New research has revealed that the bitcoin network could consume a whopping 7.7 gigawatts of electricity by year end—that’s enough electricity to power an entire country the size of Ireland. According to the study, at the rate that consumption is going, bitcoin would have consumed 0.50% of the world’s electric energy by the end of 2018.
The research, which was published in science journal Joule and authored by blockchain specialist Alex de Vries, warns that if bitcoin value would meet expert expectations and predictions, that statistic could go up to as high as 5%!
If this proves true, it is a blatant indication of bitcoin’s inefficiency, unsustainability and threat to our environment.
However, the study has been questioned by some critics as they believe that there are several other factors that must be considered before making such a claim. Critics argue that the research is established on assumptions with insufficient evidence.
De Vries has indicated in the study that at present, bitcoin requires 2.55 gigawatts of electricity with a single transaction using as much power as an average household does in a month. He believes that bitcoin has a “big problem” and that it is growing fast:
“With the Bitcoin network processing just 200,000 transactions per day, this means that the average electricity consumed per transaction equals at least 300 kWh, and could exceed 90 kWh per transaction by the end of 2018.”