A new study suggests that Bitcoin has already used more energy so far this year than in 2020.
By the end of the year, the Bitcoin network will have consumed 91 TW / h (terawatt hours or trillion watts per hour) and has already consumed more than the 67 TW / h estimated for all of 2020 according to a September report. 13 Bloomberg Report.
Precise energy consumption figures are variable and difficult to calculate precisely, but the trend is clear: they are on the rise. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index currently estimates that BTC is expected to consume even more than 95.68 TW / h by the end of the year. This is roughly the same as the energy consumption of the Philippines.
A separate Science Direct study highlighted another problem: e-waste. Electronic waste generally refers to discarded computer and electronic equipment. The report suggests that a transaction on the Bitcoin network produces 272 grams of electronic waste, mostly made up of old mining equipment.
He added that Bitcoin miners “are exploring an ever-increasing amount of short-lived material that could exacerbate the growth of global e-waste,” adding that their annual e-waste production totaled 30.7 kilotons in May 2021. Project that up to that point. At the end of the year, the study said:
“Bitcoin could produce up to 64.4 metric kilotons [64,400 tons] e-waste at record Bitcoin price levels seen in early 2021. “
E-waste per transaction weighs about half the weight of the latest iPad. But to put that in context, Apple itself could be facing a huge e-waste problem with more than 1.65 billion devices operating in the ecosystem last year, according to CEO Tim Cook. According to Zdnet, this could result in up to 250,000 metric tons of e-waste when it becomes obsolete.
Bitcoin accounts for about 0.11% of the estimated total e-waste in 2021, or 57.4 million metric tons according to Statista.
Bitcoin’s power consumption is also low in context, depending on your perspective. As a percentage of total global electricity consumption, Bitcoin mining is only 0.43%. That’s less than the estimated 104 TW / hr used by refrigerators in the United States alone, according to the University of Cambridge.
The Onion took a more humorous version of Bitcoin’s power consumption, stating that the computing power used for BTC mining actually saves humanity from destruction. The logic behind the sardonic premise is that freed from the demands of crypto mining, the world’s computers will most likely “apply this computing power to become self-aware and ultimately exterminate the human race. “.
While Bitcoin mining consumes a great deal of energy, since the great migration of miners out of China, more are renewable as new relocated farms and factories come online in the United States and Canada, powered by green energy.