The world’s first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, is expected to consume around 95.68 TWh (terawatt-hours, or trillion watts per hour) by the end of the year, according to the Cambridge Electricity Consumption Index Bitcoin.
This is roughly the same as the electricity consumption of the Philippines. Pakistan’s annual energy consumption is just over 120 terawatts per hour.
According to a Bloomberg report, the bitcoin network will have consumed 91 TW / hr by the end of the year, and it has already consumed more than the 67 TW / hr estimated for all of 2020.
A separate Science Direct study found that bitcoin miners “are browsing an increasing amount of short-lived material that could exacerbate the growth of global e-waste.”
The Science Direct report also suggested that “bitcoin could produce up to 64.4 metric kilotons [64,400 tons] e-waste at the record bitcoin price levels seen in early 2021. ”E-waste generally refers to discarded computer and electronic equipment.
Bitcoin accounts for about 0.11% of the world’s estimated total e-waste in 2021, or 57.4 million metric tons, according to Statista.
As a percentage of total global power consumption, bitcoin mining is only 0.43%. That’s less than the estimated 104 TW / hr used by refrigerators in the United States alone, according to the University of Cambridge.
Electricity is a main input for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Coins are extracted by computers that process complex algorithms in rooms that span multiple football fields.
As the cryptocurrency market grows, so does the demand for Bitcoin on energy grids. Bitcoin mining now uses 66 times more electricity than in 2015, and carbon emissions resulting from the process could be subject to increasing regulation.
The huge amounts of energy needed to mine bitcoin have been accused of causing power cuts in Tehran as recently as January, and led to increased competition in what is known as green mining. , which uses renewable energy sources to mine cryptos. .– TLTP