The music video for “Despacito” set an Internet record in April 2018 when it became the first video to hit five billion views on YouTube
. In the process, “Despacito” reached a less celebrated milestone: it burned as much energy as 40,000 U.S. homes use in a year.
Computer servers, which store website data and share it with other computers and mobile devices, create the magic of the virtual world. But every search, click, or streamed video sets several servers to work — a Google
search for “Despacito” activates
servers in six to eight data centers around the world — consuming very real energy resources.
A lot of them.
Today, data centers consume about 2% of electricity worldwide; that could rise
to 8% of the global total by 2030, according to a study by Anders Andrae, who researches sustainable information and communications technology for Huawei Technologies Ltd.
U.S. data centers consumed
70 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2014, the same amount that 6.4 million American homes used that year. Data centers need electricity to power their servers, storage equipment, backups, and power cooling infrastructure; most servers require temperatures below 80 degrees Fahrenheit to operate, and cooling can comprise up to 40% of electricity usage in conventional data centers.
“People don’t think about the backend consequences of Netflix
streaming,” says Debra Tan, the director of Hong Kong-based nonprofit China Water Risk. “The information and communications technology (ICT) sector is probably one of the most power-hungry sectors going forward.”
The global shift toward what Tan calls “cloud-based societies”—and the rise of nascent tech like 5G networks, robotics, artificial intelligence, and cryptocurrencies—means electricity consumption in data centers will keep surging.
Data’s massive carbon footprint
Because servers are housed in nondescript data centers rather than factories with billowing smokestacks, the size of their carbon footprint is easily overlooked.
But the constant and increasing demand for connectivity means ever more energy funneled into these data centers, and much of that energy is non-renewable and contributes to carbon emissions. Data centers contribute 0.3% to global carbon emissions, according to Nature
; the ICT sector as a whole contributes over 2%, and those numbers could increase
The U.S. is home to 3 million data centers, or roughly one for every 100 Americans. A large number are clustered in Loudoun County in northern Virginia. Tech giants like Amazon
, and Google operate data centers there, and county officials claim
that 70% of the world’s Internet traffic flows through the area’s data centers.
Only 12% of Amazon’s Loudoun County data centers and 4% of Google’s are powered by renewable energy, despite their pledges to shift to 100% clean energy, according
to Greenpeace. The region’s low commercial electricity rates make it an attractive site for power-guzzling data centers.
Debra Tan of China Water Risk says that American tech firms with a global presence like Google and Facebook must step up their existing commitments to clean energy, as must Chinese tech companies like Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent, which sourced
67% of their energy from coal in 2017. China’s data center industry is the world’s second-largest, comprising 8% of the global market.
“The ICT sector can definitely lead the world in aggressive decarbonization because they’re the sector that will add on the most power going forward,” says Tan. “They have the capability [and] they have the scale.”
The data never ends
The Internet’s “never-ending creation of data” explains why electricity demand in data centers will likely surge in the future, says Huawei researcher Anders Andrae, who cites more advanced video, 5G networks, A.I. training, holography, and cryptocurrency mining as some of the drivers.
The energy consumption of Bitcoin mining has been a concern
for many watching the rise of cryptocurrencies, and analysts have said Bitcoin mining consumes around 0.3% of global electricity (some skeptics
argue that such estimates are exaggerated, however).
In China, the government is starting to crack down on the practice. Authorities in China’s Inner Mongolia province said
earlier this month that they will no longer support the crypto mining industry, though they did not issue an official ban.
Inner Mongolia’s cheap electricity, thanks to a wealth of coal, is what first drew crypto miners to the far-flung province. In China, data centers get 73% of their power from coal and 23% from renewable sources. The country’s clean energy industry is still developing, so there is a lack of infrastructure compared to coal-powered sources, which are relatively cheap and abundant—China accounts for half
of global coal consumption.
China’s data centers emitted 99 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2018 and will emit two-thirds more by 2023 unless industry addresses its energy consumption, per a 2019 study
by Greenpeace and North China Electric Power University.
Ye Ruiqi, a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia, says that the initiative to move the industry towards renewable energy “must come from internet data center companies themselves.”
“We need to start addressing the carbon emissions and air pollutants associated with the source[s] of power that feed into our data centers.” Ye says, noting that a handful of Chinese companies have started shifting to renewables and “the results are promising.”
While consumers can make some daily changes to their consumption—streaming Netflix on medium quality rather than high-definition could save
over 75% of carbon and water used—companies and governments must take the lead in the greening of the supply chain and development of renewable energy infrastructure, says Tan.
