Wouldn't be the first time this type of thing has been done. The US government buys corn to make sure the food supply will stay stable. They use it to make ethanol for motor fuel which is effectively throwing it out.
@cjd in terms of the motivation of developing technology, subsidies like for electric cars. And might have been a factor in their success. But those cars are actually driven. (actually here too, i'd prefer more trains and bicycles, but anyway..)
Though yeah, corn→ethanol is wasteful. They'd be better off to store non-perishables and sell/buy to stabilize it. Actually they should do that on a huge scale.. You know a volcano could easily fuck up the food system for a year..
I think they store a ton of food, but eventually it just becomes silly. The point is to make sure that farms do not go out of business en masse, because otherwise the country is in major risk if ever there was a global food shortage...
@jasper @cjd I don't know if I mentioned it here, but one of the worries of solar / wind investors is negative electricity prices - peak production moments when they'd have to pay to unload electricity on the grid.
Bitcoin mining is a lucrative use of electricity that can be ramped up almost instantly, theoretically limiting negative price swings.
I still think we'd be better off if bitcoin had never been invented, though.
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