Skeptics with a K: Episode #298

In this extended episode of Skeptics with a K, Alice talks about the planned redundancies from the University of Liverpool’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, and Mike discusses green software development, and how Bitcoin works. For more information on the redundancies at FHLS, visit

Note: The opening segment to this episode features a conversation about sexual harassment and the murder of Sarah Everard which some listeners may find distressing. If you need to skip past this segment, it finishes at 0:21:27.


  1. #1 by Matthew on March 19, 2021 - 04:03

    Just wanted to add some info about cryptocurrencies.

    As with all software, new ideas are quickly made redundant as other programmers iterate and innovate on that idea. The energy problem of Proof of Work is well understood by the cryptocurrency community and solutions already exist.

    Many newer cryptocurrencies use Proof of Stake (PoS) as an alternative. This has negligible energy cost in comparison to Proof of Work. Ethereum (second largest cryptocurrency) is moving from PoW to PoS. Many other large cryptocurrencies already use PoS, such as Cardano, Binance Coin, Polkadot, Stellar and the list goes on.

  2. #2 by Marsh on March 19, 2021 - 15:50

    @Matthew – I’m sure that’s true, I think that’s why Mike was specific to talk about Bitcoin in particular, not necessarily all crypto.

  3. #3 by Pete on March 20, 2021 - 12:51

    I came here to respond to the bitcoin segment. However Matthew’s response is almost word for word what I was going to say.

    I loved the segment itself, as with all of Mike’s segments I thought it was very well presented and well researched. As it applies to bitcoin I think that it’s really important to spread awareness regarding it’s impact on the planet.

    I do however think that it’s important to remember that for better or worse, many people see Bitcoin as the face of cryptocurrency and confuse it’s failings with the failings of cryptocurrency as a whole. As I say, I loved the episode and agree with almost all that was said, but I think that it’s important to make the separation between Bitcoin and other crypto currencies clear for those who might lump those technologies into the same category.

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