In 2012, Google rolled out Certificate Transparency, a clever system to spot corrupt "Certificate Authorities," the entities who hand out the cryptographic certificates that secure the web. If Certificate Authorities fail to do their jobs, they put the entire electronic realm in danger -- bad certificates could allow anything from eavesdropping on financial transactions to spoofing industrial control systems into accepting malicious software updates. Read the rest
The numbers in this study are very back-of-the-envelope and assume a worst case: widespread adoption of Bitcoin and not much improvement in Bitcoin mining activity, along with long replacement cycles for older, less efficient mining rigs. Even the best case scenario has Bitcoin consuming a shocking amount of electricity.
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Your browser trusts SSL certificates from hundreds of "Certificate Authorities," each of which is supposed to exercise the utmost caution before issuing them -- a rogue cert would allow a criminal or a government to act as a man-in-the-middle between you and your bank, email provider, or employer, undetectably intercepting communications that you believed to be secure. Read the rest