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Author Topic: Bitcoin is now consuming 1% of the world's electricity. Is that sustainable?  (Read 13788 times)
Satosho Kakamolto
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August 29, 2018, 08:24:59 PM
Merited by September11Myth (2), Photographer (1)
 #1

One year ago Bitcoin's network was consuming as much energy as Ireland. Now it has apparently doubled and now it is consuming 1% of the world's total electricity consumption.

https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

This, in a time when the world is trying to reduce carbon footprints to avoid or slow down global warming.
Is Bitcoin sustainable as it is?
I don't think so - in fact I'm sure it is not. There is a limit to insanity.
More data here:

https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

What is likely to happen next? Which are your thoughts?
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August 29, 2018, 08:28:33 PM
 #2

From the ecology point of view this sounds bad and something should be done. Still I beleive there are other things that spend more energy than bitcoin. Maybe some sustainable alternative energy source could be the solution. I would like to believe that bitcoiners are environment friendly and think for the future generations.
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August 29, 2018, 08:44:11 PM
 #3

The banks are still running since couple of 100 years now and there digitalisation has grown vastly since 100 years. What do you think how much electricity they might have used up until now? I guess this number might be huge and they might using the largest electric supply as they are the basis of whole financial system all over the globe. Just imagine how much there equipments, safes, surveillance, Internet connectivity and much more might be consuming as compared to the bitcoin. Believe me, that comprison makes sense, bitcoin is still tiny bit.

   

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August 29, 2018, 08:49:54 PM
 #4

You have to consider what value Bitcoin is providing, and what services it might be replacing. For example: How much electricity does the banking industry consume? What about the gold mining, minting and storage industries? Here's an article that discusses those comparisons.

One of the things Bitcoin's energy consumption is paying for is immutability. So far, there is no mechanism besides proof-of-work that can provide the same level of security.

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August 29, 2018, 08:50:39 PM
 #5

If it's real figure that is pretty bonkers indeed, but if a large proportion of the world's money and information wound up stored on the Bitcoin chain then it starts to look like a pretty good deal.

At present it's nowhere near that and that amount of profligacy is not good however you want to look at it. But it's possible it'll drive renewable developments and fill existing renewable surpluses such as the hydro plants in China that have a massive excess of unused power that miners have been using.

Considering how quickly the hash rate is rising I wonder how much more headroom is left before it becomes truly obnoxious.

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August 29, 2018, 08:52:00 PM
 #6

The biggest obstacle to increasing bitcoin prices is mining and energy consumption. I think it is not possible to go far without finding a solution to these.
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August 29, 2018, 09:10:24 PM
Merited by AGD (1)
 #7

this has been talked about soo much. many topics

summary:
these bitcoin miners have special contracts with energy companies for the energy companies to produce X amount of electric day or night.
this is good. because these power stations have a guaranteed stream of income and also a measurable utility it can prdict.

if power stations could produce sat 30mwat. but residentially it only produces 25mwat between 4pm and 9pm and drops to 15mwat ovrnigh-morning. the power station would not just stay at 25mwat all day and night. they would keep switching on and off as demand drops and rises.

sometimes because it takes 30 minutes+ to warm up the generators they end up having to grab(import) excess electric from neighbouring power stations to cover any random spikes of utility.

there have been times whre brown outs have occured when suddenly many people used electric but the power stations could not predict it. the UK had statistics that there are sudden spikes that happen during commercials of tv shows. because people suddenly go to their kitchen turn on the kitchen light. turn on their kettle to make a cup of coffee.

imagine 1million people suddenly flipping the switch of a kettle of 1800wat for jsut 5 minutes...

so power companies LOVE guaranteed income and measurable utility it can predict..

also
power companies over the last decade have switched and grown their renewable electricity sources. this is why amrican power stations have suddenly started being bitcoin mining farm happy. they have seen the benefit to iceland and the benefit to china

dont believe the FUD of "governments hate bitcoin" when you separate "government" and utility companies to see that utility companies love it as they can more happily keep a few extra generators running without having to warm up/warm down generators at certain times of day. they can also use the income from the mining farms to expand. or atleast not need to import electric during times of spikes. which saves them money

last point
compared to 2012, the GPU mining days. bitcoin mining is very much energy efficient. and becoming more energy efficient
take this year new 7nm ASICS vs 14nm ASICS can do:
14nm can do ~14terrahash for 1.3kw
7nm can do ~28terrahash for under 1kw

so although the hashrate may double the electric needed for a doubled hashrate goes DOWN
now think about how many GPU's would be needed to do 14 terrahashes of mining. if ASICS never became a thing

I DO NOT TRADE OR ACT AS ESCROW ON THIS FORUM EVER.
Please do your own research & respect what is written here as both opinion & information gleaned from experience. many people replying with insults but no on-topic content substance, automatically are 'facepalmed' and yawned at
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August 29, 2018, 09:14:33 PM
 #8

If it's real figure that is pretty bonkers indeed, but if a large proportion of the world's money and information wound up stored on the Bitcoin chain then it starts to look like a pretty good deal.

