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EnglishHow much more energy does Bitcoin consume since May 2021?

Please provide me good metrics. How much of this is renewable. Other data would be appreciated.

brbforprivacy 1 month ago
    Tags:
  • Bitcoin
  • Energy
  • Consumption
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Burak turan 1 month ago
According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), compiled by University of Cambridge researchers, the total energy consumed by bitcoin could reach 128 TWh (Terawatt hours) this year.

That's 0.6 percent of the world's total electricity production, or more than all Norway's consumption.

"These numbers may seem big when compared to midsize countries or emerging technologies like electric vehicles (80 TWh in 2019), but they're small compared to other uses like air conditioning and fans," said George Kamiya, an analyst at the International Energy Agency. said.

Google's entire operation spent 12.2 TWh in 2019. All data centers around the world, excluding those that mine Bitcoin, consume about 200 TWh per year.

Economist Alex de Vries, who put together one of the first indexes on the subject in 2016, believes that the recent rise in Bitcoin's price will intensify its use and drive energy consumption beyond all other data centers combined.
Daniel Matome 1 month ago
Bitcoin uses less than half the energy the banking system consumes, according to recent data.
Miss Mike 1 month ago
All this information is skewed toward educational entities in alignment with their underlying political controls, i. e. The Bank of England and establishments. All this must be recalculated in the ensuing repositioning of of those mining facilities into countries with volcanic thermodynamic energy free electicital use. It gives a whole new perspective to the card-carrying elitism of the FANGS.
RUBY VO 1 month ago
Today, Bitcoin consumes as much energy as a small country. This certainly sounds alarming — but the reality is a little more complicated. The author discusses several common misconceptions surrounding the Bitcoin sustainability debate, and ultimately argues that it’s up to the crypto community to acknowledge and address environmental concerns, work in good faith to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint, and ultimately demonstrate that the societal value that Bitcoin provides is worth the resources needed to sustain it.

Useful link : https://hbr.org/2021/05/how-much-energy-does-bitcoin-actually-consume
Seeker220 1 month ago
All data has been collected from https://cbeci.org/

[The total yearly electricity consumption (expressed in terawatt-hours/TWh) is an annualised measure that corresponds to the total amount of electricity used over the period of one year, assuming continuous power at the current rate.]

Annualized Energy Consumption as of January 15, 2021: 113.09 TWh
Annualized Energy Consumption as of May 15, 2021: 150.04 TWh
Annualized Energy Consumption as of October 15, 2021: 103.31 TWh

Graph of Energy Consumption can be found on https://cbeci.org/index

According to Cambridge [ https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021-ccaf-3rd-global-cryptoasset-benchmarking-study.pdf ], 62% of global miners rely on hydropower for at least some of their electricity; 38% use some coal, and about 39% use at least some combination of solar, wind, or geothermal.
Naeem mi 1 month ago
But first, consider this: The process of creating Bitcoin to spend or trade consumes around 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, more than is used by Finland, a nation of about 5.5 million.
Billy Lupembe 1 month ago
28Twh.... According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), compiled by University of Cambridge researchers, the total energy consumed by bitcoin could reach 128 TWh (Terawatt hours) this year. That's 0.6 percent of the world's total electricity production, or more than all Norway's consumption. "These numbers may seem big when compared to midsize countries or emerging technologies like electric vehicles (80 TWh in 2019), but they're small compared to other uses like air conditioning and fans," said George Kamiya, an analyst at the International Energy Agency. said. Google's entire operation spent 12.2 TWh in 2019. All data centers around the world, excluding those that mine Bitcoin, consume about 200 TWh per year. Economist Alex de Vries, who put together one of the first indexes on the subject in 2016, believes that the recent rise in Bitcoin's price will intensify its use and drive energy consumption beyond all other data centers combined
Nguyễn Anh Tuấn 1 month ago
It is difficult to accurately measure the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining, but the New York Times recently shared some data to give a better picture. Accordingly, Bitcoin mining consumes about 91 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year, more than the amount of electricity used by 5.5 million Finns. It equates to 0.5% of global electricity consumption and is 10 times more than five years ago. It is 7 times more than the total amount of electricity Google uses around the world.
With Bitcoin's price skyrocketing in recent years, it's not difficult to predict how much electricity consumption will continue to increase.
Eliot 1 month ago
28 THW too for Switzerland or in my city
Spruce 1 month ago
Bitcoin currently consumes around 80 tera-watt hours of electricity annually so this means that from 1st May 2021 up until today they have used 37.69 tera-watt hours of electricity.
wizy 1 month ago
All data has been collected from https://cbeci.org/ [The total yearly electricity consumption (expressed in terawatt-hours/TWh) is an annualised measure that corresponds to the total amount of electricity used over the period of one year, assuming continuous power at the current rate.] Annualized Energy Consumption as of January 15, 2021: 113.09 TWh Annualized Energy Consumption as of May 15, 2021: 150.04 TWh Annualized Energy Consumption as of October 15, 2021: 103.31 TWh Graph of Energy Consumption can be found on https://cbeci.org/index According to Cambridge [ https://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/2021-ccaf-3rd-global-cryptoasset-benchmarking-study.pdf ], 62% of global miners rely on hydropower for at least some of their electricity; 38% use some coal, and about 39% use at least some combination of solar, wind, or geothermal
Junior 1 month ago
Selon le Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), compilé par des chercheurs de l'Université de Cambridge, l'énergie totale consommée par le bitcoin pourrait atteindre 128 TWh (Térawattheures) cette année.
chtahir 1 month ago
Bitcoin has a great value in this era.The 40% of the people are earning btc.Bitcoin is an emerging cryptocurrency which has a great grip on cryptocurrencies.Btc gained more energy since last 3 years
Robb 1 month ago
About 30Twh
Lucky Onyemefie 1 month ago
But first, consider this: The process of creating Bitcoin to spend or trade consumes around 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, more than is used by Finland, a nation of about 5.5 million or even more
Elizabeth G 1 month ago
According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Bitcoin consumes about 110 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production.
jas 1 month ago
it not as much as the banking system used
shad 1 month ago
many bitcoin miner try to reduce energy for mining. so I hope minimum energy .
Ifeanyi Chibuzor 1 month ago
On the face of it, the question about energy use is a fair one. According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Bitcoin currently consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production, or roughly equivalent to the annual energy draw of small countries like Malaysia or Sweden. This certainly sounds like a lot of energy. But how much energy should a monetary system consume?

