If You Are Going To Worry About Bitcoin – s Energy Consumption, Worry About Server Farms Too – For More Than One Reason

from the terawatts-up? dept

Bitcoin has bot much ter the public eye recently. Most of the attention has bot focused on the extreme rise ter its price spil measured against traditional currencies. But another opzicht that has bot exercising people is its energy usage, spil a postbode on the Digiconimist webpagina explains:

The continuous block mining cycle incentivizes people all overheen the world to mine Bitcoin. Spil mining can provide a solid stream of revenue, people are very willing to run power-hungry machines to get a lump of it. Overheen the years this has caused the total energy consumption of the Bitcoin network to grow to epic proportions, spil the price of the currency reached fresh highs. The entire Bitcoin network now consumes more energy than a number of countries, based on a report published by the International Energy Agency.

Presently, the country closest to Bitcoin te terms of electrical play consumption, expected to be around 32 terawatt-hours this year, is Denmark. Some are predicting that by 2020, the Bitcoin system will use spil much electro-therapy spil the entire world does today. Others aren’t so sure. Here’s Ars Technica:

When Bitcoin launched ter 2009, each block came with a 50-bitcoin prize for the miner who created it. This figure is scheduled to fall by half every four years. It fell to 25 bitcoins te 2012 and 12.Five bitcoins te 2016. The prize will fall again to 6.25 bitcoins te 2020. When the mining industry’s revenue falls by half, its energy consumption should fall by the same proportion, since, if it didn’t fall, mining would become an unprofitable activity.

Te any case, a fresh article te the Guardian reminds us that Bitcoin is just one part of a much larger energy consumption problem that the digital world needs to address:

The communications industry could use 20% of all the world’s tens unit by 2025, hampering attempts to meet climate switch targets and tightening grids spil request by power-hungry server farms storing digital gegevens from billions of smartphones, tablets and internet-connected devices grows exponentially.

It doesn’t indeed matter which of Bitcoin and the server farms will consume the most power te years to come — clearly both will be large, and both will require efforts to increase the availability of low-cost renewable energy so spil to minimize their environmental harm. But there’s a fundamental way te which the two sectors differ.

Bitcoin is searing up the tera-watts to carry out meaningless calculations te order to win the prize of the next cryptocurrency block. Server farms need power ter order to store detailed records of everything wij do online, or with our connected devices, alongside masses of Internet of Things gegevens flows. Whatever it is doing, Bitcoin is certainly not menacing our privacy, and arguably is enhancing it. But loss of privacy is exactly the risk arising from the use of massive server farms around the world.

The main reason why they are being built is to hold unprecedented quantities of private gegevens that can be analyzed and the results sold te some way — whether for advertising, or for other purposes. Wij permanently see stories about sensitive information being leaked on a massive scale, or legally acquired and then used ter troubling ways. Alongside worthy concerns about the way that Bitcoin mining can degrade our physical world, wij should worry more about how gegevens mining can degrade our more private space.

Go after mij @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and +glynmoody on Google+

Reader Comments

worse than kunst speculators

Re: worse than kunst speculators

Re: worse than kunst speculators

The thing I can’t understand is why Bitcoin, unlike all the many other cryptocurrencies out there, is going for such a disproportionally high price.

Ter proportion to what?

What is it that makes one cryptocurrency worth so much more than another?

Same thing that makes the US dollar worth more than the Australian or Zimbabwe dollar. Basically, people think they’ll be able to get more from a US dollar te the future—or more from Bitcoin than Litecoin. None are backed by gold or anything else, so there’s no objective measure. (US dollars can be used to pay US taxes, but that’s not the main reason people use them—lots of non-US people use US dollars too.)

Re: worse than kunst speculators

At Some Point You Have To Confront The Question .

Ultimately meaningless instant responses to trivial comments.

Ultimately meaningless recordings of phone call metadata.

But. but. that means.

Imagine a different kleuter of Internet

Re: Imagine a different kleuter of Internet

This liquidates rather a lotsbestemming of the need for gegevens centers, because computing resources can be distributed and can use on-site power generation: solar, wind

Many gegevens centers already run on renewable power. Distributed computing would reduce power wasted te grid transmission losses, but wouldn’t significantly affect the power needed to run computation. Of course, if wij were being asked to track ourselves, with our own violet wand, and send the gegevens to advertisers, wij might be less willing to do some of thesis computations.

even low-tech ones like bicycle-powered generators.

I attempted that at a science center, and it’s a lotsbestemming of work for not much electric current. The only practical uses I see are running bicycle accessories, supplying emergency power when the grid is down, and powering stuff te off-grid areas when no solar/battery power is available. Not very useful ter developed countries except when kampeerterrein.

