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Author Topic: Total Global Combined Electricity Cost of Bitcoin?  (Read 3898 times)
cypherdoc
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July 29, 2011, 03:00:20 PM
 #21

I'd personally like to see adjustments to Bitcoin that make it the backbone of all future proof-of-work systems, that way we wouldn't have hundreds of competing systems all wasting energy. Not sure how/if this is possible though, or what type of other systems will spring up in future.

the longer bitcoin hangs out, the higher the probability that this will in fact be the case.  in fact, all this stable sideways action is VERY bullish IMO.
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July 29, 2011, 03:43:16 PM
 #22

I'd personally like to see adjustments to Bitcoin that make it the backbone of all future proof-of-work systems, that way we wouldn't have hundreds of competing systems all wasting energy. Not sure how/if this is possible though, or what type of other systems will spring up in future.



Merged mining works like this, you have two totally separate block chains, they are not related in any way nor does either contain any data from the other. When you mine you generate hashes that may be the solution to the current block, this is very very improbable per hash, its like a lottery where everyone generates tickets until someone finds the winning one. Normally you make tickets and check them against the Bitcoin block chain to see if they are the solution. With merged mining you create a ticket and check it against both the Bitcoin block chain and the Namecoin block chain, Bitcoin and Namecoin know nothing about each other, they are two totally different lotteries with different winning numbers, you just sent a copy of your ticket to both. Since you are sending the same ticket to two lotteries you increase your chances of winning one or the other. No Bitcoin data goes into Namecoin no Namecoin data into Bitcoin they remain totally separate, you simply run both the Namecoin and Bitcoin clients on the same machine and submit hashes to both networks, if your hash is the solution to the Namecoin block you get Namecoins if you hash is the solution to the Bitcoin block you get Bitcoins, its exactly like if you where mining on just one network, except you submit the same work twice.


Not quite tl;dr but i think its gets the point across. 



Merged mining will do exactly what you want, its already implemented and will become doable in just a few months. Just like in the example above merged mining will work with any Bitcoin based block chain and proof of work system. Hence you could mine Bitcoins, Namecoins, Hashcoins, Goldcoins and any other coins you can think of all at once, you just submit your hashes to whatever networks you want to mine on.  Once major mining pools switch to Namcoin/Bitcoin merged mining it will be like all the mining power in those pools was direct to mining Namecoins (aka Namecoin will get deep bits 6 tera hashes) except that same hashing power will still be going to the Bitcoin network as well. This means we can have an unlimited number of block chains and they can all have the same level of security as Bitcoin at no extra cost in electricity, hardware, or anything really.


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July 29, 2011, 05:24:11 PM
 #23

If we take the GROSS assumption that the bitcoin mining community is both efficient and rational, then the cost in hardware, time, and energy should be equal to the price. With 144 bitcoins generated per day at $13.50 each, the cost is roughly $1944 per day. Now you just have to estimate how irrational the miners and speculators are, but I think it's safe to assume $500-$5000 per day.

Total cost of advanced combined cycle natural gas-fired energy costs $63.1/megawatthours or $1514.4/megawattdays.

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July 29, 2011, 05:31:00 PM
 #24

If we take the GROSS assumption that the bitcoin mining community is both efficient and rational, then the cost in hardware, time, and energy should be equal to the price. With 144 bitcoins generated per day at $13.50 each, the cost is roughly $1944 per day. Now you just have to estimate how irrational the miners and speculators are, but I think it's safe to assume $500-$5000 per day.


Where the hell are you getting those numbers?

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July 29, 2011, 05:38:02 PM
 #25

If we take the GROSS assumption that the bitcoin mining community is both efficient and rational, then the cost in hardware, time, and energy should be equal to the price. With 144 bitcoins generated per day at $13.50 each, the cost is roughly $1944 per day. Now you just have to estimate how irrational the miners and speculators are, but I think it's safe to assume $500-$5000 per day.


Where the hell are you getting those numbers?

The energy costs or the price of bitcoins or the block generation rate? OOPS forgot the 50 coins per block!!!

