This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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When Asteroid Mining Becomes a “Thing”, Economies Will Change
This confirmation of an asteroid’s composition by the Hubble Space Telescope is why metals will be far less precious in the future. Some asteroids have concentrations of gold, some silver, some platinum, etc. The yields from mining and smelting them down would be in the tons. Lots of tons, add zeros. We probably need a better store of value.
Crypto-currencies only have value if people believe they do and use them. Much like baseless currencies we use now (“fiat”), which I liken to religious literature. True, any crypto has limited units that can be generated by the math, but those units can be split up into infinite components. The implications of this makes them just as bad as fiat, in my opinion.
Take as an example BitCoin, the most popular crypto-currency right now. The planetary supply of generated BitCoin will be around 21 million units, forever. They are still being “mined”. It takes more energy and computers to calculate [“find”] BitCoins as you approach the limit imposed by the math.
Why Economies Can’t Be Saved By Cryptos
Say 1 BitCoin = $27T and pay off the US debt with it. How is this any different than printing up 27 One Trillion Dollar Bills? You could limit the world to one form of Crypto (GloboCoin?), since if you make your own version with the code (freeware), you can make 21 million of that also. Call it UltraCoin or some and off you go… everyone that can, would.
Competing Cryptos would eventually thin out to a few, but the effect on value is tremendous. Like Venezuela did with it’s fiat paper, you could just make another one, call it the “Strong BitCoin” and set it’s value by law to 1 SBC = 1000BC, and hope your economy improves. A losing proposition. A black market crypto would fail for the same reason. There is no way to enforce it’s use as opposed to a grey market coin, a PirateCoin, etc.
No, sorry AnCaps, crypto will not save you. You need scarcity of supply to create real value, not requiring trust in the coders not to scam you or fork off a competing crypto. Governments, if they could get control, could break a crypto down infinitely small as needed to temporarily prop up an economy. The surge in BC lately is more about the weak fiat currencies and Chinavirus’ effect on the world economy. If the government’s focus is on crypto, the best it can do is buy time for the above reasons.
New Directions, New Value
One idea is generate cryptos based on power generation. Every KWH produced goes onto the nation’s/world’s grid to be used by civilization. Not everyone of course produces power, they get paid in “WattCoin” or whatever you call it. The supply is limited by the sources of energy available and creating the infrastructure to put it to use.
Kind of energy farming. More panels get bought, more windmills get made, more oil gets drilled. This stimulates everyone’s economies. I would guess local laws would subject the methods to zoning to avoid visual blight and devaluation. I say devaluation, since at any time the world energy need is finite, so at some point the immediate needs are met. As energy becomes more available, people’s lives get better, even in poor countries.
More desalination plants can get made with more and relatively cheaper energy affecting construction and materials costs. More people might see the use of now cheaper electric cars, have lighting, using electricity to fix nitrogen in the soils from the air for fertilizer (current energy costs way too much to do it this way). Uses like these would spur power demand, supply growing as able. It even extends to space colonies, which also would be able to have local currency based on a finite energy generating capacity as well as water and oxygen having immediate value (encouraging mining of comets and moons for ice). Nowhere to go but up!