#126: What’s next for SEEDS?


With SEEDS (the Surplus Energy Economics Data System) now fully operational, it seems logical to wonder about the uses to which it can or should be put. If this discussion doesn’t provide answers, it can, at least, set out some thoughts which might be of interest. As ever, readers’ comments will be very welcome.

For starters, SEEDS wasn’t built with any commercial end in view, still less from any wish to influence policy. Rather, the aim of the project was “to see if it could be done” – could the principles of an economy determined by energy (and not, fundamentally, by money) form the basis of a new way of interpreting events, and forecasting outcomes?

Accomplishing this turned out to be even more difficult than had seemed likely at the outset.

I was prepared for the ‘linguistic’ challenge of expressing energy-based concepts in the financial language customarily used in economics.

But what I had not anticipated was the extent to which, even within the purely financial sphere, it would be necessary to reimagine much that is taken for granted within conventional approaches to the economy.


Whether SEEDS has succeeded is a matter for others to judge, and the real ‘verdict’ on the effectiveness of the system is likely, in any case, to be delivered by events. But there do seem to be sound reasons for cautious optimism.

If conventional economic interpretation is correct, what we should have been seeing, long before now, ought to have been a combination of steadily improving prosperity and progressively diminishing risk.

The SEEDS interpretation, in stark contrast to this, is that prosperity has plateaued on a global basis – and has gone into reverse in most advanced economies – whilst risk continues to increase.

Moreover, SEEDS differs starkly from the consensus in pointing unmistakeably to a sequel (here called “GFC II”) to the global financial crisis (GFC I) of 2008.

It isn’t going to be all that long before we find out which interpretation is the right one.

Prosperity examined

What can be done, here and now, is to give you a single example of SEEDS interpretation which you can compare with the consensus or conventional view.

The British economy serves as well as any for illustrative purposes.

Comparing 2017 with 2007 – and with all numbers expressed at constant 2017 values – the GDP of the United Kingdom has increased by 11%. Population numbers have also risen over that period (by nearly 8%), but GDP per capita remained modestly (3.3%) higher in 2017 than it had been back in 2007.

If conventional interpretation has any validity at all, this rise in GDP per capita should mean that the average person in Britain must be more prosperous now than he or she was ten years earlier. Average prosperity certainly shouldn’t have deteriorated over a period in which GDP per capita has risen.

The SEEDS interpretation could hardly be more different from this conclusion.

SEEDS starts by noting that, whilst growth of 11% has added £206bn to British GDP since 2007, this has been accompanied by a £1.23 trillion increase in aggregate debt.

One way of expressing this is that each £1 of growth has come at a cost of £5.45 in net new debt. Another is to note that annual borrowing averaged 6.0% of GDP over a period in which annual “growth” was barely 1.4%.

This necessarily prompts a number of questions.

First, has growth since 2007 been ‘genuine’ and organic, or has it really amounted to nothing more than a cosmetic process of ‘spending borrowed money’?

Second, is taking on £5,450 of new debt in return for a £1,000 rise in income a rational choice, favourable to prosperity?

Third, can this can kind of equation ever be sustainable, or does the rise in indebtedness turn, of necessity, into instability?

Before we can answer these questions, we need to take the energy issue into account. According to SEEDS, 9% of the economic output of the UK in 2017 should be allocated to the provision of energy (in its broadest sense, as the foundation of all economic activity). This is a higher number than that for 2007 (4.8%), a change which exerts a further adverse influence on prosperity.

Altogether, according to SEEDS, the average person was 9.2% worse off in 2017 than he or she had been in 2007. SEEDS can put a number on this deterioration in prosperity (£2,230 per person), enabling comparison with the increase in average per capita indebtedness (of £12,400) over the same period.

Finally, shifting from GDP to prosperity enables us to recalibrate risk exposure. In the British instance, debt at the end of 2017 is likely to have been 250% of GDP, but 349% of prosperity. Likewise, total financial assets (which measure the scale of the banking sector) rise from about 1135% of GDP to about 1580% of prosperity. Both of these risk ratios, measured on the basis of prosperity as analysed by SEEDS, are appreciably higher now than they were on the eve of GFC I back in 2007.

