The bitcoin network burns through an estimated 121 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year – more energy than Argentina and the United Arab Emirates use annually.
Report informs that the statistics published in Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index have raised questions about the potential environmental cost of the cryptocurrency amid a recent price surge that saw the value of one bitcoin reach $60,000 Wednesday.
The Cambridge index estimates the total energy use of bitcoin by analyzing the current network hash rate (number of cryptographic calculations made each second), the revenue from mining bitcoin blocks, average electricity cost, and the energy efficiency of both mining hardware and bitcoin-related data centers.
What it shows is a network with energy use that rivals whole nations.
And as the price of bitcoin goes up, so makes the cryptocurrency’s energy demand.
Electric car company Tesla’s recent announcement that it purchased $1.9 billion of bitcoin helped drive cryptocurrency prices to new heights. Still, investors have already flagged concerns about how the significant bitcoin investment fits with the company’s renewable energy focus.