Bitcoin mining was once an activity for techies. An activity that made the most of powerful computing rigs in order to mine and develop a currency which could be used to hide away from the ruling class. An activity for a working class hero.
Now though, much like cryptocurrencies themselves, mining has become somewhat of a capitalist ideology. It’s a multi-million dollar business, one that promises to make the rich, richer.
As you know, cryptocurrency mining is very harmful to the environment. Bitcoin mining alone can use as much energy as 31 households would in a day, just to power one transaction. Because of this, mining is carried out under huge operations with an exclusive energy supply, designed to allow mining factories to get the best profit they can out of the Bitcoin blockchain. One big issue here however is this – rising energy demand means rising energy costs, therefore perhaps one day, the electricity needed to power mining rigs will become so expensive, it will become an activity exclusively for the crypto bourgeois, the ruling class of the capitalist society.
Hackernoon have discussed this idea:
“Fewer have noted how Bitcoin’s security hinges on a convergence of the cost of adding transaction blocks (i.e. mining) with the increasing value of bitcoin. In other words, the energy used in this process will go up as the value of bitcoin rises. If Bitcoin continues to grow in uptake under the current PoW model, it will begin to have a significant impact on the world’s coal and oil supplies.”
“This could cause the cost of a kilowatt to rise globally, and with the increasing cost of energy comes increasing mining costs. At what point will this cycle result in a situation where mining is only feasible for a tiny portion of the ultra wealthy, or perhaps for no one at all?”
See more for yourself, here.
In the wrong hands, this could be serious. Imagine a world where Bitcoin mining pushes electricity prices so high, that not only can the general population no longer afford electricity to power their own mining projects, they might not even be able to afford the electricity needed to power their homes. Could a full utilisation of cryptocurrency mining by the bourgeois project us all back into the dark ages?
It’s a dystopian concept and it’s a little unrealistic, of course, Bitcoin mining isn’t an activity that’s going to be around forever, but we do expect that a new ‘Bitcoin’ mining may exist soon enough. Perhaps even, new Bitcoins will be generated through mining in the future, under this new bourgeois grip.
Overall, rising energy prices are inevitable, though this is only going to be made worse through pressure from cryptocurrency mining. Rising costs will come and with that will come rising profits for the super rich. What was once an honest activity designed to make the internet more democratic, has actually become an option for the financial elite to exploit. In doing so, they might make things a little harder for everyone else too.