"Tesla will not be selling any bitcoin and we intend to use it for transactions as soon as mining transitions to more sustainable energy... We are also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use (less than 1 per cent) of bitcoin’s energy/transaction."

- , CEO of , 2021

To everyone busy videos moralizing about how much electricity BitCoin uses, in videos published on YouTube ...

"YouTube uses about 243.6 TWh (over 1% of global electricity)"

... and that's only in their datacentres. Add to that all the energy used sending video across the wire and playing it on people's devices.

There's an article here breaking down why BitCoin uses so much electricity, even compared to other blockchains:

@strypey I've once read an artical suggesting that one big way YouTube could reduce their impact is by not streaming the imagery to those who are playing videos in the background. Who only want the e.g. music.

> one big way YouTube could reduce their impact is by not streaming the imagery to those who are playing videos in the background

Something could work on too.

NewPipe does that for YT videos, I also hope that PeerTube clients support it soon

@alcinnz @strypey what they actually do now with YouTube Music and YouTube Premium.

@mithrandir if PeerTube replaced YouTube and all the other video datafarms, I'm guessing it would use the same amount of energy. Videos are big chunks of data to sling around. Is web video bad in general?

OK, let's see if we can find the boundaries of your analysis. The internet uses a lot of energy and results in a lot of carbon emissions, of which BC and YT are only about 2%. Is the internet bad in general?

@strypey mostly because it is mostly either time-wasting garbage or running on highly inefficient hardware.

OK, the production, distribution operation, and disposal of computers uses a lot of energy and results in a lot of carbon emissions, among other environmental negatives. Are computers bad in general?

@strypey if they are produced, distributed, and operated in an unnecessarily inefficient way for primarily useless or counterproductive ends, yes.

So in summary, BitCoin is bad because it's part of the net, which is bad because it uses computers for uses you don't judge to be useful or productive. Does that about sum it up?

Any solutions to offer?

@strypey @mithrandir PeerTube would use more energy because it uses capacity from consumer units and networks rather than efficient data center setups that optimize for energy use.

We don't use P2P for power balance and points of failure reasons, but we have to admit that efficiency is not one of its strengths.
> PeerTube would use more energy than YouTube since it uses consumer PC energy

Does it trigger more PC energy usage than a YouTube client? If PCs aren't optimized for power, then they are burning CPU cycles idly more of the time. PeerTube might just make actual use of those idle cycles?

@strypey @mithrandir
@wyatwerp @strypey @mithrandir All PCs these days have idle modes, regulate their clock frequencies, regulate their fans, especially laptops.

The point of PeerTube is that is uses WebTorrent to distribute the data, so your computer will be more busy when watching a PeerTube video than when watching a video on a centralized service.
@clacke so, you are saying PCs have good power design! Direct comparision isn't possible, servers are headless, don't use energy for an accompanying utility they don't provide

The cons of PCs torrenting video shards aren't obvious. A computer running at less than full load, with no overheads due to load balancing/concentrating, doesn't thrash like datacenter servers loaded with a rash of independent video streaming connections.

@mithrandir @strypey
@clacke @strypey it would also use less energy because there would be less ads and less tracking scripts.

@strypey A "Smart BTC Miner" would indicate that excess energy spent minimizes their profits. Therefore, optimizing energy costs by whatever means (ex. Green) makes a more profitable Miner - Correct?


YouTube has to store the same video multiple times and in multiple geographical locations for redundancy, availability and scalability. WebTorrent solves these problems more efficiently.

You might've heard that Netflix keeps storage boxes at ISPs to serve their videos faster.

BitTorrent streams are slower to start but are more energy efficient in overall delivery especially for popular content and large files.
A viral video in a college network needs only one download w/ PeerTube.

@strypey Most of YouTube's (and any other adtech platform's) power usage is spent on ranking and storing data used for ranking, not on delivering views, as the article seems to assume.

Which is pretty wasteful, and the entire concept of adtech is corrosive, but not nearly as bad as Bitcoin, which wastes electricity on make work for the purpose of replacing fiat currencies managed by democratic governments with a shadow banking system run by criminals, dictators, and oligarchs.

If you some hairs to split, I got a whole headfull here 😏

@strypey while I appreciate the gesture, I don't think correlating one fact if energy consumption to another unrelated one helps to keep the discussion healthy and polite.

I think it's related in that Bitcoin has prompted a long overdue discussion about the internet's energy usage, how much of that energy comes from low-carbon, renewable sources, and how efficiently it's used. But this is only useful if the discussion isn't confined to BitCoin. Identifying online utilities with similar levels of energy/ bandwidth use allows us to start comparing what benefits are created for a given energy consumption and for who.

This site attempts an analysis of the likely energy usage and carbon emissions of websites:

It was the first thing I ever found that considered the issue at all.

@strypey I honestly believe that, while this is useful information, it's a wrong way to achieve the goal. There always will be energy consumers that use energy in a way that seems not worth it for someone. The only real way to encourage consumers to use energy sources in a more effective way is to make "dirty" energy to cost more. Economics and ecology must become friends and work together for the cause. Now they look more like foes unfortunately.

> There always will be energy consumers that use energy in a way that seems not worth it for someone.

True. But as I was pointing out in the OP, it's unhelpful and hypocritical to blame one set of digital tools for a problem that affects the net as a whole. Digital energy use (and related carbon emissions) needs to be analyzed and addressed holistically.


"In 2020, for the fourth year in a row, #google purchased enough renewable energy to match 100 percent of our annual global electricity consumption."

#YouTube #EnergyUse

@strypey Bitcoin is the biggest Ponzi scheme in history.

A ponzi scheme exists where there is no real value being created. One way to move money an expat earns in China back to their home country is to buy BitCoin for RNB and sell it for the home currency. That's genuinely valuable and it's just one example from my personal experience.

@strypey I looked through the comments on this thread and was surprised that nobody remarked on how many more people use youtube compared to bitcoin.

It's unfortunate that one company has a monopoly and that their recommendation engine leads so many down conspiracy rabbit-holes. On the positive side, there's a lot of educational content available (between the ads).

It would be great if they used less energy, but one can believe that and still think this is an indirect comparison.

Fair point. A full apples-with-apples comparison would have to consider both quantitative and qualitative factors, including those you've raised. My point was to remind people that Bitcoin is not the only thing on the net that uses energy and produces carbon emissions. Hoping to open up a larger discussion of this as a general problem and how we (the 'verse and other decentralized tech) might contribute to the problems and the solutions.

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