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How much electricity does bitcoin need?

According to the latest research from the University of Cambridge, mining and maintenance of the Bitcoin network consumes more electricity than small countries such as Switzerland or Kuwait.

More recently, scientists from the University of Cambridge launched the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) online tool, which tracks the amount of electricity consumed in real time to maintain the Bitcoin network. This tool is of particular interest because it compares the energy consumed by Bitcoin with different objects or even countries.

For example, now, according to CBECI, Bikoin’s network uses 7.49 gigawatts of electricity, which is approximately 64 TWh per year. This figure is more than the annual consumption of small countries such as Switzerland (58 TWh per year) or Kuwait (57.8 TWh per year), but at the same time slightly lower than that of the Czech Republic (62 TWh).

Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index
Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index

In contrast, the study noted that maintaining the network of the most popular cryptocurrency on the Proof-of-Work amounts to only 0.25% of the total world electricity production and 0.28% of the total world consumption, which in such a comparison does not seem such a big figure.

Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index
Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index

Despite this, it becomes obvious that the transition of a part of the Bitcoin network to renewable energy can not only reduce costs within the network, but also positively affect the environment and local electricity markets. Indeed, despite the fact that on a global scale, the part of the energy consumed by the first cryptocurrency is not so high, for certain countries, mining Bitcoin presents many difficulties. For example, recently Iran planned to temporarily disconnect all mining of the farm from the network due to a sharp increase in electricity consumption (by almost 7%).

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