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In 1999, media attacked the internet: “a lump of coal is burnt everytime a book is ordered online”. Today the same attack has shifted towards Bitcoin. X-post by u/Set1Less

In the early days of the internet, media hit pieces tried to blame the internet for energy consumption.

>Somewhere in America, a lump of coal is burned every time a book is ordered on-line.

[https://www.forbes.com/forbes/1999/0531/6311070a.html?sh=12b1b1ad2580](https://www.forbes.com/forbes/1999/0531/6311070a.html?sh=12b1b1ad2580)

>The current fuel-economy rating: about 1 pound of coal to create, package, store and move 2 megabytes of data. The digital age, it turns out, is very energy-intensive. The Internet may someday save us bricks, mortar and catalog paper, but it is burning up an awful lot of fossil fuel in the process.
There are already over 17,000 pure dot-com companies (Ebay, E-Trade, etc.).
The larger ones each represent the electric load of a small village.

Media tried to gaslight and brainwash tech companies with the burning fossil fuel narrative.

Some 20 years onwards, this entire article reads like a joke.

>Getting the bits from dot-com to desktop requires still more electricity. Cisco’s 7500 series router, for example, keeps the Web hot by routing an impressive 400 million bits per second, but to do that it needs 1.5 kilowatts of power. The wireless Web draws even more power, because its signals are broadcast in all directions, rather than being tunneled down a wire or fiber
Just fabricating all these digital boxes requires a tremendous amount of electricity. The billion-dollar fabrication plants are packed with furnaces, pumps, dryers and ion beams, all electrically driven. It takes 9 kilowatt-hours to etch circuits onto a square inch of silicon, and about as much power to manufacture an entire PC (1,000 kilowatt-hours)as it takes to run it for a year. And there are at least 300 of these factories in the U.S. Collectively, fabs and their suppliers currently consume nearly 1% of the nation’s electric output.
The global implications are enormous. Intel projects a billion people on-line worldwide. That’s $1 trillion in computer sales — and another $1 trillion investment in a hard-power backbone to supply electricity. One billion PCs on the Web represent an electric demand equal to the total capacity of the U.S. today.

Does this resemble the current attacks against cryptocurrencies?

The exact same arguments are now used against bitcoin, trying to fool people into believing that bitcoin is the worst thing in the world.

Thousands of people believe what these articles at face value despite not having any understanding of the intricacies of bitcoin mining

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link to cross-post, incase you want to help in the battle against Shitcoiners happening in the comments:

[https://np.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/ubf4xk/in_1999_media_attacked_the_internet_a_lump_of/](https://www.reddit.com/r/CryptoCurrency/comments/ubf4xk/in_1999_media_attacked_the_internet_a_lump_of/)



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14 Comments

  1. Thank you for this informative post. It is always important to expose how the establishment uses the same old tricks to brainwash the masses.

    P.S. Those old articles read today like a kindergarten child trying to explain neurosurgery.

  2. Very interesting. Nice find. I suspect the same people complaining about BTC and energy consumption will find something else to complain about once it’s no longer an “issue.”

  3. What about the ecological footprint the tech giants leave? Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, etc… It’s probably similar to Bitcoin.

    It has more to do with the implications of the tech than actual environmental concern.

  4. People who write for the media are universally stupid. These are lineral arts majors without any functional skills, foresight or useful knowledge of any kind whatsoever.

  5. And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the LORD, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring [it] within the veil:

    What Moses meant, was that God has enfolded greatness in all things. Just as the aroma of the incense is released by burning coals, the treasure of bitcoin is released by expending labor.

    And also with you.

  6. The problem with this analogy is that the internet companies have no incentive to burn extra energy. They profit more by being efficient. And improvements in efficiency have led to drastic reductions in the energy used, among other things.

    Conversely the “proof of work” design for bitcoin has a built in incentive to scale *up* the energy used as the value of mined coins increases. Simply put: competition for mined coins means miners will work against each other to close blocks as fast as physics allows, with the only constraint being the cost of energy, bandwidth, and computers.

    Take a look at r/bitcoinmining for discussions on exactly this kind of optimization and how this side of the bitcoin economy works.

  7. These arguments are stupid. Bitcoin isn’t just like the internet in 2000. The internet in 2000 was slow (takes long to load an image), had very little uses for the average person, expensive (buying a computer plus service), computer were bulky, and it was just starting up and nobody really knew what it can do.

    The reason why the internet grew was not because its “new” but because it got better. Service speeds increased, cost of computers decreased, uses of the internet increased, and most importantly it provided people real world benefits that you cannot do without the internet (for example send an email vs send regular mail). It grew because it got better.

    For Bitcoin to grow the same way as the internet it needs to first provide value to people that they cannot get anywhere else.

    Right now for example I can send money to any of my friends instantly with my phone, its called Zelle. So payments isn’t something Bitcoin can innovate as there is little new innovation left from a user perspective, how can you beat free and instant payments?

What do you think?

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