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Newsticker, link list, time machine: HOLO.mg/stream logs emerging trajectories in art, science, technology, and culture––every day
“Ditch the pronouns and hit the gym, then you’ll realize the importance of Proof of Work.”
– Proverbial ToxicBitcoiner, coming after Kyle McDonald following his Coindesk interview. Speaking on Ethereum’s impending transition to the dramatically less energy-intensive proof-of-stake protocol, McDonald argued that “proof-of-work was never necessary,” and that “Bitcoin will never hit $69k again.” Bitcoin maxis were irritated, and have been harassing the American software artist since.
“Starting today we are reviewing if and how our current policy on crypto donations fits with our climate goals. And as we conduct our review, we will pause the ability to donate cryptocurrency.”
– The Mozilla Foundation, after a recent plea for cryptocurrency donations caused social media backlash. The org’s overt pandering to ‘HODLers’ of Bitcoin and Ethereum, both energy-intensive proof-of-work (PoW) chains, drew harsh criticism from prominent voices in the open source community, including Mozilla co-founder Jamie Zawinski and Gecko engine designer Peter Linss.
“Talking about building this city beside a volcano is like thinking you are rich because you live next to a bank.”
Ricardo Navarro, El Salvadoran ecologist and head of the country’s Center of Appropriate Technology (CESTA), on President Nayib Bukele’s plans for a “Bitcoin City” powered by volcanoes. “Geothermal still costs more than oil, otherwise we would already be using more of it,” Navarro notes. Geothermal energy also needs steam and groundwater, Navarro adds, “but we already have problems with not enough water in El Salvador.”

In an attempt to become the “Singapore of Latin America,” President Nayib Bukele announces El Salvador will bootstrap an entire city around Bitcoin’s economic prospects. Building on the country’s recent recognition of the leading cryptocurrency as legal tender, the so-called “Bitcoin city” will be located along the Gulf of Fonseca near the base of Conchagua volcano, the geothermal energy of which will be harnessed to power the city and an industrial-scale Bitcoin mining operation. Honouring the libertarian ethos that is common amongst Bitcoin-boosters “the city will have no income, property, capital gains, or payroll taxes.”

“The lifespan of bitcoin mining devices remains limited to just 1.29 years. As a result, we estimate that the whole bitcoin network currently cycles through 30.7 metric kilotons of equipment per year.”
– Researchers Alex de Vries and Christian Stoll, on the cryptocurrency’s growing e-waste problem. Their study, published in the journal “Resources, Conservation and Recycling,” shows that, on average, bitcoin generates 272 g of e-waste per transaction. “That’s the weight of two iPhone 12 minis.”

“At any time, the finance industry could have suggested or demanded design changes. It didn’t. Artists did,” writes Charlotte Kent in an op-ed on how NFT creators force a debate about blockchain tech and the environment. Surveying key works including Memo Akten’s Cryptoart.wtf and John Gerrard’s Crystalline Work (Arctic) (image), Kent rejects the notion that crypto art is beholden to an (energy-intensive) Ethereum- and Bitcoin-rich collector class. “Diversifying is in the spirit of the distributed ledger.”


Authorities in the city of Miri in Sarawak, Malaysia seized 1,069 rigs from Bitcoin miners alleged to have stolen $2 million USD worth of electricity. “The electricity theft for mining Bitcoin activities has caused frequent power outages, and in 2021, three houses were razed due to illegal electricity supply connections,” explains Miri police chief ACP Hakemal Hawari. Six individuals were arrested, fined, and jailed in the sting; the police then proceeded to crush the hardware, worth an estimated $1.25 million USD, with a steamroller.

“China is rolling its own cryptocurrency and has every incentive to have as little competition as possible. I think we will see miners leaving China and relocate where there is spare or cheap energy.”
Cryptohopper CEO Ruud Feltkamp, on how the Digital Yuan—not green energy targets—is driving China’s crackdown on bitcoin mining, which is prompting operations to relocate to Kazakhstan and Texas, and other more hospitable regions
“Flare gas could just as well power carbon capture machines, water desalination plants, or data centres that support more widely used applications. There’s a social value in those things that I don’t see for Bitcoin.”
Alex Trembath, deputy director of the American clean energy think tank Breakthrough Institute, on Big Oil and Gas now also mining crypto
“Only off by a factor of roughly 125 trillion.”
– YouTuber stacksmashing, on how his Game Boy-powered Bitcoin mining rig compares to the competition. Whereas modern hardware mines at ~100 terahashes per second, the 1989 Nintendo handheld (controlled via a Raspberry Pi Pico) clocks in at 0.8. “It would take several quadrillion years to mine a single coin.”
“There is no comparable asset to Bitcoin. You have another category, let’s call it ‘unicorns.’ I’d put Ethereum in there, it’s a unicorn like Airbnb or Uber, it’s big … it’s complicated and compelling, there are a lot of people enthusiastic about it.”
Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor, explaining how Bitcoin is the perfect treasury asset whereas Ethereum and “the other 10,000 cryptocurrencies” are competing for space in the cultural imagination
“$4,100 (+242%)”
– @BitcoinStimulus on what a $1,200 U.S. stimulus cheque invested into Bitcoin on Apr 15 is now worth, as the cryptocurrency hits a $23,000 USD all time high propelled by looming inflation anxiety and a surge of institutional investment
“Almost 70,000 bitcoins stored in the account which, like all bitcoin wallets, is visible to the public, had lain untouched since April 2013. The website was shut down by an FBI raid six months after they were deposited, and they have not moved since.”
– Technology reporter Alex Hearn, on how an idle $1B cache of bitcoins linked to the shuttered darknet market Silk Road has suddenly changed hands. An estimated 450,000 bitcoins ($7B) earned on the marketplace still remain unaccounted for.
“In Indonesia, 60% of people under 30 don’t have a bank account and use their phones to pay for goods and services—that’s the direction we’re going. I think companies that innovate by melding precious metals and cryptocurrencies are going to lead the way.”
– Investor David Morgan, on how cryptocurrency could (digitally) return the general populace to the age-old practice of using gold and silver to store and exchange value
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