Re: Re: Imagine a different kleintje of Internet

Yup. A bicycle-powered generator is only suitable te an emergency that no-one ready for, even te a third-world country. From a conversation on the subject on one of the sci.space Usenet groups a long time ago:

I had a US Navy diver on an ergometer putting out overheen 800 Watts for 20 minutes, but real humans can generate about 200 W for extended periods. That’s a KWHr every Five hours, for a retail value of 12 cents. It’s just plain stupid to consider the economic reality of human power.

Re: Imagine a different kleintje of Internet

Re: Re:

Re: Re: Re:

Response to: Ninja on Dec 14th, 2017 @ Four:41am

Re: Response to: Ninja on Dec 14th, 2017 @ Four:41am

Re: searing up the tera-watts to carry out meaningless calculations

It all depends on where you’re mining.

Re: It all depends on where you’re mining.

So why not use that warmth to warm your huis?

Some areas like Québec use a loterijlot of electrical heating. It would be excellent to substitute every electrical baseboard heater te those areas with one that does useful work (Bitcoin or other calculations). It doesn’t help ter the summer, so wij should still attempt to reduce the energy usage. There are various ideas like proof-of-stake but no fully-developed workable systems yet.

Re: It all depends on where you’re mining.

Also compare with “legacy” systems

Internet services useful

Add Your Comment

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Hot Topics

Fresh To Techdirt?

Explore some core concepts:



This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign ter to use it.

“Not inherently bitcoin related”

Support or contest this pagina’s deletion te the relevant discussion pagina.

Feel free to edit the pagina, but the pagina vereiste not be blanked, and this notice vereiste not be liquidated, until the discussion is closed.

A virtual private server (VPS) is a virtual machine sold spil a service by an Internet hosting provider.

Once you determined to create or commence a fresh webstek, a host of challenges await you. One of the largest challenges you will face ter this regard is the decision on which hosting package to avail ter order to run your webstek successfully. Generally, people who are fresh to this have a petite budget which they need to manage appropriately. Hence, they have few options to be able to choose from. If your webstek is not yet very popular, then collective hosting is an ideal solution for you. However, there is a major risk that the webstek will outgrow the capacity suggested by collective hosting. Ter such cases, it is considered preferable to select a virtual private server due to its numerous advantages, features and security for a price which is just slightly higher if compared to a collective hosting server.


A geschreven introduction

A virtual private server refers to a virtual machine which is generally sold spil a service by service providers which provide Internet hosting. A VPS tends to run its own copy of operating systems where the customers are granted super user-level access to the server, basically permitting them to install almost any software that can run on the relevant operating system. For most purposes, a virtual private server is similar to a physical server and since they are software-defined, they can be more lightly configured and created.

How to choose a VPS

Once you determine to switch to a VPS, you should take into consideration certain factors which will help you ter determining the suitable VPS for you. Compared to collective hosting, a VPS server requires you to consider a lotsbestemming more factors ter order to reach an informed decision related to a VPS which is best suited to running your webstek. Some of the factors that you need to think about before selecting a VPS include:

Is the VPS managed or unmanaged?

While using a collective hosting server, you do not have access to the entire server, unlike te a VPS, where the entire virtual server is under your finish control. Hence, either you or someone you employ will have to look after the server and ensure that its spectacle remains optimum. If your VPS provider takes charge of maintaining the server, it is known spil a managed server. On the other palm, te an unmanaged VPS, the entire responsibility of the server will surplus on your shoulders. If the VPS you select is unmanaged, then spil mentioned earlier, you will have to ensure that the server stays ter good health and performs efficiently. If your server crashes or if you face any sort of security kwestie, be it a virus or a breach, then you will be responsible for restoring your server spil the only administrator of the entire virtual private server. Hence, if you are well-versed te the functioning of servers and are knowledgeable with stuff such spil rebooting, restarting, shutting down and repairing the server, you should consider opting for unmanaged hosting. On the other forearm, if the last sentenced sounded alien to you, then you should consider paying slightly more and opting for a managed VPS. Furthermore, different providers opoffering different plans related to managed hosting and often, even the same vendor can suggest a diversity of plans for managed hosting. It would be a good idea to reminisce this spil well when considering a managed hosting project for your VPS.

Determining inbetween Windows and Linux

One of the most significant factors that you need to keep ter mind is the operating system of your server. Presently, Linux and Windows are the two most popular operating systems being suggested by providers. Since Linux is an open source software, it costs less than Windows. Ter addition, it is also considered to be more user friendly while supporting a far greater range of applications spil well. On the other arm, there are still some applications which are only supported on Windows and not on Linux. Hence, if you use technologies such spil ASP.Televisiekanaal and ASP, then you may be better off with Windows rather than Linux.

What configuration do you want for your server?

