0.5% of World’s Electricity by Year’s End: Bitcoin Mining Power Consumption is Insane

A report by financial economist and blockchain specialist Alex de Vries (@DigiEconomist) indicates that Bitcoin power consumption is currently equal to that of the island of Ireland, and growing at an alarming rate.

Due to intense competition and the difficulty scaling model of Bitcoin mining wherein the block rewards are halved over time, Bitcoin power consumption has grown exponentially in recent years. A single Bitcoin transaction uses the same amount of power as a household in the Netherlands uses in a month.

The Bitcoin network uses 2.55 gigawatts of power currently, and that looks set to more than double by the end of 2018 to 7.7 gigawatts, overtaking Austrian power requirements and bringing Bitcoin power usage to 0.5% of global electricity consumption. A study in 2013 showed that the entire information communications technology sector used 10%, a figure that has likely increased since then.

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