How you answer that likely depends on how you feel about Bitcoin. If you believe that Bitcoin offers no utility beyond serving as a ponzi scheme or a device for money laundering, then it would only be logical to conclude that consuming any amount of energy is wasteful.
dannyseven77 1 month ago
In early May Bitcoin energy consumption was at 14.51 gigawatts. As of yesterday the estimated power demand was 13.14 gigawats so a slight change.

Hope this helps you find what you are looking for. I have a chart here as well.

https://cbeci.org/index
Julius Vincent 1 month ago
Right now, organizations around the world are facing pressure to limit the consumption of non-renewable energy sources and the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. But figuring out how much consumption is too much is a complex question that’s intertwined with debates around our priorities as a society. The calculation of which goods and services are “worth” spending these resources on, after all, is really a question of values. As cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, have grown in prominence, energy use has become the latest flashpoint in the larger conversation about what, and who, digital currencies are really good for.
Dylan 1 month ago
Bitcoin consumes 81.51 terawatt hours (TWh) annually.....that's 6.7925 terawatts every month....so since may 2021 (5 months back) brings the total to 33.9625 terawatt's
Jusd 1 month ago
2.7 quadrillion
Jusd 1 month ago
2.7 quadrillion
Alex 1 month ago
Accordingly, the share of renewables in global electricity generation jumped to 29% in 2020, up from 27% in 2019.
JA 4 weeks ago
110 terra watt hours per year
peter githae 4 weeks ago
Bitcoin’s annual electronic waste generation ammounts to 30.7 metric kilotons or 272g per transaction on average. Ever since its inception Bitcoin’s trust-minimizing consensus has been enabled by its proof-of-work algorithm. The machines performing the “work” are consuming huge amounts of energy while doing so. Moreover, the energy used is primarily sourced from fossil fuels. New sets of transactions (blocks) are added to Bitcoin’s blockchain roughly every 10 minutes by miners.
Assuming that 70% of Bitcoin mining is taking place in China, and that 30% of mining is completely clean, this yields a weighted average carbon intensity of 490 gCO2eq/kWh. This number can subsequently be applied to a power consumption estimate of the Bitcoin network to determine its carbon footprint. By applying the emission factors of the respective country’s grid, we find that the Bitcoin network had a weighted average carbon intensity of 475 gCO2eq per kWh consumed in 2017.
Harforlarbi 4 weeks ago
How much energy does an industry deserve to consume? Right now, organizations around the world are facing pressure to limit the consumption of non-renewable energy sources and the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. But figuring out how much consumption is too much is a complex question that’s intertwined with debates around our priorities as a society. The calculation of which goods and services are “worth” spending these resources on, after all, is really a question of values. As cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, have grown in prominence, energy use has become the latest flashpoint in the larger conversation about what, and who, digital currencies are really good fo
Vickypio 3 weeks ago
The process of creating Bitcoin to spend or trade consumes around 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, more than is used by Finland, a nation of about 5.5 million.
kevin anjo 3 weeks ago
Globally, estimates of Bitcoin's use of renewables range from about 40 percent to almost 75 percent. But in general, experts say, using renewable energy to power Bitcoin mining means it won't be available to power a home, a factory or an electric car.
DrCurva 3 weeks ago
https://www.seudinheiro.com/2021/economia/bitcoin-consumo-energia-eletrica-20-05/
Fishy88 3 weeks ago
Around 91 terrawatt-hours of electricity
Deqow1 2 weeks ago
wh are bitcoin
Seeta 2 weeks ago
Try: https://hbr.org/2021/05/how-much-energy-does-bitcoin-actually-consume
Seeta 2 weeks ago
See the Details
Faridul 2 weeks ago
How much energy does an industry deserve to consume? Right now, organizations around the world are facing pressure to limit the consumption of non-renewable energy sources and the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. But figuring out how much consumption is too much is a complex question that’s intertwined with debates around our priorities as a society. The calculation of which goods and services are “worth” spending these resources on, after all, is really a question of values. As cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, have grown in prominence, energy use has become the latest flashpoint in the larger conversation about what, and who, digital currencies are really good for.

