Bitcoin mining uses 7 times more electricity than Google’s entire operation
Earlier this year, we got a good look at just how much electricity it takes to mine Bitcoin these days, with reports showing that Bitcoin mining alone uses up more electricity than the entire country of Argentina. Now, a new report has come out, showing in detail just how much energy crypto mining is using today.
In a new study analysis from The New York Times, we get a good look at just how ridiculous mining’s energy consumption has turned out to be. Today, Bitcoin mining is responsible for around 0.5% of the world’s energy consumption, using 10 times more than the process required just five years ago.
Overall, mining uses around 91 terawatt-hours of electricity in a year. For a bit of comparison, that is more than the entire country of Finland, which has a population of around 5.5 million people. For those in the United States, that’s more than the entire state of Washington.
This insane amount of energy usage is an overwhelming contrast to how much energy Bitcoin mining used in the past. The analysis notes that to mine a Bitcoin in 2009, all you needed was a home computer and a few seconds of your home electricity. Now, you’d need thousands of dollars worth of computers and about $12,500 worth of home energy to mine just one coin.
These changes can’t be too surprising, considering Bitcoin’s massive increase in price. Bitcoins were virtually worthless in 2009, but that’s far from the case. As of right now, Bitcoin is worth almost $47,000, and that’s not even near the $65,000 price it reached earlier this year.
Bitcoin’s energy consumption is obviously a great concern for many who are skeptical about the cryptocurrency’s legitimacy. Although there are some places that are more accepting of the currency as legitimate, like El Salvador, the energy consumption issue will likely need to be addressed before Bitcoin can become a more accepted currency around the world.
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