Bitcoin And The Thermodynamics Of Computation

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This is an opin­ion edi­to­r­i­al by Spencer Nichols, a con­trib­u­tor at Bit­coin Mag­a­zine. 

The Santa Fe Institute has a history of studying complex adaptive systems. Bitcoin has a deep connection to complexity theory and thermodynamic theory.

(Photograph/Spencer Nichols)

“Con­tin­u­ous growth and the con­se­quent ever-increas­ing accel­er­a­tion of the pace of life have pro­found con­se­quences for the entire plan­et… This is sure­ly not sus­tain­able, and, if noth­ing changes, we are head­ing for a major crash and a poten­tial col­lapse of the entire socioe­co­nom­ic fab­ric. The chal­lenges are clear: Can we return to an ana­log of a more ‘eco­log­i­cal’ phase from which we evolved and be sat­is­fied with some ver­sion of sub­lin­ear scal­ing and its atten­dant nat­ur­al lim­it­ing, or no-growth, sta­ble con­fig­u­ra­tion? Is this even pos­si­ble?” — Geof­frey West, “Scale”

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