Very different interpretations

These numbers – which, it must be emphasised, are replicated, to a greater or lesser extent, across most other Western economies – supply an interpretation of the national or global economy which could hardly be in starker contrast to a consensus line based on “synchronised growth” and controllable risk. It need hardly be added that these very different conclusions about prosperity can be assumed to be of considerable significance, too, in the political arena.

If SEEDS is – or even simply might be – right about this, then this is information that people need. It further implies that conventional interpretation is failing those who rely on it. This, in turn, seems to require at least some consideration of the uses to which SEEDS should be put.

These possible uses seem to fall into three main categories.

First, there seems a lot to be said in favour of continuing to pursue this approach, and making its findings available to those members of the public who are interested in it.

Other possible applications are less straightforward. Logically, SEEDS interpretation ought to be of use to the policy process, but it is highly unlikely that any government is going to ask for it.

I am not in any sense a ‘zealot’, and I’m certainly not set on convincing anybody of anything. So I’m not going to be promoting SEEDS as a tool that government ‘ought to be’ using. I’m not even sure that I would want to co-operate with government, even in the extremely implausible event of being invited to do so.

This leaves us with the potential for commercial use of SEEDS. I’m not opposed to this in principle, but I do have a set of parameters which, I think, can act as useful guidelines.

The first is that any co-operation with business could extend only to output from the system, and would never involve disclosing matters of process. The second is that SEEDS interpretations must remain available to the public, much as they are now.

In practical terms, this means that SEEDS datasets will be placed on the open access resources page of this site whenever they are relevant to a topic under discussion.

On the other hand, anyone wanting more comprehensive data (for instance, the numbers for all 27 countries covered by SEEDS, in their latest form), or requiring any kind of greater detail or tailored output, cannot expect this material to be made freely available. Much the same would apply to any licensed use of SEEDS output, again within the guidelines of (a) no disclosure of process, and (b) continued public access.

These are simply thoughts on what might be done with SEEDS, now that the system has been completed, and seems to be delivering useful results. Any comments on these ideas will be most welcome.


56 thoughts on “#126: What’s next for SEEDS?

  1. Hi Tim you could start by putting an explanation of SEEDS on YouTube – I could then send a link to my MP. Previously my attempts to get him interested have just resulted in a generic letters.

    My hope would be that a short clearly presented video would garner more attention.

    • Thanks, and I’ve had social media mentioned in this context before. I’m not sure that I would know how to go about this, though – and would have to overcome my prejudices to a certain extent (but please don’t anyone mention Facexxx)….

      It concerns me that MPs seem to rely on this rather than actually reading things………..

  2. All any MP has to do is read this posting. Why should they be “spoon fed”?

    • Hi Tim, This is a part of the David Malone interview on the Crisis and Money reform etc.

      The Prologue of The Roy Madron Interview series is from 2003.

      The Madron series took many weeks to make the David Malone interview was a couple of hours on Skype and a few hours editing. Done off a series of Questions, The Roy Madron one was much more scripted.

    • Hi Tim, Scripting for a documentary presentation is necessary to make the basis for a Script a series of Interview questions is a quicker process.
      Another good source of themes are the comments each blog has attracted they will point to the areas which questions could be aimed at or themes for a documentary script.
      I would happily send a series of questions abstracted from the whole blog and send them to you. i have been working quietly on my own seeds monetary spreadsheet, as you can imagine its not a trivial undertaking.
      Let me know if you would like some questions sent across with a story board for an interview. I can easily turn an interview into a film with Narrative slides and video clips of you choice.

    • Thank you, but please don’t put in any effort yet, at least until I’m clearer on what to do.

      I’m not sure how you’re going to do a SEEDS-type spreadsheet, as I never disclose methodologies or background data – but your enthusiasm is much appreciated…….

  3. Hi Tim

    I think the main use for this is to inform the “great unwashed”.

