Plattsburgh, New York has become the first city in the United States to ban cryptocurrency mining, an incredibly energy-consuming, environmentally damaging practice. This comes on the heels of recent study showing that blockchain ledgers are being used to traffic child pornography:
The researchers write, “our analysis shows that certain content, e.g., illegal pornography, can render the mere possession of a blockchain illegal.” According to the paper, 112 countries prohibit the possession of child pornography and of those countries, many have other restrictions that prohibit the distribution of that kind of material.
A few years ago, some people were convinced that torrents were the future of downloading large files. “It isn’t just about online piracy,” advocates passionately argued. And, indeed, some legitimate files were! But, the process of downloading torrents proved too complicated for many (most?) users, and it was never able to shed its reputation of illicitly sharing content. Torrenting still exists today–and can be quite useful!-but we are hardly living in the torrent utopia were we promised.
I could be wrong, but it appears that crypto currency is heading to that same destination. Perhaps it has already arrived.