On the face of it, the question about energy use is a fair one. According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Bitcoin currently consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production, or roughly equivalent to the annual energy draw of small countries like Malaysia or Sweden. This certainly sounds like a lot of energy. But how much energy should a monetary system consume?

How you answer that likely depends on how you feel about Bitcoin. If you believe that Bitcoin offers no utility beyond serving as a ponzi scheme or a device for money laundering, then it would only be logical to conclude that consuming any amount of energy is wasteful. If you are one of the tens of millions of individuals worldwide using it as a tool to escape monetary repression, inflation, or capital controls, you most likely think that the energy is extremely well spent. Whether you feel Bitcoin has a valid claim on society’s resources boils down to how much value you think Bitcoin creates for society.

If we’re going to have this debate, however, we should be clear on how Bitcoin actually consumes energy. Understanding Bitcoin’s energy consumption may not settle questions about its usefulness, but it can help to contextualize how much of an environmental impact Bitcoin advocates are really talking about making. Specifically, there are a few key misconceptions worth addressing.

Energy Consumption Is Not Equivalent to Carbon Emissions
First, there’s an important distinction between how much energy a system consumes and how much carbon it emits. While determining energy consumption is relatively straightforward, you cannot extrapolate the associated carbon emissions without knowing the precise energy mix — that is, the makeup of different energy sources used by the computers mining Bitcoin. For example, one unit of hydro energy will have much less environmental impact than the same unit of coal-powered energy.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption is relatively easy to estimate: You can just look at its hashrate (i.e., the total combined computational power used to mine Bitcoin and process transactions), and then make some educated guesses as to the energy requirements of the hardware that miners are using. But its carbon emissions are much harder to ascertain. Mining is an intensely competitive business, and miners tend not to be particularly forthcoming around the details of their operations. The best estimates of energy production geolocation (from which an energy mix can be inferred) come from the CCAF, which has worked with major mining pools to put together an anonymized dataset of miner locations.

Based on this data, the CCAF can guess about the energy sources miners were using by country, and in some cases, by province. But their dataset doesn’t include all mining pools, nor is it up to date, leaving us still largely in the dark about Bitcoin’s actual energy mix. Furthermore, many high profile analyses generalize energy mix at the country level, leading to an inaccurate portrait of countries such as China, which has an extremely diverse energy landscape.

As a result, estimates for what percentage of Bitcoin mining uses renewable energy vary widely. In December 2019, one report suggested that 73% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption was carbon neutral, largely due to the abundance of hydro power in major mining hubs such as Southwest China and Scandinavia. On the other hand, the CCAF estimated in September 2020 that the figure is closer to 39%. But even if the lower number is correct, that’s still almost twice as much as the U.S. grid, suggesting that looking at energy consumption alone is hardly a reliable method for determining Bitcoin’s carbon emissions.

Bitcoin Can Use Energy That Other Industries Can’t
Another key factor that makes Bitcoin’s energy consumption different from that of most other industries is that Bitcoin can be mined  anywhere. Almost all of the energy used worldwide must be produced relatively close to its end users — but Bitcoin has no such limitation, enabling miners to utilize power sources that are inaccessible for most other applications.

Hydro is the most well-known example of this. In the wet season in Sichuan and Yunnan, enormous quantities of renewable hydro energy are wasted every year. In these areas, production capacity massively outpaces local demand, and battery technology is far from advanced enough to make it worthwhile to store and transport energy from these rural regions into the urban centers that need it. These regions most likely represent the single largest stranded energy resource on the planet, and as such it’s no coincidence that these provinces are the heartlands of mining in China, responsible for almost 10% of global Bitcoin mining in the dry season and 50% in the wet season.

Another promising avenue for carbon neutral mining is flared natural gas. The process of oil extraction today releases significant amount of natural gas as a byproduct — energy that pollutes the environment without ever making it to the grid. Since it’s constrained to the location of remote oil mines, most traditional applications have historically been unable to effectively leverage that energy. But Bitcoin miners from North Dakota to Siberia have seized the opportunity to monetize this otherwise-wasted resource, and some companies are even exploring ways to further reduce emissions by combusting the gas in a more controlled manner. Of course, this is still a minor player in today’s Bitcoin mining arena, but back of the envelope calculations suggest that there’s enough flared natural gas in the U.S. and Canada alone to run the entire Bitcoin network.

To be fair, the monetization of excess natural gas with Bitcoin does still create emissions, and some have argued that the practice even acts as a subsidy to the fossil fuel industry, incentivizing energy companies to invest more in oil extraction than they otherwise might. But income from Bitcoin miners is a drop in the bucket compared to demand from other industries that rely on fossil fuels — and that external demand is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Given the reality that oil is and will continue to be extracted for the foreseeable future, exploiting a natural byproduct of the process (and potentially even reducing its environmental impact) is a net positive.

