These are interesting times! BitCoin is now a traded Currency?
For this article I am not going to go into the pluses and minuses of BitCoin.
I am going to point out the fact that BitCoin has to be mined. It takes a lot of processing to make one bit coin and there are some companies that have dedicated a lot of resources into building server farms to Mine.
For BitCoin Miners they are the top of the food chain right now.
Billionaires are being made because they are generating the BitCoin and sending it out into a market where supply is finite, but reusable.
That is why Coal as a commodity is different than BitCoin.
However, there is a parallel. You see coal replaced wood as an energy resource. In effect it was a better commodity to transfer. Better Energy density and easier to transport. You could even make the case that it was for the environment since woodlands were not being stripped away.
Coal dominated energy use until the 1950s. However the growth in the economy made production valuable. However, as Oil companies started capturing the natural gas and the advances in Shale drilling came of age, coal has lost its economic edge.
In the late 19th Century Coal Mining made millionaires in West Virginia and Virginia.
Now here comes warning. Mining a single commodity had limitations and for coal companies the diversification was on where to get the coal rather than alternative mining opportunities.
Now here comes the ominous warning. Coal mining has a definitive life cycle. You mine the coal, it gets used and the energy has been spent.
Cryptocurrencies are reusable. However the blockchain mining equipment is also reusable. Now here is the question. When BitCoin mining stops sometime this year (Last I read they were at 85% of fulfillment), do we think the miners are going to stop? Or are they going to adopt another cryptocurrency?
Other than public awareness has does BitCoin have an advantage over other currencies.
Coming back to the hope, the ideal situation is that coal and lithium were kissing cousins and that the coal miners had a new ore to extract. Or that compression could make the coal turn into diamonds on the way out.
In the meantime, I think Trump should fund training for teaching miners data mining and not coal mining.
Note: At IOT Evolution we are looking at the benefit of Block Chain for IoT. This could be a miner’s gold mine!