers, to the carbon emissions associated with transportation and the millions of people employed in the sector, the financial sector has a significant impact on the planet.
The Invisible Importance of Sound Money
This segment is not about the differences between gold and bitcoin, but rather about the differences between fiat money and sound money and their respective environmental impact.
“Because Gold is honest money, it is disliked by dishonest men.”
Fiat money is currency that is issued by a government and is not backed by any physical commodity, such as gold or silver. Instead, it is based on the faith and credit of the issuing government. Sound (Hard) money, on the other hand, is a type of currency that is itself (or backed by) a physical commodity, such as gold/silver, and is used as a store of value.
As Mike Maloney says in his must watch series Hidden Secrets of Money
“Your true wealth is your time and freedom. Money is just a tool for trading your time. It’s a container to store your economic energy until you’re ready to deploy it. But the whole world has been turned away from real money and has been fooled into using currency”
Gold/Silver and Bitcoin are often mentioned in the same breath as alternatives to the fiat financial system. While these two assets have some notable differences, they also share some important similarities. One similarity between gold and bitcoin is that they both have a limited supply. Gold is a finite resource, and there is only a certain amount of it that can be extracted from the earth. Similarly, the supply of bitcoin is capped at 21 million units, and the rate at which new bitcoins are released is designed to slow over time. This limited supply gives both gold and bitcoin value as a store of wealth and a hedge against inflation.
Another similarity is that both gold and bitcoin are decentralized assets, meaning they are not controlled by any government or central authority. Gold has been used as a store of value for centuries, and it is not beholden to any particular government or financial system. Similarly, bitcoin was designed to be a decentralized currency that is not subject to the control of any central authority.
Despite these similarities, gold and bitcoin also have some notable differences. For example, gold has a much longer history as a store of value, whereas bitcoin is a relatively new asset. In addition, gold is a physical asset that can be held and stored, whereas bitcoin is a digital asset that exists on the blockchain.
Overall, gold and bitcoin are both alternatives to the fiat financial system in that they are not controlled by any central authority and have a limited supply. It is not within the scope of this work to compare the two, but instead to examine the environmental impacts of the competing fiat vs sound money systems.
Currency was invented as a way to simplify and facilitate trade by serving as a common denominator for the value of different goods and services. With currency, people can exchange different kinds of goods and services more easily, as they can use a common currency to compare the value of different items. This allows people to trade more efficiently, as they can focus on finding someone who is willing to trade for what they have, rather than trying to match the specific goods or services that are being exchanged.
From an energy perspective, money represents the work, time, and value that go into producing and exchanging goods and services. The production of goods and services requires energy, whether it is the energy used to grow crops, manufacture products, or provide services. This energy can be thought of as the “work” that goes into producing these items, and the value of these items can be measured in terms of the time and resources that were required to produce them. Money serves as a way to quantify this work, time, and value, allowing people to trade and exchange goods and services more easily.
As Mike Maloney states in his Hidden Secrets Of Money Series – wealth is never lost nor created but merely transferred. One who saw this first was Richard Buckminster Fuller, often referred to as the “grandfather of the future”, Fuller was an accomplished American architect, systems theorist, author, and inventor. Before his death on July 1, 1983, Buckminster Fuller was critical of the financial system. In a 1967 interview, Fuller spoke about the potential for a new currency that would promote wealth – very resemblant of cryptocurrency today. He argued that true wealth is not gold or other material possessions, but rather energy.
The systems theorist and author knew quite well that the old systems of finance and governance were antiquated and could not be fixed by fighting the status quo’s current infrastructure. Fuller is famously quoted for saying:
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model
that makes the existing model obsolete ”
How the Law of Conservation of Energy is
Synonymous with Store of Value
The first law of thermodynamics, also known as the law of energy conservation, states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another. This means that the total amount of energy in a closed system remains constant, even as energy is transferred or converted within the system.
Interesting Fact – Isaac Newton, famous for his work on the laws of thermodynamics, was in fact Master of the Royal Mint 1696-1727
This concept has important implications for understanding the nature of reality and the relationships between different systems and phenomena. It suggests that everything in the universe is connected through the flow of energy, and that the world we experience is the result of the constant exchange and transformation of energy.