“We can get more efficient […] but our demand is also going to go up,” Tan says. “Your best bet is to go 100% renewables for the backend, cloud, all the transmission towers, et cetera. If you can get that infrastructure to green then there’s less pressure to curbing demand.”
It will be difficult, but if the sector takes action to shift from coal to renewable energy, electricity consumption can decouple from carbon emissions, Ye says: “Technology innovation doesn’t have to contradict [sustainable] development.”
More must-read stories from Fortune:
—China is the world’s biggest coal user.
Can it break the habit?
—How the [energy industry is using data to decarbonize itself
solar execs say [the game is already over for non-renewable energy
CEO says he’ll sell oil projects to meet [Paris climate accord goals
to our audio briefing, [_Fortune_500 Daily
, a weekly look at the revolutions in energy, tech, and sustainability._ * More Details Here
Note: you can read this on GitHub (link), Medium (link) or old Reddit (link) to see all the links. submitted by
: Version 1.3.0 RC1 (Release Candidate 1) is out! The main features of this release are significant performance improvements, including some that benefit SPV clients. Full release notes and downloads are on GitHub
The default minimum transaction fee rate was reduced from 0.001 to 0.0001 DCkB. Do not try to send such small fee transactions just yet, until the majority of the network upgrades.
Release process was changed
to use release branches and bump version on the master branch at the beginning of a release cycle. Discussed in this chat
The codebase is ready for the new Go 1.11 version. Migration to vgo module system is complete and the 1.4.0 release will be built using modules. The list of versioned modules and a hierarchy diagram are available here
The testnet was reset and bumped to version 3.
Comments are welcome for the proposal
to implement smart fee estimation, which is important for Lightning Network.
@matheusd recorded a code review video
for new Decred developers that explains how tickets are selected for voting. dcrwallet
: Version 1.3.0 RC1
features new SPV sync mode, new ticket buyer, new APIs for Decrediton and a host of bug fixes. On the dev side, dcrwallet also migrated
to the new module system. Decrediton
: Version 1.3.0 RC1
adds the new SPV sync mode that syncs roughly 5x faster. The feature is off by default while it receives more testing from experienced users. Other notable changes include a design polish and experimental Politeia integration. Politeia
: Proposal editing is being developed
and has a short demo
. This will allow proposal owners to edit their proposal in response to community feedback before voting begins. The challenges associated with this feature relate to updating censorship tokens and maintaining a clear history of which version comments were made on. @fernandoabolafio produced this architecture diagram
which may be of interest to developers.
@degeri joined to perform security testing of Politeia and found several issues
: mainnet explorer upgraded to v2.1 with several new features. For users: credit/debit tx filter on address page, showing miner fees on coinbase transaction page, estimate yearly ticket rewards on main page
, cool new hamburger menu and keyboard navigation. For developers: new chain parameters
page, experimental Insight API support, endpoints for coin supply and block rewards, testnet3 support. Lots of minor API changes and frontend tweaks, many bug fixes and robustness improvements.
The upcoming v3.0 entered beta and is deployed on beta.dcrdata.org
. Check out the new charts
page. Feedback and bug reports are appreciated. Finally, the development version v3.1.0-pre is on alpha.dcrdata.org
: updated to be compatible with the latest SPV code and is syncing, several performance issues are worked on. Details were posted in chat
. Alpha testing has started, to participate please join #dev
and ask for the APK. iOS
: backend is mostly complete, as well as the front end. Support for devices with smaller screens was improved. What works now: creating and recovering wallets, listing of transactions, receiving DCR, displaying and scanning QR codes, browsing account information, SPV connection to peers, downloading headers. Some bugs need fixing before making testable builds. Ticket splitting
: v0.6.0 beta released
with improved fee calculation and multiple bug fixes. docs
section that grouped some old articles as well as the new Politeia
@Richard-Red created a concept repository
sandbox with policy documents, to illustrate the kind of policies that could be approved and amended by Politeia proposals. decred.org
: 8 contributors
added and 4 removed, including 2 advisors (discussion here
Dev activity stats for August: 239 active PRs, 219 commits, 25k added and 11k deleted lines spread across 8 repositories. Contributions came from 2-10 developers per repository. (chart
Hashrate: went from 54 to 76 PH/s, the low was 50 and the new all-time high is 100 PH/s. BeePool share rose to ~50% while F2Pool shrank to 30%, followed by coinmine.pl at 5% and Luxor at 3%.
Staking: 30-day average ticket price is 95.6 DCR (+3.0) as of Sep 3. During the month, ticket price fluctuated between a low of 92.2 and high of 100.5 DCR. Locked DCR represented between 3.8 and 3.9 million or 46.3-46.9% of the supply.
