[NetBehaviour] The Unreasonable Ecological Cost of #CryptoArt

Graziano Milano grazmaster at googlemail.com
Fri Jan 22 17:53:17 CET 2021

In 2020 the crypto artist "Beeple" (Mike Winkelmann), that is mentioned in
“The Unreasonable Ecological Cost of #CryptoArt (Part 1)”, has broken
records on Gemini’s Nifty Gateway platform by selling a collection of 20
artworks for a sum of $3.5 million:

By the end of this century the value of these 20 Beeple’s artworks may
increase or completely collapse as it may happen to Bitcoins and other
crypto currencies.

On Fri, 22 Jan 2021 at 10:50, Ruth Catlow via NetBehaviour <
netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:

> re: http://cryptoart.wtf
> I mean... It's a great troll but it's not good enough!
> The meme of blockchain's outrageous energy use is a barrier to more
> diverse people entering the development space.
> Blockchain technologies are important because species collapse and climate
> emergency is an effect of the global political economy. Blockchains tech
> like cryptocurrencies, tokens, and smart contracts are the only tools we
> have (as yet) to organise directly p-2-p at a planetary scale.They are
> still new but they offer a way to imagine and realise both money and
> governance at a global scale, independent of states and corporations.
> The debate about blockchain's environmental impact usually focuses around
> its high energy use.
> [EXPLAINER: Blockchains' level of energy use are due to the consensus
> mechanisms (CMs) they use to verify transactions, and to "mine" currency.
> The amount of electricity used varies according to the CM. The two dominant
> CMs are Proof of Work (PoW) and Proof of Stake (PoS)
> Bitcoin uses PoW and infamously consumes the same amount of electricity as
> 159 countries. Ethereum (the platform for programmable money - and
> therefore the focus of a lot of work on new forms of governance) is moving
> to Eth2 a PoS system which uses far less energy. But this is still 2 years
> off.]
> Questions about the environmental impact of blockchain are important and
> difficult to answer.  It's right that we assess the impact of Blockchains
> but we need better ways to compare all emerging digital infrastructure
> ecosystems - including other financial techs, IoT, ML AI, 5G.
> A focus on reducing energy use is not enough. As @alsodanlowe put it  "It
> would be crazy to ban or dissuade colleagues from participating in an
> effort to decentralize money away from the forces that create the priority
> for fossil fuels (much of it built on debt) just because those forces
> exist. PoW is agnostic. Banks and existing oligarchy is not."
> https://twitter.com/alsodanlowe/status/1317444999361957891
> Blockchain is a future technology. It is built for use in a world of
> clean, limitless, renewable energy.
> Efforts need to focus here...and on the political economies and the
> cultural adoption patterns that they can support and grow beyond
> accumulative self-interest and extractive capitalism if we are avoid
> accelerating climate collapse.
> This morning I retweeted this from Sarah Friend "If I hadn't spent the
> past five years working in crypto, I'd probably be moralizing about it too,
> and this is perhaps part of why I am so profoundly annoyed by its
> superficial detractors - my shadow selves, who know so much less than me
> and are so much more sure they're right"
> https://twitter.com/isthisanart_/status/1352288565850492928
> There's so much more to  say about all of this. Especially about the role
> that art has to play.
> Soon!!!!
> On Fri, Jan 22, 2021 at 9:35 AM Annie Abrahams via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>> The website http://cryptoart.wtf pulls in random blockchain-based
>> CryptoArt from the web, and estimates the ecological impact of each work
>> in terms of energy consumption (kWh), and greenhouse gases released
>> (KgCO2) as a result of blockchain-based transactions relating to the work.
>> https://memoakten.medium.com/the-unreasonable-ecological-cost-of-cryptoart-2221d3eb2053
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> Lab
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> *I will only agree to speak at events that are racially and gender
> balanced.
> **sending thanks
> <https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-newsroom/press-releases/2019/november/think-before-you-thank-if-every-brit-sent-one-less-thank-you-email-a-day-we-would-save-16433-tonnes-of-carbon-a-year-the-same-as-81152-flights-to-madrid.html> in
> advance
> *Furtherfield *disrupts and democratises art and technology through exhibitions,
> labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free thinking.
> furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org/>
> *DECAL* Decentralised Arts Lab is an arts, blockchain & web 3.0
> technologies research hub
> for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural ecologies & economies now.
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