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Tom Elgar's Insights

| less than a minute read

Bitcoin - is it just a massive waste of resources?

The world has created, in Bitcoin, a currency that soaks up vast resources deliberately to create a value for itself - which in common with all currencies has no 'true' value at all? Hence its extreme volatility.

The basis of Bitcoin is that it is has a value because it costs a lot in energy, hardware and coding excellence to 'mine'. Shouldn't we, as a species, be doing something better with our limited resources than deliberately wasting them in this way?

A HUGE aircraft hangar in Boden, in northern Sweden, big enough to hold a dozen helicopters, is now packed with computers—45,000 of them, each with a whirring fan to stop it overheating. The machines (pictured) work ceaselessly, trying to solve fiendishly difficult mathematical puzzles. The solutions are, in themselves, unimportant. Yet by solving the puzzles, the computers earn their owners a reward in bitcoin, a digital “crypto-currency”. The machines in Boden are in competition with hundreds of thousands more worldwide. The first to solve a puzzle earns 25 bitcoins, currently worth $6,900.



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