At present it's nowhere near that and that amount of profligacy is not good however you want to look at it. But it's possible it'll drive renewable developments and fill existing renewable surpluses such as the hydro plants in China that have a massive excess of unused power that miners have been using.

Considering how quickly the hash rate is rising I wonder how much more headroom is left before it becomes truly obnoxious.

Indeed, it may not be the perfect value that is being shown here as we dont know how many miners are actually working on this and how many of them are shutter down themselves long back ago. Even if it is 2% or 5% then also I believe it is safest window for the energy consumption because for any multi national company that would be the same case. Now we cant go out there and close all of them or put them on the renewable source of energy. So why not consider the bitcoin as the same MNC corporation which is unlike others that exists here around. Im pretty sure that you will have some correlation between the two now and it doesnt matter yet and yes developments in the renewable would be the last option to continue things around.


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August 29, 2018, 09:26:27 PM
 #9

Bitcoins sustainability in terms of electricity consumption is not alarming as there are dozens of power to make bitcoins runs. Renewable energy with solar energy can help bitcoins mining reduce it dependent on the world's electricity.

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August 29, 2018, 09:35:31 PM
 #10

Miners simply need to look at clean energy for mining, there are a few solar powered projects and i'm sure that more will follow. I read somewhere that a hydro powered mining farm will be created. This will help to fund the plant so it will be self sustainable
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August 29, 2018, 09:40:09 PM
 #11

The percentage of electricity usage by the mining in any terms is not sustainable. Unfortunately, this won't mean the end of the crypto world but rather a greater call fort more sustainable and renewable energy.
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August 29, 2018, 09:40:46 PM
 #12

It's also worth bearing in mind global energy sources.

https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/energy-economics/statistical-review-of-world-energy/electricity.html

In Europe and South America zero emission generation via nuclear, hydro or renewables is more than 50%.

Gas makes up the majority in the Middle East and that's half the emissions of coal.

It's that cheeky Asia that's the problem.

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August 29, 2018, 09:54:34 PM
 #13

This information is excessive and possibly taken out of context. 1% of world's electricity cost more than all crypto market, and that doesn't make sense.
Like many other alleged curiosities, this one is also in the service of creating antagonism towards the crypto world.
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August 29, 2018, 10:18:47 PM
 #14

Here, there it goes, another cheap score for the anti bitcoin group. They will definitely have one to cling on to to talk about cryptocurrency being bad and all. This is really not encouraging and needs to be addressed. What if more population of the world join, then, more energy and electricity drained.
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August 30, 2018, 10:01:12 AM
 #15

If it's real figure that is pretty bonkers indeed, but if a large proportion of the world's money and information wound up stored on the Bitcoin chain then it starts to look like a pretty good deal.

At present it's nowhere near that and that amount of profligacy is not good however you want to look at it. But it's possible it'll drive renewable developments and fill existing renewable surpluses such as the hydro plants in China that have a massive excess of unused power that miners have been using.

Considering how quickly the hash rate is rising I wonder how much more headroom is left before it becomes truly obnoxious.

This is the real point: what would happen if the BTC adoption would rise, the price would rise and the hash rate would rise further? It's scary. Most of the people posting in this thread are not realling getting the big picture.

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August 30, 2018, 10:11:27 AM
 #16

this has been talked about soo much. many topics

summary:
these bitcoin miners have special contracts with energy companies for the energy companies to produce X amount of electric day or night.
this is good. because these power stations have a guaranteed stream of income and also a measurable utility it can prdict.

if power stations could produce sat 30mwat. but residentially it only produces 25mwat between 4pm and 9pm and drops to 15mwat ovrnigh-morning. the power station would not just stay at 25mwat all day and night. they would keep switching on and off as demand drops and rises.

sometimes because it takes 30 minutes+ to warm up the generators they end up having to grab(import) excess electric from neighbouring power stations to cover any random spikes of utility.

there have been times whre brown outs have occured when suddenly many people used electric but the power stations could not predict it. the UK had statistics that there are sudden spikes that happen during commercials of tv shows. because people suddenly go to their kitchen turn on the kitchen light. turn on their kettle to make a cup of coffee.

imagine 1million people suddenly flipping the switch of a kettle of 1800wat for jsut 5 minutes...

so power companies LOVE guaranteed income and measurable utility it can predict..

also
power companies over the last decade have switched and grown their renewable electricity sources. this is why amrican power stations have suddenly started being bitcoin mining farm happy. they have seen the benefit to iceland and the benefit to china

dont believe the FUD of "governments hate bitcoin" when you separate "government" and utility companies to see that utility companies love it as they can more happily keep a few extra generators running without having to warm up/warm down generators at certain times of day. they can also use the income from the mining farms to expand. or atleast not need to import electric during times of spikes. which saves them money

last point
compared to 2012, the GPU mining days. bitcoin mining is very much energy efficient. and becoming more energy efficient
take this year new 7nm ASICS vs 14nm ASICS can do:
14nm can do ~14terrahash for 1.3kw
7nm can do ~28terrahash for under 1kw

so although the hashrate may double the electric needed for a doubled hashrate goes DOWN
now think about how many GPU's would be needed to do 14 terrahashes of mining. if ASICS never became a thing

You're completely right, I've read an article which stated that Russia was looking into selling their excess power to Bitcoin miners.

https://bitcoinist.com/russia-power-sell-energy-bitcoin-miners/

They're even willing to offer them cheaper prices for that power, 2 rubles instead of their normal rate of 4.5 rubles.
Now this article doesn't mention it, but they're doing this because otherwise they would be overloading their grid.