It has important applications in a wide range of fields, including physics, engineering, and biology.
1. In physics, and more specifically in the realm of enterprise, business, and capitalism, the first law of thermodynamics can be applied to understand the role of energy in the production and consumption of goods and services. For example, it can be used to understand the energy efficiency of different production processes and the energy costs associated with different products. It can be used to study the energy impacts of transportation and logistics, and to develop strategies for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. It can also be used to understand the energy implications of trade and globalization, and to assess the environmental costs and benefits of different economic development strategies. This can be important for businesses that are looking to minimize their energy costs and maximize their profits.
2. In engineering, the first law is used to design and analyze systems that involve energy conversion. For example, it is used to understand the efficiency of heat engines, such as car engines and power plants, and to design refrigeration systems that transfer heat from one location to another. It is also used to design and optimize energy-efficient buildings and appliances.
3. In biological systems and processes, for example, it can be used to study the energy requirements of different plant and animal species, and to understand the energy flows that occur within ecosystems. This can be important for businesses that are involved in agriculture, forestry, and other activities that depend on the productivity of biological systems.
The first law can also be used to understand the energy implications of different technologies and products that have a biological component, such as bioplastics, biofuels, and pharmaceuticals. For example, it can be used to assess the energy efficiency of different production processes and to evaluate the environmental impacts of different products.
Overall, the first law of thermodynamics provides a framework for understanding the role of energy and it can be used to inform decision-making and policy development in these areas. By applying the first law, businesses and policymakers can identify opportunities to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and minimize negative environmental impacts.
The idea that everything is based around energy is a profound way to understand the fundamental nature of the universe and the relationships between different systems and phenomena. It helps to highlight the interconnectedness of all things and the importance of energy in shaping the world we experience. Economics can be thought of as the flow of energy, time, and value around the world. Energy, in the form of labor and resources, is used to produce goods and services, which are then exchanged for value, typically in the form of money.
If currency is a means to measure ‘energetic’ value – what effect does printing currency have on the environment!?
Inflation is generally understood to be an increase in the general price level of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; this means that the purchasing power of currency has decreased.
There are several reasons why, short-term, prices may go up, the emphasis here is time-horizon. These include:
- Increase in demand: If there is an increase in demand for a particular good or service, the price may go up as producers try to take advantage of the increased demand by charging higher prices.
- Decrease in supply: If there is a decrease in the supply of a particular good or service, the price may go up as producers try to maximize their profits by charging higher prices.
- Increase in production costs: If the cost of producing a particular good or service goes up, the price may go up as producers try to pass on the higher costs to consumers.
- Government policies: Government policies, such as taxes or tariffs, can also cause prices to go up.
- Market power: If a particular company or industry has a lot of market power, it may be able to raise prices without losing too many customers.
- Exchange rates: Changes in exchange rates can affect the price of imported goods and services, as the cost of these goods and services may go up or down depending on the value of the currency in which they are priced.
- Disasters: such as hurricanes, droughts, war etc can disrupt the production and distribution of goods and services, which can lead to an increase in prices.
Now think long-term
Cast your mind back to buying penny-sweets, reminisce on pocket money and how much you’d get compared to today. Why was a house in 1980 one fifth of the price today when hardly anything has changed, when if anything it has deteriorated? Ask yourself why do I have to pay more for what is essentially the same product? Well yes it is to do with purchasing power – and loss of said purchasing power – this is due to inflation in its true sense.
Inflation is the increase in prices due to the increase in currency supply.
Now you see the importance of Bitcoin’s maximum supply being 21 million.
Fiat Currency in a Circular Economy
The circular economy is an economic model that aims to minimize waste and promote the continual use of resources. It is based on the principles of the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle. In a circular economy, resources are used as efficiently as possible, and waste is minimized by finding ways to reuse or recycle materials rather than disposing of them.
One of the main challenges to implementing a circular economy is the use of an inflationary currency, such as fiat money. The ‘three R’s’ here are thwarted by being within a fiat monetary system where the value of savings is reduced (purchasing power lost due to inflation). If the aim is to conserve as much energy as possible, yet the token/ticket/currency we use to account for the transfer of value through or around the circular economy model is inaccurate then the model is broken by design. Furthermore, inflationary currencies can create incentives for businesses to extract and consume resources as quickly as possible, rather than finding ways to reuse or recycle them.
