What the heck is crypto? And for that matter, what is money? Greg and I take a thought provoking and philosophical journey exploring these fundamental questions. Our conversation delves into the profound implications of these technologies and their significance in our lives. One of the key topics we tackle is the formidable energy needs associated with these technologies. Who will be responsible for installing the infrastructure necessary to support crypto and decentralized finance?
Here are references to the facts and topics discussed in our conversation, with timecode:
(02:39) Greg asks Flo if she knows the difference between “coins” and “tokens.”
To tell if you're dealing with a crypto coin or token, find out whether the cryptocurrency has a blockchain or not. If it has its own blockchain, then it's a coin, and if it operates on an existing blockchain, then it's a token. (reference)
(07:05) Greg and Flo question when money began to be used in human society.
In 2021, Chinese archaeologists with the State University of Zhengzhou announced the discovery of the world’s oldest known, securely dated coin minting site in Guanzhuang in Henan Province, China. A mint is a facility where currency is created. Sometime around 640 BCE, this facility began striking spade coins, one of the first standardized forms of metal coinage. (reference)
(09:10) Greg says that in 2022, about 950,000 people in the world owned one Bitcoin.
In 2022 according to blockchain analytics company Glassnode, the number of wallets holding at least 1 BTC or more reached 950,000. (reference)
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(37:21) Greg says “The crypto industry has stomped out Ponzi schemes in a few years.”
Greg is referring to the fact that previous ponzi schemes, like that of Bernie Madoff's, went unchallenged for decades. In contrast, the FTX ponzi scheme was caught and brought to justice within a few years of commencing operation. (reference)
(39:15) Greg claims "The fastest rate of crypto adoption in the world is Africa.”
In 2021, Chainanalysis noted that Africa 'has some of the highest grassroots adoption in the world, with Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania all ranking in the top 20 of our Global Crypto Adoption Index.'" (reference)
(01:16:44) Greg: “AI will use more electricity than blockchain technology as a whole.”
According to third party analysis sources, the race to build high-performance, AI-powered search engines is likely to require a dramatic rise in computing power, and with it a massive increase in the amount of energy that tech companies require and the amount of carbon they emit. (reference)
(01:18:53) Greg: “We have to grow the grid by about 60% in the next handful of years.”
"Most plausible pathways to net-zero emissions call for the electrification of multiple services, such as heating and transportation. The resulting increase in electricity demand will require major upgrades to the grid, with some studies suggesting a 60% increase in peak demand by 2050." (reference)