    SEEDS gives a dramatically different picture to the one we are fed on a day to day basis by the MSM that the traction with the political class or the MSM is probably limited. However, it does offer far more predictive power than things like “forward guidance” from the BOE because it identifies long term secular trends which are unlikely to change in the short term and the divergence from the current view is fairly dramatic enough to make a difference even on a five year view. There may be inflexion points which might affect the trends; for example widespread introduction of robotics, but this I would have thought is unlikely and in any case the effect of such things will emerge anyway over time.

    It’s not easy to understand some of this stuff without some background and if you view the GU as one of the main targets it may be useful to produce a SEEDS for Dummies type of thing. This is not patronising but might be a real obstacle to obtaining a wider audience as it deserves.

    • I like these ideas, especially the “SEEDS for dummies” idea, though whether one can address the general public as “dummies” must be a moot point!

      In the UK context, it never ceases to surprise me that mass job losses – and slaughter in customer-facing sectors like retailing, pubs and restaurants – haven’t punctured apparent complacency. Millions, I assume, know that they’re struggling to get by, and probably also know that the NHS, care for the elderly and so on seem to need a lot more resources, even if they are less aware of more esoteric things like defence.

    • Hi Tim

      I’m afraid that the conventional wisdom gets internalized and the message of something like SEEDS drives a horse and carriage through that CW and is not welcome on the whole. Of course, rationally, anything that brings us to a better understanding of things is to be applauded but the CW is fed by the media on a daily basis and alternative views are difficult to hear, even though the picture presented by SEEDS must ring a bell with many people who are struggling. But this is akin to trying to change accepted views of hierarchy in society; it isn’t just the vested interests of the elites it’s the fact that these have been internalized completely (men don’t do the washing up or see the kids to bed).

      There’s also the “boiling frog” argument whereby you can get a frog to endure boiling water if you up the temperature gradually whereas if you do it suddenly it will object. We are ten years from GFC1 and I think many people are inured to the state we’re in.

      Most people are passive and do not have the basic curiosity that is the hallmark of an educated person and changing this mindset is difficult at best.

    • Thanks Bob

      This takes us, I think, to the point of ‘the proof is in the pudding’ – if or when GFC II strikes, or if or when the UK economy falls apart, radical interpretations like SEEDS will gain recognition, but, until then, they won’t. There is a fine line to be walked anyway, in that there is nothing much to be said for alarming those who are powerless to do anything about it.

      It’s a moot point, too, whether anything practical can be done at this point, in terms of preventing or ameliorating what seems now to be inevitable.

    • Hi Tim

      Now here I differ from you on gaining traction. Economics has had a severe kicking since GFC1 and it has not recovered so you are pushing at a softened target in a sense and I don’t think you need to wait for GFC2 to make a point. Although the CW still holds sway it has been rocked and when folk see the BOE antics on interest rates Carney has certainly done his share in discrediting the subject with his “forward guidance” which has simply confirmed most peoples view that TPTB haven’t a clue.

      I think one of the strengths of your system is that is is about the secular; it points the compass in a different direction for the future and doesn’t try to answer the question which hangs up many which is: when will the crash take place? You are not in that game but saying: “this is where we’re headed; it doesn’t look good; what are we going to do about it?”. This is, really, far more useful than sterile guesses about crash timing because it is these secular trends that determine outcomes over very long periods and, at the end of the day, that is what matters.

  4. I’m just thinking Tim – you get shows like ‘Can’t pay we’ll take it away’ which announces certain debt levels in the UK – especially businesses like high street shops which are struggling to pay business rates and utility bills.

    So here we have a show which is showing you the devastation our economic woes are creating at ground level – the effects on families – businesses and also mental health. Yet despite the fact it’s like an Elephant in the room there’s seemingly no alarm bells ringing which you have mentioned.

    I also notice that power bills are set to rise again – and also that pump prices are shooting up (possibly a steeper increase than would have been expected due to the situation with Iran) so here we have indisputable evidence that more of our disposable income is being taken away to pay for energy.

    I have been putting links to your site when I post comments on the Guardian – and quite a few people have sent their thanks as they’ve found your posts extremely interesting. I’ve also been called a conspiracy theorist and other names.

    Therefore is seems that even when everything is presented clearly some will still not accept hard facts to the extent where the would see an increase of 10% in their power bills as a reduction.