Interestingly, the aluminum smelting industry offers a surprisingly relevant parallel. The process of transforming natural bauxite ore into useable aluminum is highly energy intensive, and the costs of transporting aluminum often aren’t prohibitive, so many nations with a surplus of energy have built smelters to take advantage of their excess resources. Regions with the capacity to produce more energy than could be consumed locally, such as Iceland, Sichuan, and Yunnan, became net energy exporters through aluminum — and today, the same conditions that incentivized their investment in smelting have made those locations prime options for mining Bitcoin. There are even a number of former aluminum smelters, such as the hydro Alcoa plant in Massena, NY, that have been directly repurposed as Bitcoin mines.

Mining Bitcoin Consumes a lot More Energy Than Using It
How energy is produced is one piece of the equation. But the other area where misconceptions are common is in how Bitcoin actually consumes energy, and how that’s likely to change over time.

Many journalists and academics talk about Bitcoin’s high “per-transaction energy cost,” but this metric is misleading. The vast majority of Bitcoin’s energy consumption happens during the mining process. Once coins have been issued, the energy required to validate transactions is minimal. As such, simply looking at Bitcoin’s total energy draw to date and dividing that by the number of transactions doesn’t make sense — most of that energy was used to mine Bitcoins, not to support transactions. And that leads us to the final critical misconception: that the energy costs associated with mining Bitcoin will continue to grow exponentially.

Runaway Growth Is Unlikely
Because Bitcoin’s energy footprint has grown so rapidly, people sometimes assume that it will eventually commandeer entire energy grids. This was the premise of a widely-reported 2018 study that was recently cited in the New York Times, making the shocking claim that Bitcoin could warm the earth by two degrees Celcius. But there’s good reason to believe this won’t happen.

First, as has become common in many industries, the energy mix of Bitcoin grows less reliant on carbon every year. In the U.S., publicly-traded, increasingly ESG-focused miners have been gaining market share, and China recently banned coal-based mining in Inner Mongolia, one of the largest remaining coal-heavy regions. At the same time, many organizations within the mining industry have launched initiatives like the Crypto Climate Accord — inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement — to advocate for and commit to reducing Bitcoin’s carbon footprint. And of course, as renewable options such as solar grow more efficient and thus more viable for mining, Bitcoin could end up serving as a serious incentive for miners to build out these technologies.

In addition, miners are unlikely to continue expanding their mining operations at the current rates indefinitely. The Bitcoin protocol subsidizes mining, but those subsidies have built-in checks on their growth. Today, miners receive small fees for the transactions that they verify while mining (accounting for around 10% of miner revenue), as well as whatever profit margins they can get when they sell the bitcoins they have mined.

However, the protocol is built to halve the issuance-driven component of miner revenue every four years — so unless the price of Bitcoin doubles every four years in perpetuity (which economics suggests is essentially impossible for any currency), that share of miner revenue will eventually decay to zero. And as far as transaction fees, Bitcoin’s natural constraints on the number of transactions it can process (fewer than a million per day) combined with users’ finite tolerance for paying fees limit the growth potential of this as a revenue source. We can expect some miners to continue operating regardless, in exchange for these transaction fees alone — and in fact, the network depends on that to keep functioning — but if profit margins fall, the financial incentive to invest in mining will naturally decrease.

***

Of course, there are countless factors that can influence Bitcoin’s environmental impact — but underlying all of them is a question that’s much harder to answer with numbers: Is Bitcoin worth it? It’s important to understand that many environmental concerns are exaggerated or based on flawed assumptions or misunderstandings of how the Bitcoin protocol works.

That means that when we ask, “Is Bitcoin worth its environmental impact,” the actual negative impact we’re talking about is likely a lot less alarming than you might think. But there’s no denying that Bitcoin (like almost everything else that adds value in our society) does consume resources. As with every other energy-consuming industry, it’s up to the crypto community to acknowledge and address these environmental concerns, work in good faith to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint, and ultimately demonstrate that the societal value Bitcoin provides is worth the resources needed to sustain it.

Nic Carter is a general partner at Castle Island Ventures, a Cambridge, MA-based venture firm investing in public blockchain startups, and the cofounder of Coin Metrics, a blockchain analytics firm. Previously, he served as Fidelity Investments’ first cryptoasset analyst.

Read more on Technology And Analytics or related topics Technology And Analytics, Economics, and Sustainable Business Practices
Faridul 2 weeks ago
How much energy does an industry deserve to consume? Right now, organizations around the world are facing pressure to limit the consumption of non-renewable energy sources and the emission of carbon into the atmosphere. But figuring out how much consumption is too much is a complex question that’s intertwined with debates around our priorities as a society. The calculation of which goods and services are “worth” spending these resources on, after all, is really a question of values. As cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular, have grown in prominence, energy use has become the latest flashpoint in the larger conversation about what, and who, digital currencies are really good for.

On the face of it, the question about energy use is a fair one. According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Bitcoin currently consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production, or roughly equivalent to the annual energy draw of small countries like Malaysia or Sweden. This certainly sounds like a lot of energy. But how much energy should a monetary system consume?

How you answer that likely depends on how you feel about Bitcoin. If you believe that Bitcoin offers no utility beyond serving as a ponzi scheme or a device for money laundering, then it would only be logical to conclude that consuming any amount of energy is wasteful. If you are one of the tens of millions of individuals worldwide using it as a tool to escape monetary repression, inflation, or capital controls, you most likely think that the energy is extremely well spent. Whether you feel Bitcoin has a valid claim on society’s resources boils down to how much value you think Bitcoin creates for society.

