Over the past few years, Bitcoin’s difficulty and hash rates have steadily risen exponentially. So too has the electricity consumption of Bitcoin miners has risen as well, which is causing some concern among experts.
Rising Demand for Electricity
Bitcoin’s price is not the only thing that has been rising in the last couple of years. New data from Digiconomist, is showing that the global Bitcoin mining energy consumption has reached a staggering 30.14 TWh a year. According to a recent article by The Guardian, Bitcoin miners are consuming more electricity than 19 different European countries, including Croatia, Ireland, Iceland, Slovenia, and Latvia.
The report also suggests that each single Bitcoin transaction consumes around 300KWh of electricity, which is enough to boil 36,000 kettles full of water. Visa in comparison, requires just 2% of the total Bitcoin mining electricity in order to process 200 million transactions daily. Even though the electricity consumption of Bitcoin is very high, many experts believe that its necessary in order to maintain decentralization.
The Rise of Cryptocurrency Mining
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have recently become a profitable activity for many miners. One of the reasons for that is the explosive growth that the cryptocurrency market had this year. In the last 24 hours, the total cryptocurrency market valuation reached an all-time high of over $303 billion. In the summer of 2017, there were multiple reports of graphics card being sold-out and becoming scarce.
Russia was one of the countries that were affected by the GPU shortage the most. Many professional cryptocurrency miners were buying every powerful GPU they could find. The current graphics card market is still feeling the effects of the mining rush, but analysts believe that GPU prices are going to decrease as cryptocurrency mining profitability goes lower.
Back in August, Nvidia announced that it would build graphics cards that are solely aimed at professional cryptocurrency miners. Many experts have expressed concerns about the gigantic electricity consumption of cryptocurrency mining, by arguing that it potentially damages the global environment.
What are your thoughts on the electricity consumption of Bitcoin? Do you think that it’s going to rise as Bitcoin price also rises? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Pixabay, PowerCompare
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