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(Sash thought) Sash's thoughts about Cryptocurrency Mining. (Serious).

I posted this as a reply on Disqus to someone who didn't understand the point of why Cryptocurrency mining is ultimately not a positive thing for technology, or the world as a whole.

The person who I replied to, made this comparison:

If England had banned locomotives in 1830 because they were taking jobs from carriage teamsters? What would have happened to the US if it had decided to ban factories because they were creating slums in cities?

My response:

Locomotives and Factories do not exist for the sole purpose of existing to create artificial value by occupying a processor with objectively useless calculations that contribute to pollution from the US's coal-fired powerplants and other non-renewable sources. Locomotives and factories do pollute, but they provide a useful service that is objective in nature. People riding the trains are able to get from A to B, while factories produce useful wears that can improve peoples' lives and the economy as a whole.

Mining Hashing benefits no one but the person exploiting the system. The value is "created" - artificially, by forcing an increasing amount of monetary investment required to perform increasingly more complex, useless algos that exist only to occupy time. Time = value, investment in hardware = value, that is where the Crypto coin "value" comes form. But non of it is true value, as the instability and volatility of the crypto economy proves. That "value" is so unstable, that even overnight it can vanish entirely rendering all the resources that you spent (and the carbon emissions) completely in vein.

Crypto currency doesn't contribute to human progress unless the algo can be made to perform useful work. Research "CureCoin" - in this case some of the hashing is done alongside real medical protein simulations for major universities. "CureCoin" would thus carry real innate value because the time spent, even if the currency's monetary value disappears, was used for something that will truly benefit other people/the human race.

Furthermore, personal financial gain via exploiting arbitrary notions of "value" that exist entirely because of the human socio-economic mindset is essentially a zero-net gain for society as a whole and thus the carbon emissions are needless. Cryptocurrency mining businesses that exist solely to create processors to "mine" these useless hashes have spent resources, time, engineering, silicon - all of it, on designing a processor that should simply not exist, because its purpose is to create value by taking a time to do something. There is no use to it.

It contributes nothing to innovation. When a GPU is created, it is able to run so many things. It enriches art and culture by rendering dynamic video game universes that allow stories to be told and experienced across the globe. Modern GPU compute pushes the boundaries of medical research by crunching data that can save millions of lives. It can power AI -technology that can improve everyone's daily lives and drive forward innovation. When a GPU is made, it has all that potential.

When it is used for "mining", it is a complex piece of engineering that is completely wasted, taking Earth's resources in the process, denying the market it was intended for, creating shortages and driving up prices for luxury items that increase quality of life, simply to allow the owner to profit at the ecosystem / economy/market/industry expense.

If you can't see the moral questionability of large-scale cryptomining, you either do not understand these concepts to a sufficient degree or you are morally bankrupt and part of the global human depravity pandemic.

Some more responses to other commenters:

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