If we’re going to have this debate, however, we should be clear on how Bitcoin actually consumes energy. Understanding Bitcoin’s energy consumption may not settle questions about its usefulness, but it can help to contextualize how much of an environmental impact Bitcoin advocates are really talking about making. Specifically, there are a few key misconceptions worth addressing.

Energy Consumption Is Not Equivalent to Carbon Emissions
First, there’s an important distinction between how much energy a system consumes and how much carbon it emits. While determining energy consumption is relatively straightforward, you cannot extrapolate the associated carbon emissions without knowing the precise energy mix — that is, the makeup of different energy sources used by the computers mining Bitcoin. For example, one unit of hydro energy will have much less environmental impact than the same unit of coal-powered energy.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption is relatively easy to estimate: You can just look at its hashrate (i.e., the total combined computational power used to mine Bitcoin and process transactions), and then make some educated guesses as to the energy requirements of the hardware that miners are using. But its carbon emissions are much harder to ascertain. Mining is an intensely competitive business, and miners tend not to be particularly forthcoming around the details of their operations. The best estimates of energy production geolocation (from which an energy mix can be inferred) come from the CCAF, which has worked with major mining pools to put together an anonymized dataset of miner locations.

Based on this data, the CCAF can guess about the energy sources miners were using by country, and in some cases, by province. But their dataset doesn’t include all mining pools, nor is it up to date, leaving us still largely in the dark about Bitcoin’s actual energy mix. Furthermore, many high profile analyses generalize energy mix at the country level, leading to an inaccurate portrait of countries such as China, which has an extremely diverse energy landscape.

As a result, estimates for what percentage of Bitcoin mining uses renewable energy vary widely. In December 2019, one report suggested that 73% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption was carbon neutral, largely due to the abundance of hydro power in major mining hubs such as Southwest China and Scandinavia. On the other hand, the CCAF estimated in September 2020 that the figure is closer to 39%. But even if the lower number is correct, that’s still almost twice as much as the U.S. grid, suggesting that looking at energy consumption alone is hardly a reliable method for determining Bitcoin’s carbon emissions.

Bitcoin Can Use Energy That Other Industries Can’t
Another key factor that makes Bitcoin’s energy consumption different from that of most other industries is that Bitcoin can be mined  anywhere. Almost all of the energy used worldwide must be produced relatively close to its end users — but Bitcoin has no such limitation, enabling miners to utilize power sources that are inaccessible for most other applications.

Hydro is the most well-known example of this. In the wet season in Sichuan and Yunnan, enormous quantities of renewable hydro energy are wasted every year. In these areas, production capacity massively outpaces local demand, and battery technology is far from advanced enough to make it worthwhile to store and transport energy from these rural regions into the urban centers that need it. These regions most likely represent the single largest stranded energy resource on the planet, and as such it’s no coincidence that these provinces are the heartlands of mining in China, responsible for almost 10% of global Bitcoin mining in the dry season and 50% in the wet season.

Another promising avenue for carbon neutral mining is flared natural gas. The process of oil extraction today releases significant amount of natural gas as a byproduct — energy that pollutes the environment without ever making it to the grid. Since it’s constrained to the location of remote oil mines, most traditional applications have historically been unable to effectively leverage that energy. But Bitcoin miners from North Dakota to Siberia have seized the opportunity to monetize this otherwise-wasted resource, and some companies are even exploring ways to further reduce emissions by combusting the gas in a more controlled manner. Of course, this is still a minor player in today’s Bitcoin mining arena, but back of the envelope calculations suggest that there’s enough flared natural gas in the U.S. and Canada alone to run the entire Bitcoin network.

To be fair, the monetization of excess natural gas with Bitcoin does still create emissions, and some have argued that the practice even acts as a subsidy to the fossil fuel industry, incentivizing energy companies to invest more in oil extraction than they otherwise might. But income from Bitcoin miners is a drop in the bucket compared to demand from other industries that rely on fossil fuels — and that external demand is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. Given the reality that oil is and will continue to be extracted for the foreseeable future, exploiting a natural byproduct of the process (and potentially even reducing its environmental impact) is a net positive.

Interestingly, the aluminum smelting industry offers a surprisingly relevant parallel. The process of transforming natural bauxite ore into useable aluminum is highly energy intensive, and the costs of transporting aluminum often aren’t prohibitive, so many nations with a surplus of energy have built smelters to take advantage of their excess resources. Regions with the capacity to produce more energy than could be consumed locally, such as Iceland, Sichuan, and Yunnan, became net energy exporters through aluminum — and today, the same conditions that incentivized their investment in smelting have made those locations prime options for mining Bitcoin. There are even a number of former aluminum smelters, such as the hydro Alcoa plant in Massena, NY, that have been directly repurposed as Bitcoin mines.

Mining Bitcoin Consumes a lot More Energy Than Using It
How energy is produced is one piece of the equation. But the other area where misconceptions are common is in how Bitcoin actually consumes energy, and how that’s likely to change over time.

