It is a statement of fact that Bitcoin, the world’s most established digital currency, consumes very close to the amount of electricity supply that some nations do. One of such nations is Ireland. Although it is very interesting to know how Bitcoin consumes so much electricity already, it is believed that by the end of 2018, the mining of Bitcoin will lead to the consumption of 0.5% of the world’s electricity supply.
Now, if Bitcoin alone is expected to consume as much as 0.5% of the world’s supply of electricity, then, when combined with other digital currencies, the electricity consumption of cryptocurrencies will be far more than that of Ireland and will easily surpass 0.5% by the end of 2018.
How is this Possible?
The quantity of electricity that Bitcoin consumes and is set to consume might seem impossible; however, this is not far-fetched based on the way that Bitcoin functions. Basically, Bitcoin relies on computers to function. These computers tirelessly compete for the privilege to make the subsequent block of transactions. As a result of this, every computer that is being used in a Bitcoin process performs lots of endless calculations.
All these are in a bid to be awarded newly minted Bitcoins (BTC), and this occurs in a process that is known as Bitcoin mining. Now, while only a single computer can get the much coveted 12.5 coins at a time, there are lots of computers that are part of the struggle for the much needed 12.5 coins. The implication of this is pretty simple; the longer computers function continuously, the more their electricity consumption increases.
Although to the average person, Bitcoin electricity consumption is very high because of the number of computers that are involved in the process of Bitcoin mining; that is not the only reason why the electricity consumption of Bitcoin is extremely high and is expected to be up to 0.5% of the world’s electricity consumption by the end of 2018. One other reason is this; the bigger the computing powers of a Bitcoin mining process, the more likely its chances of being awarded the 12.5 coins. This, therefore, leads people to increase their computing power, thereby, leading to an increase in the consumption of energy.
How Much Electricity Supply Does a Bitcoin Transaction Consume?
According to calculations, the least amount of current that is made use of by the Bitcoin network is 2.55 gigawatts. To break it down into smaller units, the amount of electricity that is used by a single Bitcoin transaction is equal to the average monthly electricity consumption of a household in the Netherlands. It is estimated that by the end of 2018, Bitcoin will be consuming a staggering 7.7 gigawatts of the world’s electricity supply. This equals the electricity consumption of Austria and is half a percent of the world’s electricity consumption. Although this might not seem huge to some folks, as Bitcoin gains more ground, it is believed that this electricity consumption might be as much as 0.5% of the world’s electricity. Whilst this is not a good thing, its effect on the climate is even worse.