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Climatecoin 2017 by Dennis Peterson

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I Care

Jul 26, 2017


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dumb idea of the day.  The ethereum blockchain is an energy pig.  at current hash rates its consuming about 800MW, 24/7, and growing fast.  not nearly as destructive as the bitcoin blockchain but closing in. mining is mostly happening in china and powered by fossil fuels (the cheapest available power).

Dana Barish

Aug 3, 2017


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Wow. Member "I Care" has a power consumption figure. Nice. But the funny part is where that power goes. Heat. A lot of bitcoin miners use water-cooled computers because they generate so much heat. So bitcoin generates heat and carbon dioxide in generating the power needed to run the miners' computers and then turns around and lets the power consumed by the computers generate more heat. Maybe bitcoin is totally responsible for climate change. Somebody needs to calculate the power/heat/carbon footprint for a bitcoin.

BTW, bitcoin doesn't quite work the way described in the proposal. The system strives for a flat production stream so bitcoin production costs are fairly stable. If every miner buys a faster computer the system just makes bitcoin production harder not more profitable.

Dennis Peterson

Aug 4, 2017


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Ethereum will be moving to a proof-of-stake consensus system within a year or so, which will eliminate its energy consumption almost entirely. If Climatecoin launches before then, it will only add to Ethereum's energy consumption to the extent it boosts the price of ether, thus increasing rewards to miners.

I considered using a Bitcoin-style difficulty adjustment system, and ended up deciding it wasn't necessary because we're on top of the Ethereum chain, which already gives us a steady, predictable production of climatecoins. Just as with Bitcoin, if everyone contributes twice as much if a given timespan, then everyone still gets the same number of coins; you only get more if you increase you percentage of the total contribution.

Henrique Pereira

Aug 9, 2017


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Dennis, I understand the basic concept behind the idea but could you translate (for non techies) how the actual linkage of an emission reduction activity and the climatecoin being generated works? Does a climatecoin reflects the carbon asset (say 1 tCO2) under management or a monetary value? If it reflects a monetary value, like a Bitcoin, how the demand for carbon reduction is created so the carbon asset also reflects a monetary value? 

Dennis Peterson

Aug 12, 2017


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A climatecoin would have monetary value, independent of any particular amount of carbon. This is different from my previous climatecoin proposals.

(A related question might be "why does any cryptocurrency have value." But empirically they often do have significant value, so I just take that as a starting point.)

There are two linkages to climate mitigation. The first is the inflation link: each week, a certain number of climatecoins are produced, which have whatever value they happen to have in the market that week. The new coins are minted and sold at the market price, and the money paid for them goes to climate mitigation efforts. For this link, there doesn't have to be any particular accounting of tons carbon; e.g. the recipient could be a research effort. Projects with measurable effects on carbon should certainly play a large role, though; I'm going to add some candidates to the proposal.

The other link is the prospect of government participation. A government with a price on carbon can give credits to users who essentially contribute extra money to particular recipients. At that point it's up to that government to determine the tons carbon equivalent for that contribution.

Richard Williams

Nov 13, 2017


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There is a solar powered bitcoin mining company.

Henry Jokela

Dec 20, 2017


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