Many journalists and academics talk about Bitcoin’s high “per-transaction energy cost,” but this metric is misleading. The vast majority of Bitcoin’s energy consumption happens during the mining process. Once coins have been issued, the energy required to validate transactions is minimal. As such, simply looking at Bitcoin’s total energy draw to date and dividing that by the number of transactions doesn’t make sense — most of that energy was used to mine Bitcoins, not to support transactions. And that leads us to the final critical misconception: that the energy costs associated with mining Bitcoin will continue to grow exponentially.

Runaway Growth Is Unlikely
Because Bitcoin’s energy footprint has grown so rapidly, people sometimes assume that it will eventually commandeer entire energy grids. This was the premise of a widely-reported 2018 study that was recently cited in the New York Times, making the shocking claim that Bitcoin could warm the earth by two degrees Celcius. But there’s good reason to believe this won’t happen.

First, as has become common in many industries, the energy mix of Bitcoin grows less reliant on carbon every year. In the U.S., publicly-traded, increasingly ESG-focused miners have been gaining market share, and China recently banned coal-based mining in Inner Mongolia, one of the largest remaining coal-heavy regions. At the same time, many organizations within the mining industry have launched initiatives like the Crypto Climate Accord — inspired by the Paris Climate Agreement — to advocate for and commit to reducing Bitcoin’s carbon footprint. And of course, as renewable options such as solar grow more efficient and thus more viable for mining, Bitcoin could end up serving as a serious incentive for miners to build out these technologies.

In addition, miners are unlikely to continue expanding their mining operations at the current rates indefinitely. The Bitcoin protocol subsidizes mining, but those subsidies have built-in checks on their growth. Today, miners receive small fees for the transactions that they verify while mining (accounting for around 10% of miner revenue), as well as whatever profit margins they can get when they sell the bitcoins they have mined.

However, the protocol is built to halve the issuance-driven component of miner revenue every four years — so unless the price of Bitcoin doubles every four years in perpetuity (which economics suggests is essentially impossible for any currency), that share of miner revenue will eventually decay to zero. And as far as transaction fees, Bitcoin’s natural constraints on the number of transactions it can process (fewer than a million per day) combined with users’ finite tolerance for paying fees limit the growth potential of this as a revenue source. We can expect some miners to continue operating regardless, in exchange for these transaction fees alone — and in fact, the network depends on that to keep functioning — but if profit margins fall, the financial incentive to invest in mining will naturally decrease.

***

Of course, there are countless factors that can influence Bitcoin’s environmental impact — but underlying all of them is a question that’s much harder to answer with numbers: Is Bitcoin worth it? It’s important to understand that many environmental concerns are exaggerated or based on flawed assumptions or misunderstandings of how the Bitcoin protocol works.

That means that when we ask, “Is Bitcoin worth its environmental impact,” the actual negative impact we’re talking about is likely a lot less alarming than you might think. But there’s no denying that Bitcoin (like almost everything else that adds value in our society) does consume resources. As with every other energy-consuming industry, it’s up to the crypto community to acknowledge and address these environmental concerns, work in good faith to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint, and ultimately demonstrate that the societal value Bitcoin provides is worth the resources needed to sustain it.

Nic Carter is a general partner at Castle Island Ventures, a Cambridge, MA-based venture firm investing in public blockchain startups, and the cofounder of Coin Metrics, a blockchain analytics firm. Previously, he served as Fidelity Investments’ first cryptoasset analyst.

Read more on Technology And Analytics or related topics Technology And Analytics, Economics, and Sustainable Business Practices
Mathew Chinaza 2 weeks ago
The Bitcoin network was estimated to consume about 67TWh of electricity in 2020, and its total consumption has already surpassed this in 2021. By the end of this year, it looks set to have used 91TWh of energy - as much as Pakistan. As the price of Bitcoin increases, more miners with less energy-efficient machines join the network, driving up energy use. This means that it is essential to improve the efficiency of crypto-mining and move to low-carbon energy sources for electricity.
Alex Garcia 1 week ago
Bitcoin now consumes the same amount of energy as a small country. This sounds frightening, but the reality is a little more convoluted. The author debunks several common misconceptions about Bitcoin's long-term viability, concluding that it is up to the crypto community to acknowledge and address environmental concerns, work in good faith to reduce Bitcoin's carbon footprint, and ultimately demonstrate that the societal value Bitcoin provides is worth the resources required to maintain it.

https://hbr.org/2021/05/how-much-energy-does-bitcoin-consume
Khaled 1 week ago
[deleted]
Khaled 1 week ago
Energy Consumption Is Not Equivalent to Carbon Emissions

To begin with, there's a significant qualification between how much energy a framework devours and how much carbon it emanates. While deciding energy utilization is moderately direct, you can't extrapolate the related fossil fuel byproducts without realizing the exact energy blend — that is, the cosmetics of various energy sources utilized by the PCs mining Bitcoin. For instance, one unit of hydro energy will have substantially less ecological effect than a similar unit of coal-controlled energy.

Bitcoin's energy utilization is somewhat simple to appraise: You can take a gander at its hashrate (i.e., the complete consolidated computational power used to mine Bitcoin and cycle exchanges), and afterward make some reasonable deductions with respect to the energy necessities of the equipment that excavators are utilizing. However, its fossil fuel byproducts are a lot harder to learn. Mining is a strongly serious business, and diggers tend not to be especially approaching around the subtleties of their tasks. The best gauges of energy creation geolocation (from which an energy blend can be gathered) come from the CCAF, which has worked with significant mining pools to assemble an anonymized dataset of excavator areas.