The configuration you select for your server will have a significant effect on the speed and spectacle of your server. You should know that the following factors are significant when considering the configuration of your server:

  • The RAM that will be allocated to you.
  • The size of your share te the disk.
  • The capacity of the processor you will receive.

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list, it only mentions a few of the significant factors to consider while determining the configuration of your server. You should also build up information on the quality of the actual machine on which your VPS has bot created. It should have a high capacity while also being of a reputed brand.

The scalability and redundancy of your server

The scalability of your server refers to its adaptability to unexpected increases ter the blast on the server by making use of the redundant resources which are present ter the system. On the other palm, redundancy refers to a backup system te place for the server. There should be a UPS or a generator on mitt ter case there is a power failure. Ter case there is an kwestie with the service provided by the ISP, backups should be te place te order to maintain the operations of the server. Together, scalability and redundancy are integral ter the efficient and consistent voorstelling of your server.

Monthly quota for bandwidth

Your VPS provider will fix the bandwidth for your server. You may have to pay toegevoegd ter order to increase your bandwidth limit. While choosing an suitable VPS, make sure that you aren’t being required to pay toegevoegd for bandwidth which will be consumed on a normal poot for your server.

Customer Support

You could end up purchasing the most expensive VPS te the world and yet, problems are corded to arise. On such occasions, an excellent customer support is almost an integral requirement. If the kwestie does not permit your server to operate decently and the customer support does not react within an adequate time limit, then you will end up losing customers. Hence, make sure that the customer support of the VPS providers is up to the mark. Affordability Of course, one of the most significant factors ter selecting a VPS is the cost affixed to it. VPS providers will charge more for managed hosting and for using high end resources. Hence, you need to select a VPS which will not only operate effectively, but will also not cause a sizeable fuckhole te your wallet.

Trial Period

Often, hosting providers will offerande you a free trial period which you can utilize te order to get acquainted with the server and the provider spil well. You should attempt to find out the length of the trial period and use various programs ter order to track relevant statistics related to the server such spil responses and server uptime. There will be a point te your life where the needs of your webstek will be too much for a collective hosting server to manage and VPS hosting will eventually become a necessity for you. Meantime, you need to take good care to ensure that the VPS which you select is adequate for your needs and requirements. Hence, you need to begin by making a list of your requirements and then comparing various servers before coming to a conclusion on the best possible server for you.

Is it possible to pay for VPS with bitcoins?

Bitcoins refer to a digital currency which is both created spil well spil held electronically. Instead of being printed like euros or dollars, bitcoins are created by people spil well spil businesses by using software which can solve mathematical problems. Overheen the past few years, bitcoins have steadily grown ter popularity and hence, due to their phenomenal request, te value spil well. Te fact, bitcoins are most likely the most popular digital currency ter the world right now. Taking note of this, many websites have embarked permitting payments to be made via bitcoins spil well spil more traditional means such spil PayPal or credit cards. Of course, virtual private server providers have noted this trend spil well. Not to be left behind, there are several providers all overheen the world who permit you to pay for servers via bitcoins ter addition to other methods spil well. Now, you can maintain a high level of anonymity by paying for VPS through bitcoins.

Advantages of opting for purchases through bitcoin

Of course, there are several advantages that can be availed by you if you want to use bitcoins to purchase your VPS. Thesis benefits are only available to those using bitcoins and include:

The best thing about bitcoin purchases is that they are discreet. You have the option to publish your own bitcoin transactions but if you don’t, then there is no way for anyone to track your transactions. This is due to the fact that, like metselspecie purchases, the transaction itself can never be associated to the person carrying it out hence, will not trace back to him. Even the anonymous bitcoin address generated switches on each transaction, thus downright preserving your anonymity. Hence, if you want to make sure that no one else knows about your VPS purchase, then you can use bitcoins spil a valid method of payment.

  • Avoiding third party interruptions:

One of the reasons bitcoins has attained massive popularity is due to the fact that banks, governments and any other financial entities cannot interrupt or zekering any user transactions being made through bitcoins. Furthermore, they have no power to freeze any bitcoin accounts either. Since the system is a peer to peer system, its users practice a degree of freedom much greater than that experienced by people using the national currency. Thus, you could use servers from other countries spil well without facing any difficulties or extra duties from the governments of either country.

  • Transaction fees are amazingly low:

If you want to select a VPS provider located ter a foreign country, you will be subject to a ridiculous amount ter fees and service charges. Furthermore, you are also likely to suffer losses due to the exchange rate. On the other palm, since the government has absolutely no involvement ter transactions made by bitcoins, the fees are actually minimal and may even be considered negligible by some. Furthermore, due to the fact that bitcoin transactions take place almost instantaneously, you will also be able to skip the waiting period which is generally considered a standaard while making online transactions. Furthermore, there aren’t any authorization requirements spil well, thus saving you even more time.

