Bitcoin as the first profitable location independent energy consumer

There is this excerpt we found very profound:

Bitcoin mining is the only profitable use of energy in human history that does not need to be located near human settlement to operate.

The long-term implications of this are world changing and hiding in plain sight.

Before Bitcoin, the problem of energy has never been its scarcity, but only our ability to channel it geographically where it is needed most. Before Bitcoin, that was exclusively where humans lived.

In contrast, Bitcoin’s mining energy is solving a different problem. Because of satellites and wireless internet connections, Bitcoin mining can be located anywhere.

For example, remote, destitute areas blessed with moving water can monetize their natural resource good fortune by creating clean, hydro energy and using it to mine Bitcoin. Thus, Bitcoin can make monetizable isolated energy sources all over the world – like waterfalls, running rivers, or creatable dams – now entirely untapped because they would be cost-prohibitive to connect to electric grids close enough to residential or industrial areas.

In doing so, Bitcoin can fundamentally change the economics of energy by introducing a highly profitable use of electricity that’s location independent.

The world has never had a profitable use of energy that’s location independent. Now it does.

And since fossil fuels are already too expensive to be a profitable source of Bitcoin mining energy, the only long-term, profitable Bitcoin mining will be powered by hydro.

Imagine a future with Bitcoin mining firms, unsubsidized, in extraordinarily isolated locations – visualize a waterfall in a largely population-free part of an African country suffering from abject poverty – easily connected to the Bitcoin network, building serious energy infrastructure to monetize the local clean energy source for mining. However, once the industrial-strength, profitable infrastructure is in place, let’s extend it. Let’s build roads. And housing. And schools. And hospitals. Ultimately leading to human settlement. The net result can be people locating around new, Bitcoin-driven hydroelectric energy infrastructure, with more and more of humanity clustering around cheap, clean energy sources.

Historically, our energy challenge has been to move the power to the people.

With Bitcoin, we can move the people to the power

Consider that the world’s major population centers – think New York, London, Paris, Tokyo – each developed where they are geographically because of natural seaports, waterways, and trade routes. Energy was a nonfactor because placement of these cities was all pre-energy (i.e., pre-fossil fuels). As Bitcoin finances the for-profit development of cheap, clean energy infrastructure on a massive scale, it can lead to a future in which more and more of the world’s population lives near abundant energy with an extraordinarily low marginal cost of production. This matters because cheap energy equals human flourishing. That’s an equation. Cheap energy = human flourishing. Beyond the revolution in monetary policy that Bitcoin already represents, Bitcoin may also represent the biggest catalyst the world has ever known for developing abundant, clean, cheap energy. And, therefore, one of biggest catalysts in the world for human flourishing.

— an excerpt from the Stone Ridge 2020 Shareholder Letter, its 2-minute version can be found here https://www.2minutebitcoin.org/blog/stone-ridge-2020-shareholder-letter

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