    • Thank you, and I’m grateful for anything which spreads the word, so to speak. All I can really do, I suspect, is to produce reasoned analyses which are neither alarmist nor politically-polemical. It might be different were I convinced that there existed any policy ‘magic bullets’ that could fix things, but I’m rather of the view that there is too much momentum – one might say ‘internal logic’ – to what is happening.

      I continue to find many British attitudes quite baffling.

  5. Youtube is over-crowded, and there are simply far too many nutters making videos and posting them: you might, then, even be open to criticism as yet another one, and easily side-lined as not credible, just a Youtuber!

    I suspect you are quite right not to bother with politicians – they only recognize something when it slams them in the face (if then?); and in any case they are beholden to the narratives preferred by their donors and paymasters, and prisoners of their own prejudices.

    SEEDS challenges ALL the political narratives: it would fall on stony ground, and die.

    I see that Gail Tverberg was quite well-received by a gathering of actuaries in the States, maybe that angle is worth investigating – actuaries, company secretaries, CBI, etc?

    Professional who might possibly be more interested in the results of new analytical tools than our ‘leaders’.

    They will also be aware that things are not quite as they should be, if conventional wisdom were to be believed.

    When GFC II hits as predicted, produce the book that everyone will want to read by the man who saw what was coming. Then, when the Noble Prize is awarded, you can say ‘Oh Christ!’, like Doris Lessing, as you get out of a taxi carrying your shopping……

    I can’t believe the mass of people are even worth addressing: what can they change? Why depress them?

    But at least professionals and business owners could be better informed and make wiser decisions.

    • I agree, and this reminds me of an old Spanish proverb – ‘he who washes his ass’s ears wastes his time and his soap’.

  6. Dr Morgan, thank you for your very interesting work. In ‘Candyfloss economics’ you mentioned the concepts of globally marketable output and internally consumed services as components of economic activity. Do you have any plans to incorporate these concepts into SEEDS please?

    • Thank you.

      The GMO/ICS concept, which I first put forward in Life After Growth, requires detailed analyses of GDP (or equivalent) by segment. These are produced by the US (BEA), and Eurostat has something similar (though rather cumbersome to access). The UK produces something (GVA) capable of being used for the purpose. It’s possible that other national statistical sources have similar data.

      Much the same, incidentally, applies to the cost of household essentials – I created(and still monitor) the UK Essentials Index, which got quite a lot of media exposure when I first published it.

      So really it’s a time and resources issue. At the moment, with SEEDS now fully up and running, I have a long ‘would like to do’ list – this includes Italy, Ireland, Canada, Turkey – the merits and demerits of the main fiat currencies – and of course EM trends spanning Argentina, Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa and Iran, even without looking at China and India……..

    • Thank you. There is a lot of good work being done in recognition that the economy is an energy system and not, fundamentally, a financial one.

      Within this, my focus is on calibrating the issue, putting it into the same ‘language’ as conventional, money-denominated debate – hence SEEDS.

  7. Asses indeed!

    One of my favourite peasant proverbs from Spain, which one can sing (I have a recording from the 1950’s) :

    ‘The orange tree planted in the river/The orange tree planted in water/ You can bet, it’s leaves will fall/ It’s leaves will fall…..’

    Our economies seem to have foundations quite as unsuitable for longevity. But how bright the fruits seem, for the moment.

  8. The headlines here assure us that ‘The royal wedding will add £1 billion to the economy’!

    And Corbyn (this is not a party-political point) maintains that £8.5 billion borrowed and ‘wisely invested’ by the government, will produce ‘£85 billion in extra GDP’.

    Maybe we are being a little prematurely pessimistic?

    • Yesterday seemed (to me) a good day for insomniacs – if the RW didn’t induce sleep, the Cup Final certainly would have.

      Seriously, though, statements like ‘£1bn added to the economy’ are meaningless, as indeed they were over the Olympics. The RW cost a repored £32m – less than 50p per person – so if the public enjoyed it, it’s money well spent.

      I’ve not see those Corbyn figures, but it might be worth reminding him that, over the last decade, each £1 of borrowing has only equated to 18.3p in additional GDP……….