In view of this information, the CCAF can figure about the energy sources diggers were utilizing by country, and sometimes, by area. In any case, their dataset does exclude all mining pools, nor is it forward-thinking, leaving us still to a great extent in obscurity about Bitcoin's genuine energy blend. Moreover, many high profile investigations sum up energy blend at the nation level, prompting a mistaken picture of nations like China, which has an amazingly assorted energy scene.

Subsequently, gauges for which level of Bitcoin mining utilizes sustainable power shift generally. In December 2019, one report proposed that 73% of Bitcoin's energy utilization was carbon impartial, generally because of the bounty of hydro power in significant mining center points like Southwest China and Scandinavia. Then again, the CCAF assessed in September 2020 that the figure is nearer to 39%. However, regardless of whether the lower number is right, that is still twice as much as the U.S. network, proposing that checking out energy utilization alone is not really a dependable strategy for deciding Bitcoin's fossil fuel byproducts.

Bitcoin Can Use Energy That Other Industries Can't

Another key component that makes Bitcoin's energy utilization not the same as that of most different businesses is that Bitcoin can be mined  anyplace. Practically all of the energy utilized worldwide should be created somewhat near its end clients — yet Bitcoin has no such restriction, empowering diggers to use power sources that are difficult to reach for most different applications.

Hydro is the most notable illustration of this. In the wet season in Sichuan and Yunnan, gigantic amounts of inexhaustible hydro energy are squandered each year. Here, creation limit hugely outperforms nearby interest, and battery innovation is a long way from cutting edge enough to make it advantageous to store and move energy from these country districts into the metropolitan communities that need it. These districts in all likelihood address the single biggest abandoned energy asset on earth, and as such it's no incident that these areas are the heartlands of mining in China, answerable for practically 10% of worldwide Bitcoin mining in the dry season and half in the wet season.

One more encouraging road for carbon nonpartisan mining is erupted gaseous petrol. The course of oil extraction today delivers huge measure of gaseous petrol as a result — energy that contaminates the climate while never coming to the framework. Since it's obliged to the area of remote oil mines, most conventional applications have generally been not able to viably use that energy. However, Bitcoin excavators from North Dakota to Siberia have taken advantage of the lucky break to adapt this in any case squandered asset, and a few organizations are in any event, investigating ways of facilitating lessen outflows by combusting the gas in a more controlled way. Obviously, this is as yet a minor player in the present Bitcoin mining field, however back of the envelope estimations recommend that there's sufficient erupted flammable gas in the U.S. furthermore, Canada alone to run the whole Bitcoin organization.

To be reasonable, the adaptation of overabundance flammable gas with Bitcoin does in any case make discharges, and some have contended that the training even goes about as a sponsorship to the petroleum product industry, boosting energy organizations to put more in oil extraction than they in any case may. Yet, pay from Bitcoin excavators is a negligible detail contrasted with request from different ventures that depend on petroleum derivatives — and that outer interest is probably not going to vanish at any point in the near future. Given the truth that oil is and will keep on being extricated for years to come, taking advantage of a characteristic side-effect of the cycle (and conceivably in any event, diminishing its natural effect) is a net positive.

Strangely, the aluminum refining industry offers a shockingly applicable equal. The most common way of changing regular bauxite metal into useable aluminum is profoundly energy serious, and the expenses of shipping aluminum frequently aren't restrictive, such countless countries with an overflow of energy have assembled smelters to exploit their overabundance assets. Districts with the ability to deliver more energy than could be devoured locally, like Iceland, Sichuan, and Yunnan, became net energy exporters through aluminum — and today, the very conditions that boosted their interest in purifying have made those areas prime choices for mining Bitcoin. There are even various previous aluminum smelters, for example, the hydro Alcoa plant in Massena, NY, that have been straightforwardly repurposed as Bitcoin mines.

Mining Bitcoin Consumes significantly More Energy Than Using It

How energy is created is one piece of the situation. In any case, the other region where confusions are normal is in how Bitcoin really devours energy, and how that is probably going to change over the long run.

Numerous columnists and scholastics talk about Bitcoin's high "per-exchange energy cost," yet this measurement is deceiving. By far most of Bitcoin's energy utilization occurs during the mining system. Whenever coins have been given, the energy needed to approve exchanges is insignificant. Accordingly, basically taking a gander at Bitcoin's complete energy attract to date and isolating that by the quantity of exchanges doesn't appear to be legit — the majority of that energy was utilized to mine Bitcoins, not to help exchanges. What's more, that drives us to the last basic misguided judgment: that the energy costs related with mining Bitcoin will keep on developing dramatically.

Runaway Growth Is Unlikely

Since Bitcoin's energy impression has developed so quickly, individuals in some cases accept that it will ultimately appropriate whole energy networks. This was the reason of a broadly detailed 2018 review that was as of late refered to in the New York Times, making the stunning case that Bitcoin could warm the earth by two degrees Celcius. Be that as it may, there's valid justification to accept this will not occur.