Nodes: there are 217 public listening and 281 normal nodes per dcred.eu
. Version distribution: 2% at v1.4.0(pre) (dev builds), 5% on v1.3.0 (RC1), 62% on v1.2.0 (-5%), 22% on v1.1.2 (-2%), 6% on v1.1.0 (-1%). Almost 69% of nodes are v.1.2.0 and higher and support client filters. Data snapshot of Aug 31.
Obelisk posted 3 email updates
in August. DCR1 units are reportedly
shipping with 1 TH/s hashrate and will be upgraded with firmware to 1.5 TH/s. Batch 1 customers will receive compensation
for missed shipment dates, but only after Batch 5 ships. Batch 2-5 customers will be receiving the updated slim design
the new D9+ DecredMaster
: 2.8 TH/s at 1,230 W priced $1,499. Specified shipping date was Aug 10-15. FFMiner DS19
claims 3.1 TH/s for Blake256R14 at 680 W and simultaneously 1.55 TH/s for Blake2B at 410 W, the price is $1,299
. Shipping Aug 20-25.
Another newly noticed miner offer is this
unit that does 46 TH/s at 2,150 W at the price of $4,720. It is shipping Nov 2018 and the stats look very close to Pangolin Whatsminer DCR
(which has now a page on asicminervalue
joined the list of stakepools
for a total of 16.
Australian CoinTree added
DCR trading. The platform supports fiat, there are some limitations
during the upgrade to a new system but also no fees
in the "Early access mode". On a related note, CoinTree is working
on a feature to pay household bills with cryptocurrencies it supports.
Three new OTC desks were added to exchanges
page at decred.org.
Two mobile wallets integrated Decred:
- Coinomi added Decred to their Android and iOS wallets. In addition to the Apple App Store and Google Play you can download the APK directly. Coinomi features an integrated cryptocurrency exchange and is the first company to offer a mobile Decred wallet.
- BitBill Android and iOS wallet also added Decred.
Reminder: do your best to understand the security and privacy model before using any wallet software. Points to consider: who controls the seed, does the wallet talk to the nodes directly or via middlemen, is it open source or not?
- Bit Dials announced DCR support via GloBee at their bitdials.eu luxury boutique. Their separate supercar and classic car shop bitcars.eu also accepts DCR, either via GloBee or with manual invoicing in case of privacy concerns.
- Sheldon Store re-enabled DCR payments. The shop sells gift cards for Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and many more.
Targeted advertising report for August was posted by @timhebel. Facebook appeal is pending, some Google and Twitter campaigns were paused and some updated. Read more here
Contribution to the @decredproject
Twitter account has evolved over the past few months. A #twitter_ops channel is being used on Matrix to collaboratively draft and execute project account tweets (including retweets). Anyone with an interest in contributing to the Twitter account can ask for an invitation to the channel and can start contributing content and ideas there for evaluation by the Twitter group. As a result, no minority or unilateral veto over tweets is possible. (from GitHub
- Meetup in Puebla City, Mexico, organized by @elian. (photo, slides, missed in July issue)
- @joshuam discussed Decred and decentralized organizations with Craig Laundy, Federal Minister for Small Business, the Workplace, and Deregulation with the Australian Government, at @YBFVentures. (photos)
- Meetup at @TheBlockCafe in Lisbon, Portugal. @mm presented "Decred 101 - Governance with Skin in the Game" and @moo31337 talked about Decred's 2018 roadmap. (photos: 1 2 3)
- Meetup in Taipei, Taiwan. @morphymore made a short intro of Decred and noted: "After the talk, many have approached to tell me that they literally don’t hear of Decred until today, and are interested in finding out more about the merit of a hybrid consensus system.". Longer report here, some photos and a video are here.