  9. Tim, some very interesting ideas here. I think a useful way to gain wider traction would be to publish the Essential Prices Index – EPI – regularly. That could be a resource on the web-site and details sent to media outlets. The point about EPI is that it would give us a direct feel in actual figures for what is happening to prosperity. For example, last week the MSM went into rapture over the ‘fact’ that wages were once again rising faster than CPI and this led some commentators to declare the end of the wage squeeze. The figure that I would be more interested in seeing is the rise in wages set against EPI – I suspect that things may not be as rosy as the MSM would have us believe. Moving onto one other point, if I may. One notes that quite a few economic downturns have been correlated with a sharp and prolonged increase in the price of energy – notably oil. The key issues seem to be: the speed of any increase, the magnitude of any increase and the duration of any increase. The current jump in price has been swift and significant. Time will tell whether the rise is a spike or represents a new plateau – if the latter, then I fear the UK economy will be in big trouble, or should that be bigger trouble?

    • The UK Essentials Index certainly got a lot of traction when it was published, because it’s ‘replete with human interest’, in that people can relate it to their own circumstances. I used to maintain it monthly, but now do it annually. It also contains, for purposes of comparison, wage and CPI indices.

      This is hugely relevant to SEEDS, because essentials are where rising ECoEs show up first in people’s experience. This isn’t, by any means, simply a matter of power and fuel – most essentials have a high energy content. Moreover, remembering the GMO/ICS issue, most essentials are skewed towards GMO.

      A leap in the oil price is now the only missing component for GFC II. It is remarkable that the jump in nominal oil prices, from $20 in 2001 to a high of $147 in 2008, isn’t more commonly associated with GFC I.

      It seems clear to me that shale volumes are now very close to the top (and, incidentally, have always been cash-flow-negative, hence are subsidised by investors) – moreover, decline could be rapid post-peak, because single-year depletion rates for shale wells can be as high as 65%, so production only grows when drilling is intensive, continuous and rising.

      I monitor the oil purchasing cycle – which isn’t the same as the end-user cycle which most analysts watch – and there’s a lull coming in July and August. The next window of vulnerability for a price spike starts in September……

  10. As soon as the energy problem gets mentioned by official political channels things start to unravel i think. People stop spending, which is a good thing but the fragile financial system starts to collapse. Investors start pulling out their funds, stock market crash, failing pensions etc etc. So we won’t hear it until the problems become so obvious politicians cannot get away with it anymore. The first signs we all know, Italian and US elections, Brexit, EM fx problems. There are no tanks in Bagdad.

    • In comparison with GFC I, the only factor now absent ahead of GFC II is a spike in energy prices. The EM FX issue looks like a surge in risk-aversion, echoing the “credit crunch” which preceded GFC I.

    • There is an established and disturbing downwards trend, with considerable momentum, in what I call ‘customer-facing’ businesses. This isn’t only retailers, but clearly includes pubs and restaurants, whilst vehicle sales are dropping off a cliff.

      All of this reflects the common factor of customers having less money in their pockets – and this despite rapid increases in unsecured consumer credit. Various reports confirm worrying levels of financial distress, with child poverty seemingly sharply higher, too.

      This has all the hallmarks of an economy in deep trouble.

    • Tim rightly mentions the rapid rise in unsecured consumer credit but I would extend that to include some hefty cash injections through PPI ‘compensation’. I cannot help think that the two factors together have over-recent years turbo-charged consumer spending to a level way beyond anything that could be supported by normal earned-income. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that all of this conveyed false signals to the market, and now comes the denouement.

    • Thanks Bob, I saw that.

      SEEDS data on Canada is adverse, despite the country’s resource strength. Over the last decade, Canada has added C$7.10 of debt for each C$1 of growth, and prosperity per capita has now fallen by 7% since it peaked in 2006.

      Financially, a debt ratio of c290% equates to 347% of prosperity, whilst financial assets are pushing 800% of prosperity.

      Anecdotally – though we can check the stats – Canada has a huge property bubble, and rents have soared in many cities.

      In sum, the combination of inflated assets, sizeable banking system exposure and deteriorating prosperity are risk-markers. Finally, Canada seems to need to borrow about 10% of GDP per year to support growth of 1.7% of GDP. So there is extensive credit dependency (another marker in the risk-calibrating system I’m developing).

