This is very striking to me in that I find the statement makes no sense and with one word “SETI”. SETI didn’t set off a computing revolution and still has limited participation. SETI which is searching for signs of extraterrestrial life has used a sort of grid-computing through unused computing power of its supporters to help search through troves of data that the SETI researchers don’t have the power to do. I admit back in high school I didn’t want to share my CPU cycles, nor did most other people.
I am drawing this comparison because SETI didn’t start off a frenzy of computer buying to “mine” SETI. This is because there was no actual reward or benefit to doing it any practical sense. Mining is only being driven by the hope of big rewards and profits, or in other words greed. Yes, some computing enthusiasts are getting into mining but does anyone really think that this greed has turned people into computer enthusiasts? Sales of GPUs would be flat if not for the profits. If mining because unprofitable the same people who rushed in will rush out, they are speculators and investors, not computing experts or enthusiasts.
Aside from being extremely wasteful, inefficient and ineffective I believe PoW or mining is not sustainable and the long-term currencies that are to survive will be converting to PoS (Proof of Stake).
And this gets to the most ironic point. Google has recently banned ALL cryptocurrency advertisements. Maybe Sergey thinks “mining Ethereum is cool and so is cryptocurrency but not if you want to promote it on Google!”.