Among the themes that are becoming increasingly important with regard to cryptocurrencies, there is also that relating to consumption required for mining, which is the calculation activity on which the extraction of tokens is based. To try to better understand its importance, just remember how many companies engaged in the sector are looking for sites located in countries where electricity costs less, for example Bulgaria or China, and that in Iran, the central government has banned the supply of energy to farms, which has been blamed for the significant increase in energy consumption recorded in the country over the past few months, + 7% such as to push the block of supplies pending redefining the price to be applied.
How much does the Bitcoin network consume?
The discussion about mining has rekindled over the past few days, coinciding with the arrival of one study written by analyst Willy Woo, inside which is contained a data which aroused a certain sensation: the network on which Bitcoin relies consumes around 70 TWh per year. To better understand the data it must be remembered as it is exactly equal to the annual consumption of the entire web estimated in 2016, which can be deduced from an article published at the time by Forbes.
It should of course be remembered that the consumption of the two networks is due to quite different causes: in fact, mining sees most of them derive from the farms in which the calculation operations are carried out from which the BTC extraction comes, while the web it owes the overall data to the needs of the server farms scattered around the world, to the network infrastructures, whether wireless or wired, and to the large amount of connected devices, as well as other factors of various kinds.
The study of the University of Cambridge
Willy Woo's report follows another study a few weeks ago, that one written by researchers at the University of Cambridge. According to CBECI (Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index), an online tool that was launched with the aim of being able to estimate in real time the amount of energy needed to maintain the Bitcoin network and calculate its annual consumption, the average constant absorption would be on the 7 GW, giving rise to an annual consumption of approximately 64,15 53,81 TWh (Terawatt hour). A quantity greater than that necessary for countries like the Switzerland, theAustria and Colombia, as well as in constant progress, so as to sow many doubts about the ecological sustainability of the BTC also in relation to its effective usefulness. In fact, it should be remembered that the transactions involving the queen of cryptocurrencies are around 100 million a year, a trifle compared to the approximately 500 billion produced by traditional finance.
It should however also be remembered as most of the energy in question comes from renewable sources and that the situation on the Bitcoin front has been alleviated in recent years new ASICs increasingly efficient, including the latest Bitmain Antminer S17 and S17 Pro, which have given good results in terms of performance, which could benefit from further developments in this regard.