Assuming all else stays proportionally the same as the status quo the following is an attempt at an evaluation of BTC value:
- Total current network hash: 3.913 Thash/s (Source: http://bitcoincharts.com/
- Assume typical economical miner's hash : 300 Mhash/s (Source: http://bitcointalk.org mining forums) - Stand to be corrected
- Assumed estimate of total economically mining machines: 3.913 Thash/s / 300 Mhash/s = 13 000 approximately
- Assume $1000 capital cost per economically mining machine, gives a total network capital cost of $13 million
- Depreciating asset capital cost depreciated over a five year term, gives $2,6 million capital cost depreciation per year.
- Expected Return on capital investment per year (assume 20% - high risk investment), gives $2,6 million return on investment cost.
- Running cost: electricity, assume 0.5kWh power consumption per machine, at $0.15/kWh assumed average worldwide cost, gives 13 000 x 24 x 365 x 0.5 x 0.15 = $8,5 million total yearly electricity running cost
- Running cost: rent, salaries, etc, assume just 100% (reimbursing the average miner on a machine only $1000!!! per year!!!! in salaries and rental space) yearly on capital cost, gives $13 million
- Maintenance cost, assume 2% yearly on capital, gives $0,25 million.
- Bringing us to an assumed total yearly cost to business for the Bitcoin network of $26,95 million. The network generates a total of 50BTC roughly every 10 minutes at present, thus 50 x 6 x 24 x 365 = approximately 2,628,000 BTC per year. The total cost per BTC generated securely and maintaining the network at present will thus be approximately $26,95 million divided by 2,628,000 = approximately $10.25!!!! Is it a small price to pay for the owner's rights to secure entries in a global digital cryptographic key accounting system - which subsequently allows the owner of the rights to transfer some/all of those rights securely?
Now this cost of $10.25 per BTC is for maintaining a network difficulty of 244139.48158254 ( http://blockexplorer.com/q/getdifficulty
) at present. When more BTC mining machines are added making the network more secure and difficulty increases ( http://bitcoin.sipa.be/
) but the bitcoin generation rate remains unchanged - this will result in an increase of BTC securing/generating cost. Maximum difficulty never to be reached is 2^224 ( https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Difficulty#What_is_the_maximum_difficulty?