  11. I think there’s a compelling case for a SEEDS-based assessment of the emerging market (EM) economies. SEEDS now covers Argentina, Iran, Indonesia and Turkey, in addition to the EMs already covered (Russia, Saudi, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, China and India).

  12. I think your SEEDS project is great, but I am concerned that the mixing of a non-monetary ratio for the energy cost of energy with monetary values for debt and GDP make it difficult to zero in on the real nature of prosperity, which has nothing to do with money directly, but access to the things that make up a prosperous life, some of which can’t even be purchased with money (intra-family services for example).

    Odum and others have tried with some success to do economic analysis by looking at stocks and flows of energy and materials without regard to their market price. The systems analyses by the team that created Limits to Growth didn’t include the financial sector at all. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs doesn’t include money either.

    If you want a ‘clean’ GDP, why not just look at what is actually produced and what services are actually rendered, without regard to their market price. Isn’t individual prosperity really just access to goods and services, regardless of how we assign a monetary value to them? If all money vaporized tomorrow people could, in theory, still do everything they did today (except perhaps for bankers) and make sure the goods and services that define prosperity continue to flow.

    I know it would be more difficult to do, but couldn’t you simply look at how the physical and service parameters of prosperity are changing on a collective and per capita basis and see how we are really faring, without reference to GDP or any other financial statistics at all?

    • Joe

      Thank you, and welcome to the site.

      You raise some very good points, many of which resonate strongly with me, especially given my interest in areas of philosophy unrelated to the economy. Money and the economy aren’t the whole of well-being, or even the most important part ot it.

      Even within economics, broader issues are neglected – I’ve remarked in an earlier article that, where the current Western economic model is concerned, the biggest deficit of the lot is “the integrity deficit”.

      Let me explain, though, what I’m trying to do. I believe – as do many others – that the economy of goods and services (if we just stick to that, for now), is an energy system, not a financial one. The established position, of course, is the opposite – that the economy is a wholly financial system, to which energy is ‘just another input’.

      There is a ‘language barrier’ between conventional economics (which ‘speaks’ money) and the energy interpretation (which ‘speaks’ energy units).

      From that position, we can do one of two things.

      First, we could accept the language divide, leave the economics territory uncontested, and stick to issues which are thematic within the energy-based philosophy.

      Alternatively, we can try to translate the energy-based understanding into the financial terms which are the language of economic debate. This way, we can start to make inroads into what I call the “flat-earth” economics.

      This is what I’ve tried to do with SEEDS. Words almost fail me to explain how difficult this has been. The result, though, and in my opinion, is an ability to contest conventional economics, in its own language and – vitally – on its own turf.

      GDP, to be sure, has major flaws, not least the (pretty arbitrary) ‘production barrier’. But it’s the measure that we have, and the language in which the debate is conducted. If we can start with GDP but then move to prosperity, taking in debt, monetary policy and energy in the process, we can start to reconfigure how the material economy should be interpreted.

  13. I have, for instance, seen criticism of Michael Gove and others referring to ‘ecosystem services’, and presenting damage to woodland, soil, insect life, oceans, etc, in terms of lost future GDP, and calculating this in terms of money.

    This has been portrayed as crass and unspiritual. But it is, surely, essential to use the common terms of debate, otherwise one will be liable to be sidelined and dismissed.

    I would add that the distance between apparent ‘wealth’ as expressed in GDP, and your measure of ‘prosperity’ is itself highly illuminating.

  14. I think a valuable approach would be to work on the teaching of economics. This would take a longer time than we possibly have, but would be more likely to be transformative over time. As I understand it, many students of economics degree courses are angry at the complete lack of real world understanding in the teaching they receive. The SEEDS approach would be a good start in getting the next generation aware of the importance of apparently non-economic issues. The Chicago School and its teaching of neo-liberal approaches to economics is what landed us in the deep mess we are in now, over some years. Why should we not use the same methods to displace that outmoded ways of thinking?

    • A good idea, though you highlight one problem, which is the lack of time. Also, based on my own experience, academics are often jealously protective of their own orthodoxies.