Quote
With 144 7200 bitcoins generated per day at $13.50 each, the cost is roughly $1944 $97200 per day.

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July 29, 2011, 06:11:53 PM
 #26

If we take the GROSS assumption that the bitcoin mining community is both efficient and rational, then the cost in hardware, time, and energy should be equal to the price. With 144 bitcoins generated per day at $13.50 each, the cost is roughly $1944 per day. Now you just have to estimate how irrational the miners and speculators are, but I think it's safe to assume $500-$5000 per day.


Where the hell are you getting those numbers?

The energy costs or the price of bitcoins or the block generation rate? OOPS forgot the 50 coins per block!!!

Quote
With 144 7200 bitcoins generated per day at $13.50 each, the cost is roughly $1944 $97200 per day.


Why are you assuming they cost the same amount of power to make as they are worth? They cost significantly less than that to produce (power wise) you have to add hardware cost and then profit. The longer the price remains static the closer we trend to zero profit, but the cost to create one Bitcoin well never equal the electricity cost, it will always be lower, if it becomes equal or above people will drop out of mining until the cost to produce goes down again.

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Chris Acheson
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July 29, 2011, 07:47:40 PM
 #27


Merged mining works like this, you have two totally separate block chains, they are not related in any way nor does either contain any data from the other. When you mine you generate hashes that may be the solution to the current block, this is very very improbable per hash, its like a lottery where everyone generates tickets until someone finds the winning one. Normally you make tickets and check them against the Bitcoin block chain to see if they are the solution. With merged mining you create a ticket and check it against both the Bitcoin block chain and the Namecoin block chain, Bitcoin and Namecoin know nothing about each other, they are two totally different lotteries with different winning numbers, you just sent a copy of your ticket to both. Since you are sending the same ticket to two lotteries you increase your chances of winning one or the other. No Bitcoin data goes into Namecoin no Namecoin data into Bitcoin they remain totally separate, you simply run both the Namecoin and Bitcoin clients on the same machine and submit hashes to both networks, if your hash is the solution to the Namecoin block you get Namecoins if you hash is the solution to the Bitcoin block you get Bitcoins, its exactly like if you where mining on just one network, except you submit the same work twice.


Not quite tl;dr but i think its gets the point across. 



Merged mining will do exactly what you want, its already implemented and will become doable in just a few months. Just like in the example above merged mining will work with any Bitcoin based block chain and proof of work system. Hence you could mine Bitcoins, Namecoins, Hashcoins, Goldcoins and any other coins you can think of all at once, you just submit your hashes to whatever networks you want to mine on.  Once major mining pools switch to Namcoin/Bitcoin merged mining it will be like all the mining power in those pools was direct to mining Namecoins (aka Namecoin will get deep bits 6 tera hashes) except that same hashing power will still be going to the Bitcoin network as well. This means we can have an unlimited number of block chains and they can all have the same level of security as Bitcoin at no extra cost in electricity, hardware, or anything really.



I don't fully understand this.  I was going to object, but then I went and read the MergedMining article on dotbit.  It requires a change to how the Namecoin blockchain works, which makes sense, but from there I'm lost.  It sounds like the Namecoin blockchain is just going to accept solutions based on the previous Bitcoin block, as well as based on the previous Namecoin block.  Could you explain further, or link me to some more reading material?
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July 29, 2011, 08:26:41 PM
 #28

Why are you assuming they cost the same amount of power to make as they are worth? They cost significantly less than that to produce (power wise) you have to add hardware cost and then profit.

I stated precisely that "If we take the GROSS assumption that the bitcoin mining community is both efficient and rational, then the cost in hardware, time, and energy should be equal to the price." I stand by that statement.


The longer the price remains static the closer we trend to zero profit, but the cost to create one Bitcoin well never (will rarely) equal the electricity cost, it will always (most often) be lower, if it becomes equal or above people will (are expected to) drop out of mining until the cost to produce goes down again.

Nothing I wrote contradicts this. We are in agreement (except for the absolutes).

