Nov 26, 2018

Using Electricity in Alberta

Well, today I watch my neighbour loose his transformer. He was only using it to heat a waterier for his buffalo. He was only needing 3 kWh per day for 120 days, at most 0.5 MWh per year. To get the pole and the transformer back will cost him about $10,000. So why is Atco Electric trying so hard to reduce their unused transformers that are still installed? Does installing and removal of power to the premise increase their bottom line? I guess the real question is should Atco Electric be charged more to install electric utility lines (increase their access fee), thereby making every rural Albertan go off grid. I think the breaking point is quite a bit less than 7200kWh per year (average Alberta household use). The problem with a cattle waterier is that it needs to be working on the coldest day of the year--yes those days without any sun. So it needs to have 21 kWh of storage (7 days x 3 kWh per day). That amount of energy storage would cost over $10,000. But at least energy storage is equal to grid-tied energy system from Atco. Even further down the road, the move to a 100% renewable energy that is not grid-tied will become more and more cheaper compared to Atco Electric grid-tied system. Too bad we didn't learn from Ontario's mistakes -- Companies like GM leave Canada when electricity cost are too high.

In my opinion, Atco should leave the pole and transformer in working condition and offer the land owner a FAIR rent. FAIR rent would be the wholesale price of the pole and transformer times prime rate. Eg. Transformer $1200 and pole $300 times 4% equals $60 per year. Most landowners would agree to this and we would have more electricity available to Albertans at a cheaper price, thus making electricity affordable and encouraging more businesses move to Alberta. 

Nov 22, 2018

It my birthday so give me a minute of your time.

The older I get the more wisdom I have -- so you should listen to me.

Premise -- Wealth comes via transactions.

For the last 100 years we have had central banks giving people the ability to exchange goods and services. If a bank trusted you then you could do more and more transactions. The next century will not be this way. More and more exchanges will happen via Bitcoin and not through centrally controlled banksters. Yes 2.2 trillion (current value of the Canadian banking industry) will be removed from the TSX and transferred in to a new asset class called crypo currencies. The current Bitcoin market cap is only 78 billion so Bitcoin needs to grown 270 times it current value just to handle the banking needs of Canadians. Ok, in the future, I don't think Canadians will be dumb enough to store 1/3 of their stock equity into banking assets.

Every time someone taxes a transaction the velocity of money slows down and society is worst off. The Bitcoin society is trying very hard to reduce transaction costs. Currently the Lighting Network is over 2 million in value. So storing some Bitcoins on that network will reduce your transaction costs to Satoshies (1/100,000,000 of a Bitcoin).

Different tax bail outs have reduced the governments ability to help out Alberta's Oil Industry so currently Alberta is stuck at selling it's oil for $14 dollars per barrel.  Alberta 100 billion deficit is nothing to the 16 trillion dollars Albertians have received for inheriting a lot of dead animals and plants. The NDP and Liberals want to improve the GDP by spending and yet getting above 3% growth in GDP, because of population growth restraints, is very hard to do.  That is way my birthday was so important for Canada. Have a great day!

Oct 31, 2018

10 years ago the Bitcoin Whitepaper was published.

Bitcoin is 10 years old today.
10 years ago the Bitcoin whitepaper introduced the concept of using digital ones and zeros as a medium of exchange. It was a little different than Ecash or Hashcash, in that it had a decentralised ledger. So 10 years ago the block-chain concept was created. The first Open Source software was released on Jan 9, 2009 and Hal Finney downloaded it and received 10 Bitcoins from Satoshi. Now, for the last 10 years, a new Bitcoin block has been created every 10 minutes. In the early days every Bitcoin miner who found the right nonce was rewarded with 50 Bitcoins (BTC) but now days there is only a 12.5 BTC reward. Over the last 10 years the software has been improved. Segwit was added to the code 400 days ago and now a Bitcoin transfer can be under 180 bytes. Adding Segwit also brought into existence Bcash. It has taken the crypto community 10 years to realise that other alt coins can't replace Bitcoin if Bitcoin software can barely handle that function. Decentralisation and a store of value is what makes this software GREAT.

Oct 4, 2018

Helping Alberta by reducing power lines (Delivery Charges)

How decentralised should Alberta's Electricity be?

