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Originally Posted by edkwon

Ahh Gizmodo, the retards of journalism.
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And that 1 exaFLOPS number is probably a little low. Because Bitcoin miners actually do a simpler kind of math (integer operations), you have to do a little (messy) conversion to get to FLOPS

Translation: We wanted to be outraged by something and write pretty words on the internet, so we made up a nonsensical conversion from integer math to floating point so we could make things sound scary.
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So what we've got here is a representation of the total power spent on Bitcoin mining that could theoretically be spent on something else, like real problems that exist naturally.

Real problems like providing security for a billion dollar electronic currency.
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It's kind of like rounding up the world's greatest minds and making them do Sudokus for nickels.

No, it's like using math to solve financial problems. Black and Scholes created formulas for options pricing, on which a lot more world computing power spends its time than Bitcoin.
The internets are full of idiots.