The Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are very expensive… electricity. It is the sad fact that makes many scientists at the January 1, 2018, considering that it is without a doubt one of the main reasons for which these digital currencies will never replace the dollar or the euro…
A power consumption impressive
The crypto-currency a resounding success since several months now. As prices soar, then fall to the ground… and that the governments of the world try to regulate them. But there is another concern related to the virtual currency. In fact, a point raises a growing concern : the computer network ensuring the operation of the digital currencies as well as their safety, results in a power consumption absolutely insane.
Pixabay – Piro4D
It is the specialist Internet site Digiconomist who has published a few figures in the beginning of the year. And we must admit that it is surprising.
Each year, the electric energy consumption linked to the crypto-currency is a 36 terawatt-hours. This corresponds to the expenditure in electricity of 3.4 million households in the United States. This is approximately 0.16% of the electricity production at the international level. It is, therefore, a quantity of staggering of electricity that is required to allow the operation and the security of crypto-currencies. However, the more they will be used, they will need electricity.
Pixabay – LQDDenver
So this is the start of a vicious circle of particular concern. Because the spending power of the network of the crypto-currency is obviously proportional to their success. The figures speak for themselves : the price of Bitcoin has been multiplied by 14 in one year, and the power consumption related to the crypto-currency increases significantly also ! And the effect is reversed when the prices collapse.
A future complicated
Continuing the current trend it is expected to lead to a power consumption related to the crypto-currency is absolutely terrible. In effect, the forecasts are alarming, the experts estimating a consumption between 70 and 100 terawatt-hours by a few months, which would equate to the consumption of a country as large as Belgium.
In the Face of the publication of these figures, some are worried, or pessimistic about the future of the crypto-currency. On the other, on the contrary, believe that the ecological footprint of virtual currencies will not be as important as it is feared. Still, the figures speak, and the power consumption related to digital currencies is in constant increase.
Source : For Science