So, with a total cost of producing an expected 7200 bitcoins generated per day at $13.50 each, the cost is roughly $97200 per day. With the cheapest energy source (advanced combined cycle natural gas-fired, according to wiki) costing $1514.4/megawattdays, I'm guessing the energy-equivalent(*) cost in electricity is 64 megawatts per day.

(*) energy-equivalent because all things combined, you're spending energy, if not electricity. The human calorie usage, the physical mining, production, transportation of the hardware, the electricity generating coins, etc. There are so many variables: not everyone gets their energy from natural gas in the United States, many miners are not making a profit or not paying for their electricity bill, the number of bitcoins per day fluctuates, risk tolerance based on current or expected price, etc.

How inefficient and irrational are the miners? I don't know. If 25% then it's roughly $25000 for 16 megawatts per day. That's my guess. What's yours?

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July 29, 2012, 05:33:28 AM
 #29

one year later, how are you guys feeling about bitcoin's electrical consumption?

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July 29, 2012, 07:18:57 AM
 #30

I feel for all the naive people on this planet. But a part of me wants to laugh at their ignorance, too.

My friend, energy is not limited. We are not destroying the planet with our energy consumption and there is no such thing as made made global warming.
I think you mean "man made"? Anyway "made made" global warming/change is in fact quite real, see that's why the US is losing a huge amount of its corn to the heat wave, why Greenland is being flooded by all the melting ice in its record summer and why we had negative freak temperatures in the middle of damn summer here.

Usable energy is in fact also limited due to the second law of thermodynamics - though that limit is quite high given the size of the universe. Over use of energy is usually a good indicator that something is wrong.


Luckily BTC does not depend on energy for its security and neither will its energy use necessarily rise with the difficulty.

If energy is scarce then there will be fewer miners and the difficulty will be adjusted DOWN. This will however still be safe since any attacker would ALSO be faced with higher mining/energy costs.

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July 29, 2012, 08:05:39 AM
 #31

It doesn't really matter, because our grandchildren will inherit the electric debt as well as the bitcoin wealth.
True.  They get our debt, but I was more thinking about the debt to Earth's ecosystem.  If the bitcoin difficulty rises, think about how many jiggawatts are being added to the system and how much stress there is on our planet.  Plus, if bitcoin is going to be releasing new coins until the year 2033, we are probably going to have a zillion plug-in hybrids or full-EV cars on the road.  Personally, I hope I own a flying car in the year 2033.  

Maaaaybe in the future, video cards will become more efficient, but still.  I just hate to waste electricity.  I have probably 2kw running 24/7 and I know a lot of other people do, too.

I feel for all the naive people on this planet. But a part of me wants to laugh at their ignorance, too.

My friend, energy is not limited. We are not destroying the planet with our energy consumption and there is no such thing as made made global warming. If you truly believe that, I have an Easter Bunny that was born as a direct descendant from 36 generations of successive Easter Bunnies going back to the Grand Pubah Easter Bunny himself of 1453. This is Easter Bunny Royalty! This a a real cute bugger. I only want 50 bitcoins for him. PM me, okay?
cheque's in teh mail Cheesy

Okay, i'll be a little more serious.
Nikola Tesla discovered around 1900 or so, that the Earth, spinning in motion, creates an electrical field, and this is what causes lightning. This electrical field also contains potential energy we call electricity. This electricity was harnessed by Tesla by placing large coils that tapped into the earth's electrical fields, in the ground. With this, he lit the world's fair in NYC I think, it was in 1922, completely Free. With this newly discovered form of electricity, called "Free Energy". But since his main financier, J.P. Morgan could not place a switch on this new form of electricity, mainly, because it was , FREE, J.P. Morgan cut the funding for Tesla's new electricity and here we are today, using Rockefeller's oil petrol byproduct, GASOLINE, which is actually oil refining WASTE, when we could be using Alcohol Gas or even better, Tesla's Free Electricity.

