Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

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Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:52 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2018/0109.shtml

If you have a solar generation system, the economics seem to indicate that you'll get almost six time the return from mining bitcoin with your excess electricity production than you would if you were to simply backfeed it into the grid.

Add in the fact that backfeeding requires you to be "on grid" (with all its associated charges) and the benefits of mining become even more positive.

Might this be the best use so far for the wonderful crypto-currency that is now worth so much?

And who'd have thought that it would take 49KWH (EDIT: that should be 49MWH) to mine a single coin?
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby hagfish » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:35 am

Surely that's megawat hours, or the energy required to verify a transaction, rather than 'earn' a Bitcoin. If Bitcoin were that cheap, no one would bother with Monero.
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:58 am

Yes hagfish, you are right. I should never be allowed to write a column late at night! It is indeed 49,000 KWH or 49MWH.
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby hagfish » Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:37 am

Your thesis still stands, tho. Electricity is valuable stuff. Might as well get the best bang for it that you can, and if that means means running hashes, it's a good alternative to storing it - which has its own inefficiencies and costs.

Also if you're on the grid, there's an additional opportunity cost to using PV-generated power to charge your car (or whatever). The fact that you could be getting 8c/KWhr means it costs that much to charge your car, vs 0c/KWhr if you're off-grid, and any excess energy would be going to some kind of resistive load.
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Greed, Lies & Tax

Postby Perry » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:24 am

The underlying uneconomic fact is the lying, two-faced pollies.

Oz initially mandated a buy back at a very good price. But that was eroded, later.

In NZ, the W'gton woodenheads rape the electricity generators for stealth tax dividends, so any thing 'sustainable' that eats into that is simply not wanted.
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby greven » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:07 pm

Everyone should have seen the buyback at retail instead of wholesale prices being cut as soon as it gained in popularity. It makes no sense for the government or power cos to pay through the nose for electricity that is not needed.
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby Kiwiiano » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:44 pm

I wonder about the economics of a bloody great insulated tank of water that is heated during the summer months (or even winter days) that is available as a space heating resource on winter evenings when we need it most? Lack of space to put it in or near the average house is probably its Archilles heel.
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:58 pm

Kiwiiano wrote:I wonder about the economics of a bloody great insulated tank of water that is heated during the summer months (or even winter days) that is available as a space heating resource on winter evenings when we need it most? Lack of space to put it in or near the average house is probably its Archilles heel.

I did the math on this when I lived up north. Three 5,000 gallon concrete underground tanks (with foam insulation) would do the trick -- not that expensive and, being underground, pretty inconspicuous.
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby roygbiv » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:00 pm

I think there is a slight gap in your plan for using spare power created by the PVAs you have bunged up onto your roof, and the power required for generating bit coins. Anyway, disregarding this gap I would buy a quantum computer as it would be more efficient in producing bit coins. My PVAs would produce power to keep the QC at near absolute zero using some technology I would buy over the internet. Todays generation QCs need to run at these low temperatures and, I read somewhere that only about 21 million bitcoins can be produced, some sort of limit. So the race is on to produce the bit coins before they run out :geek:
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Re: Bitcoin versus batteries (9 Jan, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Jan 09, 2018 5:29 pm

As I said in today's column, I'm hardly a Bitcoin maven so perhaps someone can explain a few things to me.

Right now, the act of mining bitcoins is effectively an element of the transaction processing -- is it?

I've read that the bitcoins you obtain from mining are effectively a payment for providing the transaction processing associated with using Bitcoin. This sounds reasonable.

So what happens when all the Bitcoin have been mined?

Won't people stop mining and therefore shut down the infrastructure that processes Bitcoin transactions?

Who will then provide that infrastructure -- since there's no payment to be earned from doing so.

Anyone?
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