This document provides general information and a few curated news stories relating to the state of digital currency at the end of 2022.
Digital currency and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum promised a kind of “power to the people” — giving individuals the opportunity to create wealth through mining systems.
As the value of digital currencies was rising, investments could produce a significant and fast source of revenue.
The ability to make payments without transaction fees seemed like a logical way to exchange money without giving a percentage to financial institutions.
These were the big three potential benefits to digital currency.
Better Than Crypto
Services like Venmo, that use U.S. dollars, have been widely adopted as zero-cost alternatives to cryptocurrency for those who want a quick easy payment system with no fees.
The problem with generating cryptocurrency is that it requires significant amounts of electricity, computing power, and cooling costs. The negative environmental impact is substantial.
The computing process is typically not solving specific needs for humanity. It’s not like people are being paid to have their home computers solve gene sequencing or other challenges.
Cryptocurrency is founded on the meaningless destruction of the planet. The more cryptocurrency is created, the worse off the planet is. Mountains of outdated and failing computing equipment must be thrown out, with minimal component recycling value.
Those who are making large sums of money from cryptocurrency will attend conferences that focus on a lot of justifications and explanations about how the industry actually can save the planet. It’s sort of like when doctors were endorsing cigarettes as good for a person’s health.
Five years ago, in 2017, an initial review of cryptocurrency determined that cryptocurrency generation in colder climates and season could provide a useful source of heat. That additional value could make mining systems less wasteful. However, the video report concluded with a warning about the long-term problems with mining. View that 2017 report conclusion from about 37m 12s. [View Queued Video]
In the 2017 report, several concerns are discussed. Among the concerns is the massive resource drain. [See 47m 34s] A proposal was offered to have an economy focused “activities and currencies of value” to humanity.
Banned in China
Since 2017, crypto trading has been outlawed in China “because of the potential risks cryptocurrencies pose to financial stability and the possibility of assets being used for illegal activities.” [Source]
“A new report finds that one crypto exchange alone helped launder over $10 billion for criminals and countries like Iran.” [Source]
Another concern is the “The massive amount of electricity consumed by [mining] farms posing a threat to Beijing’s commitment to limit its carbon footprint.” This has resulted in the closing of big mining operations in China. [Source]
Wild Honey as Currency
We need currencies based on commodities and initiatives that promote health and wellbeing of people and the planet. This is explained in the 2017 report. [See 49m 8s] If there were a currency based on the production of raw local wild honey, such a currency would result in a local source of natural sweetener and it would promote pollinators and help restore ecosystems. The honey could be traded as a currency. Paper, coin, and digital surrogate equivalents could be used as proxies for actual raw honey. Multiple problems solved, rather than multiple problems created. That’s just one idea of many.
Below are a few curated news stories relating to the state of digital currency at the end of 2022. They are listed in chronological order with the source and date for each entry header.
CBS (16 Dec 2022 from 24 Aug 2018)
This video was first posted by CBS on 24 Aug 2018. On 16 Dec 2022 it was posted by CBS to YouTube again.
“Cryptocurrency: Virtual money, real power and the fight for a small town’s future” — “In the world of cryptocurrency, money is power, sparking a gold rush wherever energy is cheap and abundant. A booming cryptocurrency mining industry is disrupting a small town in Washington state. This CBS Reports documentary was first published on Aug. 24, 2018. [Source]
Yahoo Finance (16 Dec 2022)
“Bitcoin ‘can never be bankrupt,’ YouTube influencer claims” — Carl Runefelt, an influencer and YouTuber, joins Yahoo Finance Live anchors Rachelle Akuffo and Akiko Fujita to discuss his take on the crypto industry following the FTX collapse, his crypto sponsorships, and transparency in the industry and on social media. [Source]
CNBC (15 Dec 2022)
“Bankruptcy concerns grow for Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s parent company” — Ram Ahluwalia, Lumida Wealth Management, on bankruptcy concerns surrounding GBTC’s parent company, Digital Currency Group. With CNBC’s Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Karen Finerman, Dan Nathan, Guy Adami and Steve Grasso. [Source]
CNN (15 Dec 2022)
“Actor rips crypto as ‘largest Ponzi scheme in history'” — Ben McKenzie, of “The OC” and “Gotham,” has been one of the most prominent critics of celebrities endorsing the controversial and booming cryptocurrency industry. He says he has been warning against the dangers of celebrities endorsing cryptocurrency for some time. Hear why he says he became a skeptic and how he feels now. [Source]
ABC News (14 Dec 2022)
“Inside the downfall of cryptocurrency titan Sam Bankman-Fried” — Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was charged with defrauding investors by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. [Source]
CNET (14 Dec 2022)
“Watch Elizabeth Warren Debate Crypto Investor Kevin O’Leary” — At a congressional hearing on the collapse of FTX, watch Senator Elizabeth Warren with crypto investor Kevin O’Leary about whether the same rules regarding money laundering for other currency should also apply to crypto. [Source]
Deutsche Welle (28 Nov 2022)
“The Bitcoin revolution – How it all began” — Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency. It’s also the most important and popular of its kind. Launched in 2009, the Bitcoin blockchain’s creator used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. His (or her) true identity remains a mystery to this day. In early 2009, in the midst of the financial crisis, someone named “Satoshi Nakamoto” started circulating Bitcoin. In doing so, they created the first decentralized and reliable cryptocurrency. Whoever they are, they vanished into thin air in 2011. “The Satoshi Mystery” tells the thrilling story of how Bitcoin came to be. Examining blockchain technology from the perspective of its secretive creator, the film seeks answers about one of the most mysterious figures in the crypto world. But is “Satoshi Nakamoto really just one person? No one is certain. Theories abound, and there’s no way to rule out a collective. Some even suspect that the CIA could be behind Bitcoin. One thing’s for sure: the Whitepaper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” is reshaping the world far beyond the creation of a new payment system. [Source]
VICE (28 May 2022)
“Why The Crypto Industry Was Exported Out Of China” — The Chinese government has long tried to stamp out cryptocurrencies in the country with varying levels of success. In 2021, a ban on mining finally sent firms packing and seeking countries like Kazakhstan with friendlier stances toward crypto mining. They’ve also found homes in towns all over the US, where companies are encountering both support and criticism from locals, as well as politicians at the state and federal levels. Will Bitcoin be regulated in the States, and how should our leaders approach it? [Source]
NOTE: The video above shows an old coal power plant that was converted to a crypto mining farm. The narrative suggests that crypto is “clean” but coal is dirty. Of course, this is a false statement since crypto mining is only as clean as the power used to create the equipment and keep it running.
Wall Street Journal (10 Aug 2021)
“Why China’s Tough Stance on Crypto Mining Is a Boon for Miners Elsewhere” — Cryptocurrency miners in China are turning off their machines after Beijing warned it would tighten its control over the industry. This has created an opportunity for miners elsewhere, as the power behind crypto becomes less dependent on one place. Photo illustration: Sharon Shi. [Source]
Tech Altar (23 Jan 2021)
“China’s digital currency – explained!” — China launched its digital currency, the DCEP (Digital Currency Electonic Payment). In this video we explore why and how the country decided to go digital. What is the Digital Yuan? How does the Digital Currency work? Is DCEP a cryptocurrency? Is the digital Yuan blockchain based? [Source]