Now as far as the Global Warming is concerned, the evidence shows that the Earth is warming in temperatures equal to the rise in temperature of distant planets, which means the Sun is warming up, in some periods, causing the other planets to warm equally. It's not due to our human waste and ignorance that Venus and Mars are heating up as well as the Earth, and even Jupiter and Saturn and Pluto and Neptune. We are not that powerful no matter how much we throw away or spill, or burn. lol

That's just the facts. I worked with environmental groups, political action groups and hardcore political groups, i'm not just talking shit. Just take time to check it out for yourself, instead of believing the propaganda. Imagine everything you know is a lie and start from there, my friend. Good Luck.

It's FREE, but when Morgan cut funding it disappeared completely. Uh huh.

Maybe if it was as viable as -anything-else-that-exists- it could be paid for by people who want it instead of it's supposed competing producer.

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July 29, 2012, 09:50:52 AM
 #32

The same sort of questions have been asked at projects which run on a similar type of line of thought, folding@home and SETI.

Difference is they get 0 rewards for what they do, so it really does not matter that much how much bitcoin is using energy wise, we can afford it, since nearly everyone is profiting from it after paying the bills for the electricity and the hardware. Not many bitcoin miners still at it, if they know they are losing money after all.

With the bitcoin community slowly moving towards custom hardware which is more energy efficient, we are becoming a project that could be using less and less energy to operate even though we are growing; is that massive progress?

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July 29, 2012, 10:20:50 AM
 #33

Quote from: ttk2 link=topic=32755.msg409461#msg409461
I can guarantee you that Bitcoin uses less power, and has less of an impact on the environment than all the money factories, trading companies (Paypal), and central banks it would make obsolete. If Bitcoin was the words currency it would be significantly greener than the current way money is handled.
Amen.

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July 29, 2012, 10:29:52 AM
 #34

one year later, how are you guys feeling about bitcoin's electrical consumption?

I think they are still trying to figure that out Tongue

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July 29, 2012, 10:31:37 AM
 #35

Well while at it, how about also figuring out the additional cost per chain, for example if you do like I do, mining bitcoins and namecoins and devcoins and groupcoins and ixcoins and i0coins and coiledcoins all at once?

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July 29, 2012, 10:54:19 AM
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one year later, how are you guys feeling about bitcoin's electrical consumption?
Same difficulty as august 2011 but now some ppl use FPGA->energy consumption went down
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July 29, 2012, 11:54:45 AM
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one year later, how are you guys feeling about bitcoin's electrical consumption?
Same difficulty as august 2011 but now some ppl use FPGA->energy consumption went down

Yes, it must have. http://blockchain.info/stats estimates 204.08 MWh based on 650 Watts per gigahash, which I think is higher than average.

I think most of the energy consumption for mining will be crystallized in the (manufacturing of) mining hardware for at least a couple of years. With ASICs, it's even a more obvious metric, since the hardware cannot be repurposed.

Actually I'm more interested in the initial and operating costs of an ATM machine or an average bank branch, so that we can make a reasonable comparison.
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July 29, 2012, 05:25:57 PM
 #38

About the warming planets I will just leave this here:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-other-planets-solar-system.htm

In short basically very very little is known about most planets and the warming seen on SOME (not even all or most mind you) is often caused by highly elliptical orbits having nothing to do with the sun.

Solar radiance doesn't fit anyway.


As for cosmic rays:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/cosmic-rays-and-global-warming.htm

They are opposite to what they SHOULD be to cause clouds and even ignoring THAT the correlation is very weak with graphs often not lining up at all.


As others have said BTC would have to waste a lot of energy to rival our current financial system.

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July 29, 2012, 06:19:27 PM
 #39

one year later, how are you guys feeling about bitcoin's electrical consumption?

I'm even less worried now than a year ago. Obviously there is - and will be for some time - an incentive for miners to minimize the consumption of electricity. Even if everyone was mining on relatively inefficient 5xxx GPUs today, 15 Thash/s would translate into ~50,000 GPUs, each drawing ~180 W of power for a total of 9 MW of power. A typical coal-powered station provides 600 MW, and nuclear ~1,000 MW. Plenty of room for growth there, and even more if we take into account the incentive to lower the consumption via FPGAs and at some point ASICs.

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Your mining rig is on fire, yet you're very calm.
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July 30, 2012, 03:54:50 PM
 #40

1.21 gigawatts

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