To begin with, as has become normal in numerous ventures, the energy blend of Bitcoin develops less dependent on carbon consistently. In the U.S., public, progressively ESG-centered diggers have been acquiring portion of the overall industry, and China as of late prohibited coal-based mining in Inner Mongolia, one of the biggest excess coal-weighty locales. Simultaneously, numerous associations inside the mining business have dispatched drives like the Crypto Climate Accord — motivated by the Paris Climate Agreement — to advocate for and focus on decreasing Bitcoin's carbon impression. What's more, obviously, as sustainable choices, for example, sun based become more productive and in this manner more suitable for mining, Bitcoin could wind up filling in as a genuine motivator for diggers to work out these innovations.

Also, diggers are probably not going to keep growing their mining activities at the current rates endlessly. The Bitcoin convention finances mining, however those endowments have implicit minds their development. Today, diggers get little charges for the exchanges that they check while mining (representing around 10% of excavator income), just as whatever overall revenues they can get when they sell the bitcoins they have mined.

In any case, the convention is worked to divide the issuance-driven part of digger income at regular intervals — so except if the cost of Bitcoin copies like clockwork in ceaselessness (which financial matters recommends is basically outlandish for any money), that portion of excavator income will ultimately rot to nothing. What's more, to the extent exchange expenses, Bitcoin's normal limitations on the quantity of exchanges it can process (less than 1,000,000 every day) joined with clients' limited capacity to bear paying charges limit the development capability of this as an income source. We can anticipate that some miners should keep working in any case, in return for these exchange charges alone — and truth be told, the organization relies upon that to continue to work — yet if net revenues fall, the monetary motivator to put resources into mining will normally diminish.

***

Obviously, there are endless elements that can impact Bitcoin's natural effect — however hidden every one of them is an inquiry that is a lot harder to reply with numbers: Is Bitcoin great? Comprehend that numerous ecological worries are overstated or in light of defective suppositions or false impressions of how the Bitcoin convention functions.

That implies that when we inquire, "Is Bitcoin worth its ecological effect," the genuine adverse consequence we're discussing is reasonable significantly less disturbing than you may might suspect. However, there's no rejecting that Bitcoin (like nearly all the other things that adds esteem in our general public) devours assets. Likewise with each and every other energy-devouring industry, it's up to the crypto local area to recognize and address these natural conce...

Synopsis.

Today, Bitcoin devours as much energy as a little country. This unquestionably sounds disturbing — yet the fact of the matter is somewhat more muddled. The creator examines a few normal misinterpretations encompassing the Bitcoin supportability banter, and eventually contends that it's up to the crypto local area to recognize and address ecological worries, work in sincerely to lessen Bitcoin's carbon impression, and at last show that the cultural worth that Bitcoin gives merits the assets expected to support it.
AJ Stuart 1 week ago
91 telawatts per hour of electricity annually
Mustafa Muhammad 1 week ago
It is difficult to accurately measure the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining, but the New York Times recently shared some data to give a better picture. Accordingly, Bitcoin mining consumes about 91 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year, more than the amount of electricity used by 5.5 million Finns. It equates to 0.5% of global electricity consumption and is 10 times more than five years ago. It is 7 times more than the total amount of electricity Google uses around the world.
Olalere Olayemi 1 week ago
28 THW too for Switzerland or in my city
Christian Mark 1 week ago
Bitcoin generates 30.7 metric kilotons of electronic garbage every year, or 272 grams per transaction on average. The proof-of-work algorithm has enabled Bitcoin's trust-minimizing consensus since its creation. The machines that do the "job" consume a tremendous amount of energy in the process. Furthermore, the majority of the energy used is derived from fossil fuels. Miners upload new sets of transactions (blocks) to Bitcoin's blockchain every 10 minutes or so.
Assuming that 70% of Bitcoin mining occurs in China and that 30% of mining is fully clean, the weighted average carbon intensity per kWh is 490 gCO2eq/kWh. This value can then be used to calculate the Bitcoin network's carbon footprint using a power consumption estimate. The Bitcoin network had a weighted average carbon intensity of 475 gCO2eq per kWh consumed in 2017, according to the emission parameters of the respective country's grid.
Patrick 1 week ago
Today, Bitcoin consumes as much energy as a small country. This certainly sounds alarming — but the reality is a little more complicated. The author discusses several common misconceptions surrounding the Bitcoin sustainability debate, and ultimately argues that it’s up to the crypto community to acknowledge and address environmental concerns, work in good faith to reduce Bitcoin’s carbon footprint, and ultimately demonstrate that the societal value that Bitcoin provides is worth the resources needed to sustain it.
Patrick 1 week ago
💯 100 percent
kenf 6 days ago
I’m thinking it went up %15
Ahmad Alfares 4 days ago
According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Bitcoin currently consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production, or roughly equivalent to the annual energy draw of small countries like Malaysia or Sweden. This certainly sounds like a lot of energy.
Ayo staR 4 days ago
Bitcoin transaction consumes 1,173 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Detayvun 4 days ago
128Twh this year
Anita Igwe 1 day ago
As of mid-July, a single bitcoin transaction required 1719.51 kilowatt hours (kWh) - where a kWh is the amount of energy a 1,000-watt appliance uses in over an hour.