Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1121/32037
From The Socialist newspaper, 17 February 2021
Cryptocurrency bubble: Insanity of capitalism
microchip, photo: Jon Sullivan/CC (Click to enlarge)
Amnon Cohen, North London Socialist Party
Low interest rates and the declining profit margins of capitalist production have pushed speculators to find new areas to invest their capital. This has created a massive bubble in cryptocurrencies.
In 2010, a bitcoin was worth $0.0008, and a bitcoin could be 'mined' with an ordinary laptop in ten minutes of calculations. Today the same bitcoin is worth $47,000.
This has created a massive industry of 'bitcoin mining farms' - warehouses where hundreds of thousands of servers are crunching through the calculations needed to mine new bitcoins. These farms consume more electricity than the datacentres of Google, Amazon and Microsoft combined, and more power than Argentina, accounting for 0.5% of global electrical carbon emissions.
Elon Musk, whose companies just received $4.9 billion in government green subsidies invested $1.5 billion in bitcoin, sending its price up by thousands of dollars and fuelling the expansion of these bitcoin farms. The expansion of these farms is the reason for the shortage of graphics processing units that they often use.
Under capitalism, vast amounts of power, computer hardware and technical expertise is used to perform socially useless calculations to create these cryptocurrencies, while needlessly boosting carbon emissions. Let's end this insane system and use the technology and resources at our disposal for the benefit of humanity, and not the profits of speculators.
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In The Socialist 17 February 2021:
Tory consultation on home-use abortion pills
Tory cladding money will not make us safe
Sham inquiry into 'progressive extremism' will not stop movements against capitalism
Cumbria mine: How can we fight for jobs and stop climate change?
Cryptocurrency bubble: Insanity of capitalism
News in brief
Online workers' rally: Taking fight to the bosses
SNP's independence referendum 2 'roadmap'
NHS white paper: no solution to failed Tory policies
Boot private companies out of our NHS
Covid workplace safety
Derby Toyota plant Covid crisis
Hackney teaching assistants strike against cruel and unnecessary job cuts
PCS: Reject the HMRC pay deal
Manchester Go North West bus drivers in all-out strike over fire and rehire dispute
London bus drivers set to strike over pay and conditions
Scaffolders' strike continues
Strike back for free education
Socialist Students conference - Sunday 28 February
Socialist Party Black and Asian caucus
Remembering Mohamud Hassan - continuing the fight against police brutality
How you can amplify the Socialist's voice - Help us build subscriptions to the Socialist
Swarming the London Mayor's question time
Southern new members meeting - a vivid illustration of the appetite for socialist ideas
Doing all we can to fund the anti-cuts stand at the ballot box
Film Review: Dear Comrades!
The Socialist Inbox
The Socialist 17 February 2021 |
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