Here's a a topic that make me feel old. Despite the title (we're likely nowhere near the "last word" on Bitcoin), this article challenges a few of the ideas I've had about cryptocurrencies. I've long held the view that anything related to blockchain technology is negative — the environmental impact is simply too high. But I confess I barely understand how this stuff all works.
Nic Carter makes a few points that challenge the common assumptions and got me thinking about this once more:
Another common mistake energy detractors make is to naively extrapolate Bitcoin’s energy consumption to the equivalent CO2 emissions. What matters is the type of energy source being used to generate electricity, as they are not homogenous from a carbon footprint perspective. The academic efforts that get breathlessly reported in the press tend to assume either an energy mix which is invariant at the global or country level. Both Mora et al and Krause and Tolaymatgenerated flashy headlines for their calculations of Bitcoin’s footprint, but rely on naive extrapolations of energy consumption to CO2 emissions.
It's an interesting read, but even he admits the bottom line is that this technology is energy intensive. I'm still of mostly the same mind, but am trying to keep my mind open about it. And to just understand what it's all about.
And don't even ask me about NFTs …