This can make it difficult to implement a circular economy because businesses may be more focused on short-term profits than on long-term sustainability. To support the transition to a circular economy, it may be necessary to consider alternative economic models, such as resource-based economics or steady-state economics, that do not rely on the continuous growth of an inflationary currency.
Copernicus & GDP
The current economic & financial system can be compared to the geocentric model of the universe proposed by Copernicus, in that it is based on a flawed understanding of the world. The geocentric model, which was widely accepted for centuries, posited that the Earth was the center of the universe and that all other celestial bodies revolved around it. However, this model was eventually proven to be incorrect by scientists such as Galileo and Kepler, who demonstrated that the Earth and other planets actually revolve around the sun.
Similarly, the current economic system is based on the belief that unlimited economic growth is possible and desirable. This belief is reflected in the way that GDP (gross domestic product) is used as a primary measure of a country’s economic success, with the assumption being that a higher GDP is always better. However, this belief ignores the fact that the Earth has finite resources and that unlimited economic growth is not possible without causing harm to the environment and depleting natural resources.
The Doughnut Economy
The Doughnut Economy: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist is a book by economist Kate Raworth that presents a new economic model for achieving social and environmental sustainability. Raworth argues that the current economic model, which is focused on GDP growth as a primary goal, is unsustainable and needs to be reimagined.
Raworth’s proposed model is based on the idea of the “doughnut,” which consists of a socially and environmentally safe and just space within a “doughnut hole” (representing the ecological ceiling) and an outer ring (representing the social foundation). According to Raworth, the goal of the economy should be to operate within the safe and just space of the doughnut, rather than focusing on GDP growth.
To achieve this goal, Raworth argues that the economy needs to be redesigned to prioritize the needs of people and the planet, rather than the pursuit of profit. This includes rethinking the way that we measure economic success, shifting away from GDP and towards more holistic measures of well-being and sustainability. Raworth also advocates for a range of policy interventions, including reforms to the financial system and the creation of new institutions that can better support the transition to a more sustainable economy.
Overall, The Doughnut Economy presents a vision for a more sustainable and equitable economic model, and offers practical recommendations for how to achieve it.
Here is a pictorial summary of her 7 ways to think
Bitcoin enables ALL 7 !
How Proof of Stake (PoS) is Fiat Re-Incarnate
There are also a growing number of alternative cryptographic blockchain-based systems that use peer-to-peer networks and cryptographic techniques to facilitate financial transactions. It is important to recognise Bitcoin is unique as a decentralized Proof of Work system. So what’s the problem with Proof of Stake?
Proof of stake (PoS) is a consensus algorithm used by some blockchain networks to validate transactions and add new blocks to the chain – the most recognised projects being Ethereum, Binance & Polkadot. In a PoS system, validators (also known as “stakers”) are chosen to create new blocks based on the amount of cryptocurrency that they hold and are willing to “stake” as collateral. This is in contrast to proof of work (PoW) systems, like Bitcoin, in which validators (also known as “miners”) are chosen based on their ability to solve complex mathematical problems – requiring ENERGY expenditure via computer processing power. Herein lies the key point, an impossible amount of energy expenditure is the limiting factor in obtaining centralized control over the network – so no trust is required from a centralized authority (the monetary protocol and a fixed supply is maintained)
PoS is essentially a form of fiat currency, meaning it has value only because people believe it has value and agree to use it as a medium of exchange. PoS relies on the belief that the cryptocurrency being staked has value, and that this value will be maintained or even increase over time. This belief is similar to the belief that underlies fiat currencies, which are not backed by any physical commodity and rely on the belief that they will retain their value in order to function as a medium of exchange. Furthermore, PoS systems can lead to centralization of the network, as the validators with the most stake (i.e. the largest amount of cryptocurrency) are more likely to be chosen to create new blocks and earn rewards. This can create a power imbalance, as a small group of wealthy stakeholders can effectively control the network. Interestingly, the marketing hype around the power of decentralization in PoS systems is somewhat misguided, for example, to access these projects, users have to visit webpages hosted by a CENTRALIZED Amazon Web Services, wallet addresses can be blocked, transactions frozen, addresses tracked, etc etc.
