New York (The Verge) — Bitcoin consumes more energy than Switzerland, according to new estimate theverge.com/2019/7/4/20682….
Bitcoin consumes more energy than the entire nation of Switzerland, according to new estimates published by researchers at the University of Cambridge. An online tool that launched this week called the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, or CBECI, estimates the network’s annual energy consumption. Though researchers acknowledge that creating reliable estimates is hard.
An online tool that launched this week called the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, or CBECI, estimates how much energy is needed to maintain the Bitcoin network in real time, before using this to calculate its annual energy usage.
Currently, the CBECI says the global Bitcoin network is consuming more than seven gigwatts of electricity. Over the course of a year that’s equal to around 64 TWh or terawatt hours of energy consumption. That’s more than the country of Switzerland uses over the same time period (58 TWh per year), but less than Colombia (68 TWh per year).
Regardless of the exact figures, the energy usage of Bitcoin is certainly eyebrow raising. It’s increased rapidly, sometimes doubling in less than six months, and this sort of energy usages comes with a significant carbon footprint. Though, again, exact estimates of this environmental impact vary significantly because of the difficulty of determining how the electricity used to power Bitcoin’s mining hardware is generated. — James Vincent/@verge