Bitcoin's impact on the Planet

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Bitcoin mining uses more electricity than 159 countries

bitcoinThe surge of interest in Bitcoin has triggered not only skyrocketing prices and endless debate on whether it's bubble, but also an enormous increase in electricity consumption all over the world. And, what is important as far as the Planet and climate change are concerned is that most of this electricity is generated using non-renewable fossil fuel.

According to Digiconomist's Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, as of November 20th Bitcoin's current estimated annual electricity consumption is 29.05 billion kilowatt hours (kWh). The figure represents 0.13 percent of global electricity consumption.

According to the UK energy comparison site Power Compare, Bitcoin mining is currently using more electricity than 159 individual countries.

If Bitcoin miners were one country, it would be ranked 61st in the world based on electricity consumption, comparable to Morocco or Slovakia.

Apparently, if it keeps increasing at this rate, Bitcoin mining will consume the entire world's electricity by February 2020, according to Power Compare reports.

Currently Ireland currently uses an estimated 25 billion kWh of electricity annually, so global Bitcoin mining consumption is 16 percent more than the country consumes. Britain consumes an estimated 309 billion kWh of electricity a year, so global Bitcoin mining consumption is only equivalent to 9.4 percent of the UK total.

However, how alarming this all may sound the majority of analyst expect the Bitcoin bubble to burst in the very near future and, aside from leaving a lot of people with egg on their faces and a big hole in their finances, the power consumption will drop to an insignificant level then.

What it, however, does show is what impact online activities doe have on the global power consumption and it also shows how, in so many levels, we have to change the way that we use, or better consume, power, often unnecessarily.

We only need to look at our high-streets, and such places, where the lights are on in the shops almost all through the night, at times even when there is no one about (bar burglars maybe) who could remotely looking into the shop windows to see the goods on display.

© 2018