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August 30, 2018, 10:33:05 AM
 #17

Electricity is made for consumption only.    
But the question is the source of electricity.  Is it dirty source or clean energy source.
If it is generated from renewable source i.e solar; wind; hydro then it is clean energy and I think it does not affect the climate.
But other sources like coal; petro etc i.e. non renewable sources are dirty sources.  These should be avoided.  Miners should try to generate their own energy like solar energy if possible.  

So go green.  Go near to nature.  Save environment.  Utilize the natural resources not waste it.  If we work friendly with the nature it will be sustainable otherwise as the resources finish we will also finish.
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August 30, 2018, 10:34:16 AM
 #18

this has been talked about soo much. many topics

summary:
these bitcoin miners have special contracts with energy companies for the energy companies to produce X amount of electric day or night.
this is good. because these power stations have a guaranteed stream of income and also a measurable utility it can prdict.

if power stations could produce sat 30mwat. but residentially it only produces 25mwat between 4pm and 9pm and drops to 15mwat ovrnigh-morning. the power station would not just stay at 25mwat all day and night. they would keep switching on and off as demand drops and rises.

sometimes because it takes 30 minutes+ to warm up the generators they end up having to grab(import) excess electric from neighbouring power stations to cover any random spikes of utility.

there have been times whre brown outs have occured when suddenly many people used electric but the power stations could not predict it. the UK had statistics that there are sudden spikes that happen during commercials of tv shows. because people suddenly go to their kitchen turn on the kitchen light. turn on their kettle to make a cup of coffee.

imagine 1million people suddenly flipping the switch of a kettle of 1800wat for jsut 5 minutes...

so power companies LOVE guaranteed income and measurable utility it can predict..

also
power companies over the last decade have switched and grown their renewable electricity sources. this is why amrican power stations have suddenly started being bitcoin mining farm happy. they have seen the benefit to iceland and the benefit to china

dont believe the FUD of "governments hate bitcoin" when you separate "government" and utility companies to see that utility companies love it as they can more happily keep a few extra generators running without having to warm up/warm down generators at certain times of day. they can also use the income from the mining farms to expand. or atleast not need to import electric during times of spikes. which saves them money

last point
compared to 2012, the GPU mining days. bitcoin mining is very much energy efficient. and becoming more energy efficient
take this year new 7nm ASICS vs 14nm ASICS can do:
14nm can do ~14terrahash for 1.3kw
7nm can do ~28terrahash for under 1kw

so although the hashrate may double the electric needed for a doubled hashrate goes DOWN
now think about how many GPU's would be needed to do 14 terrahashes of mining. if ASICS never became a thing

You're completely right, I've read an article which stated that Russia was looking into selling their excess power to Bitcoin miners.

https://bitcoinist.com/russia-power-sell-energy-bitcoin-miners/

They're even willing to offer them cheaper prices for that power, 2 rubles instead of their normal rate of 4.5 rubles.
Now this article doesn't mention it, but they're doing this because otherwise they would be overloading their grid.

I think that everyone here has a bias in favor of Bitcoin which makes them blind towards reality. Guys, all top scientists are talking about how we should reduce carbon footprint since we are facing a catastrophic global warming process. Bitcoin's network is already adding 1% of total electricity consumption to the echosystem so that we can gamble it on exchanges. I point to everyone's attention that even though Bitcoin swallows 1% of the world's energy it still cannot be used to pay for 99.999+% of the world's products.

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happyme1818
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August 30, 2018, 05:29:55 PM
 #19

One year ago Bitcoin's network was consuming as much energy as Ireland. Now it has apparently doubled and now it is consuming 1% of the world's total electricity consumption.

https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

This, in a time when the world is trying to reduce carbon footprints to avoid or slow down global warming.
Is Bitcoin sustainable as it is?
I don't think so - in fact I'm sure it is not. There is a limit to insanity.
More data here:

https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption

What is likely to happen next? Which are your thoughts?
I don't believe that Bitcoin mining consumes 1% of total electricity. It may consume a lot of power but it is nothing compared to other industries. The news is so bias and even if it's a fact,  banking industry have more electricity consumption than Bitcoin mining.
Docnaster
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August 30, 2018, 05:45:16 PM
 #20

These are estimated figure, I highly doubt that number is true, let's be realistic. According to a recent article I read, there are 100,000 bitcoin miners in operation throughout the world. Let's say that each Bitcoin miner uses an average of 1kWh of energy, that means that 100,000x this is equal to 10GWh per day. However, the total energy consumption is currently 15TWh per day, meaning that Bitcoin consumes just 0.1% of the total expenditure.

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