The Devastation of War, The Environment & Currency
While fiat money has been in use for centuries, it has also been a source of controversy and has been linked to the outbreak of economic instability and wars in several instances throughout history. One of the main reasons why fiat money has been a contributing factor in the outbreak of wars is that it is vulnerable to inflation. Every fiat currency eventually reaches its intrinsic value of 0 through the inevitable continuation of currency printing.
“Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value – zero ”
When a government prints more money than it can back with physical resources, it can lead to an excess supply of money in circulation, resulting in a decrease in the purchasing power of the currency. This can lead to economic instability, as people lose confidence in the value of their money. Inflation can also lead to social unrest, as people become discontent with the rising prices of goods and services.
Inflation has been a contributing factor in the outbreak of several wars throughout history. For example, during World War I, both the Allied and Central powers experienced high levels of inflation due to the heavy costs of the war. The German government, in particular, financed the war largely through the printing of more money, leading to hyperinflation in the country. The high cost of living and widespread poverty that resulted from the hyperinflation played a role in the rise of the Nazi party and the eventual outbreak of World War II.
Another reason why fiat money has been a contributing factor in the outbreak of wars is that it can be used as a tool of economic warfare. Governments have sometimes intentionally caused inflation in other countries by flooding their markets with their own fiat currency, in an effort to disrupt their economies and weaken their political power. This was the case during the American Revolutionary War, when the British government flooded the American colonies with British pounds in an effort to destabilize the colonies’ economy and undermine their independence movement.
As people lose confidence in the value of their currency. Inflation can also lead to social unrest, as people become discontent with the rising prices of goods and services. High levels of inflation can also have a negative impact on businesses and industries, as it can make it more difficult for them to plan and budget for the future. Inflation can erode the value of a company’s profits and make it more difficult for them to attract investment. It can also make it more difficult for consumers to make large purchases, such as buying a home or a car, as the cost of these items may rise faster than their wages or salaries.
All of this is to say, that resultant warfare has had a significant impact on the environment throughout history. From the destruction of natural habitats to the pollution caused by military activities, the environmental impacts of warfare can be far-reaching and long-lasting.
One of the most obvious ways in which warfare has impacted the environment is through the destruction of natural habitats. Wars often involve the use of explosives and other weapons, which can cause significant damage to the landscape. This can lead to the destruction of forests, wetlands, and other ecosystems, and can have a negative impact on the plants and animals that depend on these habitats. In addition, wars often involve the movement of large numbers of troops and military vehicles, which can further disrupt and damage natural habitats.
Another way in which warfare has impacted the environment is through the pollution caused by military activities. Wars often involve the use of large amounts of fossil fuels, which can contribute to air pollution and climate change. In addition, military activities can also generate other forms of pollution, such as water pollution from the disposal of chemicals and other hazardous materials. The pollution caused by warfare can have a negative impact on both human health and the environment.
Needless to say, war is bad for the environment – what if there were a way to incite peace, what if there was a way to discard the plundering motives of invading nations?
Bitcoin, as a decentralized digital currency that operates on a distributed ledger technology called the blockchain, can be considered an “unconfiscatable asset.” This means that it is difficult for governments or other third parties to seize or control bitcoin, as it is not tied to any physical location or controlled by any single entity. This property of bitcoin has led some proponents to argue that it has the potential to create peace, as it allows individuals to hold and transfer value without the risk of confiscation. It enables individuals to have a completely independently owned asset, that is fully portable (individuals can flee war with their wealth). It encourages business to operate on goodwill, trust, reputation and mutually beneficial agreement opposed to forceful confiscation, coercion and corruption.
I am deeply grateful to all the resources and contributors who aided me in my research and provided invaluable insights. I would like to especially thank the visionaries and contrarian thinkers who challenged my perspectives and helped me to think more critically.
Your insights were invaluable in helping me to write The Green Side Of Bitcoin and I would like to welcome all and any suggestions on how to improve it. Writing this was a voluntary effort, and I gladly sacrificed my time and money to bring it to fruition. My hope is it becomes a go-to-source for debunking Bitcoin environmental criticism. I hope to collaborate with the Bitcoin community in efforts to optimise the webpage and enlighten people on the profoundly positive impact Bitcoin can have.
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