I've noticed some otherwise very smart people have developed an almost cult-like antipathy to blockchains. The closed loop logic looks like;

Them: blockchains are evil and wrong because use huge energy

Me: point to peer-reviewed evidence that different blockchains have wildly different energy usage and that usage per user or transaction actually drops off after a certain scale is reached

Them: blockchains use huge energy for no legitimate uses

Me: points out a couple of arguably legitimate uses

Them: these projects are bad for using a blockchain because huge energy use

Me: points to earlier post about energy usage.

Them: but that's still huge energy use for no legitimate uses

Etc etc

Blockchains, whether by proof of work, stake, space, whatever, substitute cost for trust.

Trustless transactions have interesting applications, but the low transaction cost trust gives you makes it entirely superior for human-to-human and human-to-organization transactions.

Moving from a high-trust society (Sweden) to a low-trust society (Hong Kong) was a real eye-opener for me in terms of how much trust buys you in terms of efficiency, even between fiat-based markets.

@clacke @strypey

> but the low transaction cost trust gives you makes it entirely superior for human-to-human and human-to-organization transactions.

Until that trust is abused and then you're screwed.

Otter countries aren't going to easily replicate a high trust Scandinavian system and trust between people from different countries will also always be lower.


Infact trust can be very effective AND safe if it's easy to reassign and can only be used transparently.

#Blockchains are NOT trustless systems: you are just blindly trusting strangers you cannot easily hold accountable.

This is particularly blatant in a "permissioned" #blockchain and in those based on #PoS, but it's also true for #PoW based ones: exchanges, developers, mining pools...

So people using the blockchain are basically trusting the least trustworthy people out there without any effective mean to remove such trust (without loosing money, obviously).

@clacke @strypey

@strypey I was thinking about this recently. The idea that we have already found the perfect form of money or system of finance is absurd, and yet some people hate the idea of other people experimenting with novel forms of money.

All the money in crypto is there voluntary, nobody was forced to speculate.

Seems to me to be largely driven by fear (since money is power) and envy (because some people got very rich through it).

@jcbrand @strypey This is actually very well put. I point out very often how #Bitcoin is the most peaceful form of money around. It doesn't force anyone to do anything. No army, no slaves


Maybe those "otherwise very smart people" know CAP theorem?

Or maybe they know a #Ponzi scheme when they see one?
Or at least when crypto bilionaire explain #DeFi as Ponzi schemes?

Or maybe they remember #TheDAO, that proved once for all that #blockchain can be rewritten?

Or maybe they know several better alternatives to any application of blockchain (except for scam)

Or maybe they know #PoS based cryptocurrency are institutionalozed plutarchies?

Or maybe they know PoS assumes people having their highest stake on-chain (that is NEVER the case)?

Or maybe they follow closely the matter since years (I started somewhere in between 2009 and 2012) and saw countless ICOs turning as plain scams?

Or maybe they know about #Tether?

You focus on the huge waste of energy of but in fact you are ignoring the legitimacy criticism of #cryptocurrency.

Yes the cryptoindustry waste a huge amount of energy even if you do not count the one wasted in marketing, propaganda and lobbying.

But that's just one of the issue.

@strypey can I have some of these legitimate uses? Asking for a friend.


Merkle trees are useful and the foundation of git, and technically meet the definition of a blockchain.

So far any form of trustless cryptocurrences ends up as a refuge for criminals and scam artists.

@aflyingpumpkin The one I was thinking of was 'The Energy Consumption of Blockchain Technology: Beyond Myth', published in the journal Business & Information Systems Engineering, in 2020:

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