The Strategist

Study: Bitcoin mining consumes as much energy as Switzerland

07/04/2019 - 11:20

Researchers at Cambridge University report that Bitcoin mining consumes about as much electricity as Switzerland or Kuwait.

Computers used for mining Bitcoin spend as much electricity as all residents of Switzerland or Kuwait together. This is reported on the website created by the University of Cambridge.

According to the researchers, the energy consumption of Bitcoin miners on average is about 58.93 terawatt hours per year. Switzerland consumes 58.46 TWh, and Kuwait - 57.78 TWh. But, for example, the most energy-intensive countries — the United States and China — require 3902 and 5564 TWh of electricity, respectively.

Researchers modeled the “economic life path” of all Bitcoin miners, explains the BBC. They use the average price per kilowatt per hour ($ 0.05) and the energy demand of absolutely all the computers used to generate cryptocurrency. This way, they can calculate how much electricity is consumed at any given moment.

“We strive to use comparisons,” explained one of the creators of the site, Michel Rauchs, in a conversation with the BBC. “Visitors can decide for themselves if the figure is big or small.”

A similar website was developed by PwC consulting agency expert Alex de Vries. Talking to the BBC, he said that Bitcoin has big problems with electricity consumption, although it accounts for only 100 million financial transactions per year. Taking into account traditional financial instruments, the number amounts to 500 billion transactions, he said.

By the end of June, price of Bitcoin exceeded $ 11,000. The cryptocurrency has not reached such a price since March last year.

Experts surveyed by Bloomberg and Reuters noted that Chinese investors do not trust the weakening yuan on the background of the US-China trade war, and the news about the new digital currency from Facebook, Libra can contribute to the growth of Bitcoin.