- @eSizeDave introduced Decred to the SILC Undergraduate Program students at @YBFVentures. (photo)
- OKEx Global Meetup Tour in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. @joshuam gave a brief presentation covering the history of Decred, how the project functions, and the importance of governance. Afterwards he joined a panel discussion and spoke about Decred's incentives for long term viability. (video, video, photo)
- Blockchain & Decentralised Governance Panel at @YBFVentures in Melbourne, Australia. @eSizeDave presented Decred, mini-report here. (photos: 1 2)
- Blockchain Futurist Conference in Toronto, Canada. @zubairzia0 noted: "Devs and the community were held in high regard for the people who knew about decred ... one positive thing I remember was someone defending us saying 'Decred does not need a booth', I believe that comment was reflective of the quality of projects being showcased at the conference.". (photo)
- Meetup at @YBFVentures in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam discussed Decred with Graham Stuart, U.K. Minister for International Trade. (news, photos)
- Small meetup with Jackson Palmer in Melbourne, Australia. (photo)
- Voice of Blockchain in Chicago, USA. @moo31337 talked on Protocol Governance panel, Solving Scalability panel (video) and gave an interview, while @ay-p spoke on Decentralized Exchanges panel. Stakey made an appearance on the slides. (photos: 1 2 3 4 5)
- Hawthorne Street Fair in Portland, USA. Raedah Group was out answering questions about crypto and Decred. (photos)
- Blockchain APAC in Melbourne, Australia. @joshuam joined a panel discussion with reps from banking, university and ISO/TC 307. @eSizeDave reports: "This enterprise conference was indeed a whole lot better than I expected. The presentations were actually full of very worthwhile information from credible people, articulated aptly to a very government, academic, and corporate crowd, who genuinely took on board valuable insights. Good to know some of these key people are Decred holders and stakers as well. I got to use the entire day to speak directly with some of the most pivotal personalities in this particular populace. Ongoing relationships have been built and strengthened.". (photos: 1 2 3)
For those willing to help with the events:
BAB: Hey all, we are gearing up for conference season. I have a list of places we hope to attend but need to know who besides @joshuam and @Haon are willing to do public speaking, willing to work booths, or help out at them? You will need to be well versed on not just what is Decred, but the history of Decred etc... DM me if you are interested. (#event_planning)
The Decred project is looking for ambassadors. If you are looking for a fun cryptocurrency to get involved in send me a DM or come talk to me on Decred slack. (@marco_peereboom, longer version here)
Decred Assembly episode 21 is available
. @jy-p and lead dcrwallet developer @jrick discussed SPV from Satoshi's whitepaper, how it can be improved upon and what's coming in Decred.
Decred Assembly episodes 1-21 are available in audio only format here
New instructional articles on stakey.club
: Decrediton setup
, Deleting the wallet
, Installing Go
, Installing dcrd
, dcrd as a Linux service
. Available in both English and Portuguese
Decred scored #32 in the August issue
of Chinese CCID ratings. The evaluation model was explained in this interview
Satis Group rated Decred highly in their cryptoasset valuation research report
). This was featured by several large media outlets, but some did not link to or omitted
Decred entirely, citing
low market cap.
- Decred Investor Interviews: Ciarán O’Leary, General Partner, BlueYard Capital (medium)
- Decred Update Research Report by Node Blockchain (medium), and the corresponding full 11-page report (Google Drive)
- Is Decred worth my time and money? by Fabien Pelissier (medium), and the full 13-page Decred Analysis (PDF)
- Decred for Custody Providers by @bee (medium)
- The 3 Best-Performing Cryptocurrencies in 2018 (nulltx.com, missed in July issue)
- Decred Review (vivecrypto.com, missed in July issue)
- What is Decred? Everything about Decred, the wallet and the hybrid consensus (Dutch, currentcrypto.nl)
- Decred overview (Japanese, cryptocoinportal.jp, note: Decred's Coco is Amazing, according to Google Translate)
- What is Dark Red (Decred)? (Japanese, billion-coin.jp)
- Decred is the neglected gem among altcoins (captainaltcoin.com)
- What are the characteristics of Decred and where to buy? (Japanese, motto-money.com)
- What is hybrid virtual currency Decred? Explanation of features and future potential (Japanese, investor-a.com)
- What is DCR? Introduction to Decred (cryptobriefing.com)
- Cryptocurrencies in the Top 100 With Working Products That Are In-Use (investinblockchain)
- Top 3 Coins Crushing it in 2018 so Far! - Decred, VeChain, Binance Coin! by Decentralized TV (youtube)
- Decred review by Ultimate Money (youtube, missed in July issue)
- Interview with Marco Peereboom by BitBoy Crypto (youtube)
- Twitter followers 39,592 (+174)
- Reddit subscribers 8,631 (+119)
- Matrix users 163
- Slack users 6,067 (+103)
- YouTube subscribers 3,667
- Facebook 3,048 followers and 2,814 likes
- GitHub 417 (+14) stars and 1,021 (+44) forks of dcrd repository
Comm systems news:
- Interruptions in the chat bridge led to some Slack messages not reaching other platforms, and consequently not being archived in Matrix.
- Several impersonators were detected and banned.
- Inactive Slack channels were archived. If you miss them, let it be known.
- Mastodon was mentioned by several people as a possible alternative for Twitter.
- Two new Reddit rules were added to prevent CAPS flood and duplicate submissions.