      I agree with you entirely about neoliberalism, which has – to set it no higher than this – put an intellectual gloss on a deeply faulted approach to economics.

      Ironically, it isn’t even ‘good Smith’, as it ignores at least three critical aspects of his writings.

      First, he placed an absolute priority on competition, which means that enterprises with excessive market shares should be broken up unless there are utterly compelling reasons not to do so. Tech is one obvious area where this simply isn’t happening.

      Second, Smith was a moralist as well as ‘the first economist’. His “vile maxim” is seldom mentioned by many who claim to be adherents.

      Third, he is often portrayed as being against either government or “the public sector”. The latter is simply daft – no such thing existed in his day. As for government, Smith’s emphasis on competition taking place in free, fair and transparent markets is an explicit call for regulation, as markets won’t stay free, fair or honest if left to themselves – and it’s hard to see where that can come from, if not from government.

  15. Tim as you will have seen in CapX today mining for Bitcoin is now predicted to take 0.5% of global energy consumption. Seeing that it produces nothing tangible not only is it a complete waste of precious energy it’s probably getting big enough to go onto SEEDS in some way.

    • I’ve not given much thought to incorporating Bitcoin into SEEDS. My own view is that, when GFC II hits, governments will seek to ban cryptos, as part of a defence of fiat currencies.

  16. Sorry to clarify I should have said 0.5% of global electricity consumption.

  17. Well that would be one benefit in a time of crisis. But what a colossal waste of energy plus the resources needed to build the giant mining computers – one of which I know resides in Iceland where it can be chilled cheaply.

    Shouldn’t all that electrical energy be used towards more beneficial ends?

    • I suspect that Bitcoin ‘mining’ is going to be something that people in the future will laugh about, much as the Dutch tulip bubble is laughed at today.

  18. On Blockchain Tim and Donald it is worth considering that Bitcoin is about one third of the value of all cryptocurrencies, Etghereum which I am a miner of is half the size of Bitcoin respectively they have a DOllar value of 150 billion and 75 billion, the rest of the Cryptocurrencies market including the two large currencies is currently 377 billion dollars.


    My Mining machines which mine ERC Dagger type algorithms are also computers which make up part of the distributed web. The distributed WEB is web mark 3.
    Web 2 / The Cloud or internet of things is based upon a centralised model of computers with huge server farms, there are many such server farms in Northern Sweden because it is both cool and has abundant renewable Electricity. Genesis Mining has server Farms all over the world some in Icelöland as Donald says, this is because it is cool there and there is abundance renewable electricity.

    In a Past Life, I became involved in data centre development. ( Some of my stuff from 1999 in this video)

    East 14 dot com was an internet village scheme co-located by two large data centres with symbiosis built into the proposed development the site I sold to Ballymore homes who are actually now building this.

    Application specific integrated CHip ( ASIC) Mining which Bitcoins SHA 243 Algorithm is mined by means that Only the Bit Coin mining operation is supported on top of that Mining network, the Bitcoin Block chain can supoport a lot of trustless transactions for distributed ledger work on that network but I believe the EThereum tyope currencies which can support the Distributed World Super computer, as well as participants in that distributed super computer being rewarded with currency at the same time as they participate in the distributed web eco system, is a huge opportunity for a distributed network system of exchangeable complementary crypto currencies.

    The Inter-Planetary File System IPFS has got to the beta testing stage and AKASH is currently in BETA Testing, The Idea that such a valuable distributed supercomputer effectively in the WEB 3 commons is to be banned for excessive energy use is to me absurd. It Might be banned but the reason will be that it threatens the Central Bank IBS model of debt based banking.
    There are 21 Blogs on my Blog about Block Chain and the distributed web.


    Seeds along with Circular economy use models of consumption rather than ownership models based upon embodied energy valuation models could revolutionise a distributive debt-free rather than a re-distributive debt-based monetary ecosystem.




    If you think about this post and then watch the Bernard Lietaer video I posted further up the Thread and then Think about seeds, tell me you do not get excited about the possibilities.

    • The Link in this comment opens my inbox and says conversation no longer exists?

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