Once a year Jack and I try to solve Alberta's problems. He liked my tweet.
All the income taxes, All the gas taxes, All the cigarette taxes, All the insurance taxes, All the carbon taxes, All provincial property taxes. All of them totalled $20.8 billion last year, even though we spent $21.2 billion on health care alone.
I had also mentioned how a recent health study showed that respiratory problems increase when air pollution is above.
  • 80 micro-grams per cubic metre for fine particulate matter
  • 172 parts per billion for sulphur dioxide
  • 159 parts per billion for nitrogen dioxide
  • 82 parts per billion for ozone
  • 13 parts per million for carbon monoxide

Trying to figure out the right balance between pollution and profit requires bright minds like ours. We might even limit our energy consumption if we get to live healthier lives. :)

Most often we try to make rules for others to obey that allow us to be freer. But when our big 5 Electricity producers are happy (TransCanada, TransAlta, ATCO, ENMAX, and Capital Power) Jack and I start to worry.  

If you look at a chart of my electrical bill, it is the 80% delivery charges that is worrying me. How high can that go? I am starting to know more and more people who are happier than Alberta's top 5 electricity producers because they are off the grid. 

Should I go off Alberta's Electrical Grid?
or What can I get for $40,540 ($1500 electrical bills x 3.70% prime rate).  If I just bought Lithium Batteries I could get 30 kWh of storage.
Would that $40,000 investment improve the lives of Alberta's citizens? If Atco's other 227,000 customers are paying $100 just for delivery That is 22 million spent every month on delivery charges. If we all switch over to Lithium Batteries we could reduce our environmental impact. 

Sep 27, 2018

Cost of the Bitcoin Network.

The total Bitcoin network is using 70TWh of electricity annually or 5 WAC Bennett Dams

Annual Global Economic Costs of other industries in US Dollars Banking: $1,870B Gold Mining: $105B Banking ( Electricity ): $63.8B Gold Recycling: $40B Paper Currency: $28B
Bitcoin cost of $3.5B (assuming 5 cents per kWh) annually is a small price to pay for 3 to 5 percent of the world to exchange goods and services. The Bank of Canada did a survey in December.

Jul 31, 2018

What should the Bitcoin chart look like?

Having done over 50 rounds of golf in life, I kind of know what golfing should look like. If you look closely at this picture you will see 50 people all trying to get their ball onto this green. I have never experienced this before. So how much golf do I have to play to become an expert?
The same is true with Bitcoin.  What should be it's price? and what growth should it have, given it is getting back up to 3.55% daily volatility?  Very tough questions to answer.
My first email about #Bitcoin was April 13, 2010 over 8 years ago so I have had my eye on the code for quite sometime. But, yesterday I had an epiphany -- Why should Bitcoin trade like a normal stock? It should trade like a game changing commodity.  If we compare Bitcoin to the Dot com boom we get a very similar pattern. 

The 40% price drops are normal when we are dealing with game changing technology. So in other words, Bitcoin might be at the bottom now, not because of Technical Analysis; but because of what Bitcoin represents -- Game changing technology.  Thoughts?

May 23, 2018

Bitcoin allows people to own something.

Bitcoin ownership and transfer can't be stopped.  
People who ask me about Bitcoin usually ask me about its price. I don't know whether to tell them the US price or the CAN price, so I tell them both prices. I do this to help my friends understand that price is really irrelevant. The important part of Bitcoin is that it is censorship resistant. I am sure if we lived in Venezuela my friends would ask me "How's the Tor battle going?".
A lot of my friends don't even remember those days of Napster. They now mostly use Netflix or YouTube. They rarely use Transmission to exchange videos with their friends. In fact, if I ask most of my friends today "what is Tor?" they wouldn't know. I would say tor forced the content providers to charge a monthly fee for access to content. Now days, if you want to watch a new movie most people wait until the paywall provider gives them access. Very few of us keep searching Isohunt or Napster to see when we can use the Tor network to get the info.

Why is this important? Censorship resistant software like Tor has been around for a long time. Will it go away just because some government introduces "the digital millennial copyright act"?  NO! Bitcoin runs on Tor. If Tor fails Bitcoin fails!

Whether you own something or whether you download that something from a friend, it is the same. Bitcoin is revolutionary because you can exchange unique ones and zeros; so that the ownership changes with the download. Governments can't stop the ownership transfer.  Therefore, the pride of ownership can't be stopped. Bitcoin ownership and transfer can't be stopped.