After the recent price hike, Bitcoin needs enough electricity for a country with more than 200 million inhabitants

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As Bitcoin marches to new records, it is also devouring the energy of a country of over 200 million people.

The University of Cambridge’s Center for Alternative Finance is trying to keep track of Bitcoin’s energy consumption. While the exact consumption can never be known, an estimate can be made by tracking the total number of hashes produced by miners and examining the efficiency of bitcoin mining devices. The hash rate is the unit of measurement for the computing power of the Bitcoin network.

The recent price surge – Bitcoin BTCUSD,
-4.15%
is up 276% this year, trading at around $ 27,000 on Tuesday – made it more profitable to use less efficient equipment.

At 92.8 terawatt hours annualized, Bitcoin’s electricity consumption is slightly above the consumption of Pakistan in 2016 and not far from the consumption of the Netherlands this year. In other words, the electricity used to mint Bitcoin could power all tea kettles in the UK for 21 years.

Two thirds of Bitcoin production comes from China. More than half of China’s energy production comes from coal, so Bitcoin production is likely to be particularly dirty.

The US ranks second in terms of bitcoin production with an estimated 7% of total bitcoin production, slightly ahead of Russia and Kazakhstan.


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