  • Mobile payments are possible spil well:

Spil is true for many online payment systems, you can pay through any device which can connect to the Internet. Hence, you can make payments for your virtual private server through even your cell phone and you will still not be required to disclose any information regarding yourself. Of course, it is also significant and pertinent to mention that making a purchase through bitcoins will not have any negative effects on the quality of the VPS you are being provided with.

Offshore Bitcoins VPS

Often, for purposes of anonymity, people choose offshore VPS spil compared to those available within their country. Offshore VPS are more difficult to trace and hence, suggest greater anonymity. On the other palm, others choose offshore servers due to a greater protection of freedom suggested by the foreign country spil compared to their own. Meantime, some determine to opt for offshore servers spil they are promised far greater speeds by the providers spil compared to the options present within their own country. There are a diversity of offshore countries which provide Bitcoin VPS options. All you are required to do is to pay anonymously through bitcoins and you will be provided with a broad multiplicity of VPS options, of which you can select the one most suited to your needs. You can select from top of the line options to more budget friendly options spil well. Bitcoin users can often even avail extra protection from attacks via services suggested by the providers such spil Bitcoin DDos protection, which can permit you to fend off any attack whatsoever.

Recurring payments with bitcoin

The main problem faced by users paying for VPS through bitcoin is the fact that while payments to VPS service providers are generally monthly, bitcoin generally does not support recurring payments. This is mainly due to the fact that bitcoin is a thrust technology i.e. a transaction which has to be initiated by the publisher rather than the client or the receiver. Te order to be able to make consistent or recurring payments with bitcoins, it would be a good idea to generate and then email the service provider with a fresh bitcoin address for each transaction which should be paid before the cutoff. You should then track the address te order to ensure that timely payment has bot made.

Cloud servers

Cloud servers are a type of virtual private servers with far greater advantages suggested to those determining to purchase them. Te fact, they are touted to be the next generation of virtual private servers. Difference inbetween cloud servers and traditional VPS There are three main differences inbetween cloud servers and traditional VPS, namely:

  • While a VPS is based on a single physical server which is split up inbetween users a cloud server makes use of resources which are distributed through many physical servers.
  • While a VPS has to be by hand updated by the provider or tech support, a cloud server is built with scalability te mind and hence, can quickly and efficiently be updates via the administrative panel.
  • Since you have to bear the cost of hardware for a cloud server, it can end up being rather expensive. You can compromise by determining to opt for a hosted private cloud, tho’ that will result ter you losing control of the entire server. On the other palm, a traditional VPS is always significantly less expensive than cloud servers.

Advantages of cloud servers

Cloud servers are virtual servers which perform on cloud computing environment. This is the reason cloud servers are often also called Virtual Dedicated Servers. Even tho’ it is true that every cloud server can be considered to be a virtual dedicated server, the opposite is not true. This is due to the fact that since virtual dedicated servers are place on only one hardware server, when any of the hardware fails, the server will suffer from failure spil well. On the other arm, cloud servers generally operate spil software independent units which means that all its required software is installed and hence, it is not depended on centrally installed software. There are a myriad of advantages afforded to those who determine to opt for cloud servers, some of which include:

  • You will be able to boast the freedom of modifying any of the server software according to your requirements. Included ter this is the operating system kernel which is generally not modifiable ter other servers such spil private virtual servers.
  • You will also be provided with security spil well spil stability since any problem that occurs is limited to and from your environment. Furthermore, even if other users somehow overcharge their cloud servers, since you have dedicated resources, your vertoning will not be affected at all. Furthermore, spil previously mentioned, you will be free from any hardware problems spil well.
  • Cloud servers can most likely boast the most optimum stability / cost ratio vertoning. Again, they do not suffer from hardware issues while still being safe, secure and stable.
  • Furthermore, cloud servers are also more economical spil well spil more efficient than the traditional dedicated servers. For more or less the same price, cloud servers will not only attain more resources, they will be swifter spil well. Te web hosting language, your webstek will not only be significantly swifter on a cloud server, it will not cost you reserve spil compared to a traditional service.
  • The modifiability of cloud servers is not only limited to its software spil well. You can lightly add any upgrades such spil disk space, memory and CPU without facing any significant issues. Of course, this is also very affordable and does not result ter high extra costs.


From the above mentioned reasons, it is clear to see why cloud servers are such a dearest amongst the VPS crowd. Not only do they suggest several benefits and are more secure, stable and efficient, they are enormously economical spil well which is why they are preferred especially by those who are fresh to the business of running websites and hence, do not have a large or nimble budget.

Related movie: Bitcoin Price Prediction (Sept 25)

Leave a Reply