A lot of stories lately have been circulating on the amount of electricity consumed by bitcoin mining which in reports state that can be annually compared to what is consumed by the whole nation of Ireland.
A recent study published by Alex de Vries revealed that the Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index (BECI) showed an index of the approximated overestimate of the power consumed by bitcoin mining totaling to 115 percent.
Coinshares have also published a report on claims that the industry of mining consumes a total of approximately 35 terawatt per hour which is as much as worth the power in every year which is a reduction of 50 percent from the estimates posted by BECI.
Exaggerated reports on electricity consumption
A blog post by Alex de Vries, the founder of the Digiconomist blog, on the energy consumption of the bitcoin mining network, has caused a barrage of reports on the claims that it consumes the same amount of electricity as the whole country of Ireland.
Although lately, the issue on the following criticisms of some assumptions which are pinning the BECI of Digiconomist have been receiving less attention than before.
“We’ve seen a lot of back-of-the-envelope calculations, but we need a more scientific discussion on where this network is headed. Right now, the information available is pretty poor quality overall, so I’m hoping that people will use this paper as a foundation for more research,” Vries said.
Mining as half as energy intensive
On a report posted by Coinshares, it found out that the whole energy consumed by bitcoin mining amounts to 35 tw/h which is the half of what is produced by Vries’ study as based on the BECI of the Digiconomist.
“The argument has long gone that the carbon footprint of mining is antithetical to the world’s environmental needs. Many miners we’ve spoken to have objected to the data used by Digiconomist; although they don’t make their methodology clear, it appears that they have taken a bottom-up approach by assuming a small pool of miners is representative of the community,” said Christopher Bendiksen, the head of the Coinshares Research and co-author of the article.
“Our findings strictly contradict both of these figures and we believe that they rest on incorrect assumptions resulting from inadequate research,” stated by the BECI report.
After various research, most reports said that the mining industry of bitcoin has its primary fuel coming from renewable sources, especially that of hydropower.
“Overall, we find that contrary to previously reported assumptions, bitcoin mining is largely driven on cheap renewable energy, dominated by hydro, with the limited permanent use of, and some seasonal migrations to, coal-based generation in certain areas of China only representing a small part of the network’s total electricity demand,” the report said.
“China has huge excess electricity generation capacity locked up in hydropower stations in the south and southwestern provinces,” the report also added.