Thriving Hive #2

I don’t think my last post was forceful enough.

It is completely absurd that for 130 million, so much computing power has been put on the task.

For comparison, BP alone has announced plans to spend $100 million on a super computer searching for oil – with a sliver of the computational ability.

This is a hectic example of how a well designed incentive system can trump the combined power of states, in a sphere where you’d expect them to be totally dominant.

Thanks to the hype around bitcoin – and the kicks and coin people get out of participating in the enterprise – the infrastructure developed almost overnight to create most powerful computer the world has ever seen, for a fraction of what it would cost the most powerful governments in the world. Indeed, for a fraction of what they spend on far inferior systems.

And it feels like it appeared out of thin air overnight.

Last year supercomputer sales were $5.6 billion. If these (admittedly not quite apple) comparisons to the bitcoin processing hive are to be believed, the every-ten-minute-bitcoin-releases completely trumps them.

And the bitcoins were conjured out of the aether at no cost by the system itself. Disorientating.

Perhaps politicians, economists, entrepreneurs – actually maybe all of us – should give some thought to how such an outcome has been so freely engineered with such a phenomenal result.


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