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Author Topic: Bitcoin Network Total Energy Consumption  (Read 1806 times)
cpt_howdy
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April 08, 2013, 01:15:40 AM
 #1

Would appreciate it if someone could check my back-of-the-envelope calculations here:

Network hash rate = ~60 TH/s
Assume this is composed of:
1. 30 TH/s in a mixture of GPU & FPGA units, with an average efficiency of 3 MH/J
2. 30 TH/s of new ASIC units, with an average efficiency of 100 MH/J

Therefore total power usage of the entire network is (30*10^6 / 3) + (30*10^6 / 100) = 10.3 MW
Add 50% for other associated equipment and older less efficient hardware, and say it's a round 15 MW.

I find that to be an astounding number - it's about the same power usage as a small town of ~25,000 people. You could power the entire Bitcoin network (as it is today) with little more than 10 large onshore wind turbines...

Conversely, if ASICs appear that really do offer efficiencies of 1000 MH/J, then with the same power consumption of 15 MW, the network could be secured to the tune of 15,000 TH/s.
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Elwar
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April 08, 2013, 01:55:27 AM
 #2

http://blockchain.info/stats

Hash Rate and Electricity Consumption

Difficulty
7,672,999.92

Hash Rate
62,554.01 GH/s

Electricity Consumption *
975.84 megawatt hours

Electricity Cost
$146,376.39

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April 08, 2013, 02:31:35 AM
 #3

http://blockchain.info/stats

Hash Rate and Electricity Consumption

Difficulty
7,672,999.92

Hash Rate
62,554.01 GH/s

Electricity Consumption *
975.84 megawatt hours

Electricity Cost
$146,376.39


That seems to be per day which makes it $53,427,382.35 per year.  Total electricity equals one large power plant.

If you don't know where you're going any road will get you there
cpt_howdy
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April 08, 2013, 08:27:06 AM
 #4

So, according to the blockchain.info estimate, the average power use is 40.7 MW, which is based on 650W / GH, or 1.54 MH / J.
That would be a reasonable figure, if the network were still primarily GPU-based. I think they should update that page to reflect the entry of ASIC hardware, which is almost certainly responsible for the two-fold increase in hash rate over the last couple of months.
I'm sticking with 15 MW as a better estimate.
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April 08, 2013, 08:35:23 AM
 #5

We need to work on open source clean energy systems to feed our farms. Let's just save the whole damn planet with Bitcoin while we're at it.

wopwop
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April 08, 2013, 08:37:06 AM
 #6

We need to work on open source clean energy systems to feed our farms. Let's just save the whole damn planet with Bitcoin while we're at it.
Then someone will just burn cheaper fossil fuels and win the mining race
Jocky
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April 08, 2013, 09:53:42 AM
 #7

Banks are bad, consumerism is bad, we're activists, we're revolutionaries.
F*ck the planet though.

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Mike Hearn
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April 08, 2013, 12:32:28 PM
 #8

For comparison, I believe that just one of the VISA datacenters uses a comparable amount of energy. And they have several.
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April 08, 2013, 12:53:06 PM
 #9

Total electricity equals one large power plant.

Let's go with the revolution, stick together and build our own power plant within 1 year

:-D

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