After another debate about chat systems more people began testing and using Matrix, leading to some gardening on that platform:
- Decred Matrix community was created: +decred:decred.org, it helps to see all Decred-related rooms and people.
- #privacy and #design are now bridged.
- One private work channel was successfully migrated to Matrix.
- Stylish room avatars were set.
- @Haon has prepared a short guide to help new Matrix users get started and join the Decred rooms.
- A thread was started to discuss changes to Decred jargon with the intent to make it more consistent and accessible to newcomers. The question whether changing "official" terminology requires stakeholder approval was touched in this thread and in #documentation.
- Project fund transparency and constitution were extensively discussed on Reddit and in #general.
- Pre-proposal to use Politeia to approve Politeia as a legitimate decision-making tool for Decred.
Reddit: substantive discussion about Decred cons
; ecosystem fund
; a thread
about voter engagement, Politeia UX and trolling; idea
of a social media system for Decred by @michae2xl; how profitable
is the Obelisk DCR1.
Chats: cross-chain trading
via LN; plans
for contractor management system, lower-level decision making and contractor privacy vs transparency for stakeholders; measuring
dev activity; what if
the network stalls, multiple implementations of Decred for more resilience, long term vision behind those extensive tests and accurate comments in the codebase; ideas
for process for policy documents, hosting them in Pi and approving with ticket voting; about
SPV wallet disk size, how compact filters work; odds
of a wallet fetching a wrong block in SPV; new module system
in Go; security
of allowing Android app backups; why
PoW algo change proposal must be specified in great detail; thoughts
and SPV; prerequisites
for shipping SPV by default (continued
); Decred vs Dash treasury and marketing expenses
, spending other people's money; why
Decred should not invade a country, DAO and nation states, entangling with nation state is poor resource allocation; how
winning tickets are determined and attack vectors; Politeia
proposal moderation, contractor clearance, the scale of proposals and decision delegation, initial Politeia vote to approve Politeia itself; chat systems
, Matrix/Slack/Discord/RocketChat/Keybase (continued
of Korean exchanges; no breaking changes
in vgo; why
project fund burn rate must keep low; asymptotic
behavior of Decred and other ccs, tail emission; count of full nodes
and incentives to run them; Politeia proposal translations
and multilingual environment.
An unusual event was the chat about double negatives and other oddities in languages in #trading
DCR started the month at USD 56 / BTC 0.0073 and had a two week decline. On Aug 14 the whole market took a huge drop
and briefly went below USD 200 billion. Bitcoin went below USD 6,000 and top 100 cryptos lost 5-30%. The lowest point coincided with Bitcoin dominance peak at 54.5%. On that day Decred dived -17% and reached the bottom of USD 32 / BTC 0.00537. Since then it went sideways in the USD 35-45 / BTC 0.0054-0.0064 range. Around Aug 24, Huobi showed DCR trading volume above USD 5M and this coincided with a minor recovery. @ImacallyouJawdy
posted some creative analysis based on ticket data.
an extensive article "ASIC Resistance is Nothing but a Blockchain Buzzword" that is much in line with Decred's stance on ASICs.
The ongoing debates
about the possible Sia fork
yet again demonstrate the importance of a robust dispute resolution mechanism. Also, we are lucky
to have the treasury.
Mark B Lundeberg, who found
a vulnerability in atomicswap earlier, published
a concept of more private peer-to-peer atomic swaps. (missed in July issue)
Medium took a cautious stance
on cryptocurrencies and triggered at least one project to migrate
to Ghost (that same project previously migrated
away from Slack).
Regulation: Vietnam bans
mining equipment imports, China halts
crypto events and tightens control of crypto chat groups.
Reddit was hacked
by intercepting 2FA codes sent via SMS. The announcement
explains the impact. Yet another data breach
suggests to think twice before sharing any data with any company and shift to more secure authentication systems.
Intel and x86 dumpsterfire keeps burning brighter
. Seek more secure hardware and operating systems for your coins.
Finally, unrelated to Decred but good for a laugh: yetanotherico.com
About This Issue
This is the 5th issue of Decred Journal. It is mirrored on GitHub
. Past issues are available here
Most information from third parties is relayed directly from source after a minimal sanity check. The authors of Decred Journal have no ability to verify all claims. Please beware of scams and do your own research.
Feedback is appreciated: please comment on Reddit
or #writers_room on Matrix
Contributions are welcome too. Some areas are collecting content, pre-release review or translations to other languages. Check out @Richard-Red's guide
how to contribute to Decred using GitHub without writing code.
Credits (Slack names, alphabetical order): bee, Haon, jazzah, Richard-Red and thedecreddigest.
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