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Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

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Bitcoin miles calculator

Postby Moogule В» 08.11.2018

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Annualized Total Footprints. Single Transaction Footprints. Criticism and potential validation of the estimate is discussed here.

The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index was created to provide insight into this amount, and raise awareness on the unsustainability of the proof-of-work algorithm. Note that the Index contains the aggregate of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash other forks of the Bitcoin network are not included.

The latter has been removed per October 1, A separate index was created for Ethereum, which can be found here. The only thing miners have to trust is the code that runs Bitcoin. The code includes several rules to validate new transactions. For example, a transaction can only be valid if the sender actually owns the sent amount.

Every miner individually confirms whether transactions adhere to these rules, eliminating the need to trust other miners. The trick is to get all miners to agree on the same history of transactions. Every miner in the network is constantly tasked with preparing the next batch of transactions for the blockchain. Only one of these blocks will be randomly selected to become the latest block on the chain.

In proof-of-work, the next block comes from the first miner that produces a valid one. This is easier said than done, as the Bitcoin protocol makes it very difficult for miners to do so. In fact, the difficulty is regularly adjusted by the protocol to ensure that all miners in the network will only produce one valid block every 10 minutes on average. Once one of the miners finally manages to produce a valid block, it will inform the rest of the network.

Other miners will accept this block once they confirm it adheres to all rules, and then discard whatever block they had been working on themselves. The lucky miner gets rewarded with a fixed amount of coins, along with the transaction fees belonging to the processed transactions in the new block.

The cycle then starts again. For this reason, mining is sometimes compared to a lottery where you can pick your own numbers. This will typically be expressed in Gigahash per second 1 billion hashes per second. The continuous block mining cycle incentivizes people all over the world to mine Bitcoin. As mining can provide a solid stream of revenue, people are very willing to run power-hungry machines to get a piece of it. Over the years this has caused the total energy consumption of the Bitcoin network to grow to epic proportions, as the price of the currency reached new highs.

The entire Bitcoin network now consumes more energy than a number of countries, based on a report published by the International Energy Agency. If Bitcoin was a country, it would rank as shown below. The result is shown hereafter. Thinking about how to reduce CO2 emissions from a widespread Bitcoin implementation. Determining the exact carbon impact of the Bitcoin network has been a challenge for years.

Not only does one need to know the power requirement of the Bitcoin network, but one also need to know where this power is coming from. The location of miners is a key ingredient to know how dirty or how clean the power is that they are using.

Initially the only information available to this end was the common belief that the majority of miners were located in China. Since we know the average emission factor of the Chinese grid around grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour , this can be used for a very rough approximation of the carbon intensity of the power used for Bitcoin mining.

This number can subsequently be applied to a power consumption estimate of the Bitcoin network to determine its carbon footprint. In this study, they identified facilities representing roughly half of the entire Bitcoin hash rate, with a total lower bound consumption of megawatts.

Chinese mining facilities were responsible for about half of this, with a lower bound consumption of megawatts. The table below features a breakdown of the energy consumption of the mining facilities surveyed by Hileman and Rauchs. This number is currently applied to determine the carbon footprint of the Bitcoin network based on the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index. Rauchs et al. In the second study, Rauchs et al. According to their own estimates, all cryptocurrency mining facilities for the top-6 cryptocurrencies were running on 5.

As such, they cover significantly less data than before, while Bitcoin is also making up a smaller part of this data. Even so, the overall trend appears to be little change in the localization of miners. One can argue that specific locations in the listed countries may offer less carbon intense power.

In Bitcoin company Coinshares suggested that the majority of Chinese mining facilities were located in Sichuan province, using cheap hydropower for mining Bitcoin.

Now, even though there is plenty of reason to criticize this report, it is worth investigating what it would mean if their statement was true. One might assume that the use of hydropower implies that the Bitcoin network has a relatively low carbon footprint. As it turns out, this would be a rather dangerous assumption. The main challenge here is that the production of hydropower or renewable energy in general is far from constant.

In Sichuan specifically the average power generation capacity during the wet season is three times that of the dry season. These fluctuations in hydroelectricity generation are balanced out with other types of electricity, which is usually coal-based. This is nowhere near the emission factor of a grid like the one in Sweden, which is really fuelled mostly by nuclear and hydroelectric power. While renewables are an intermittent source of energy, Bitcoin miners have a constant energy requirement.

A Bitcoin ASIC miner will, once turned on, not be switched off until it either breaks down or becomes unable to mine Bitcoin at a profit. Because of this, Bitcoin miners increase both the baseload demand on a grid, as well as the need for alternative fossil-fuel based energy sources to meet this demand when renewable energy production is low. In the worst case scenario, the presence of Bitcoin miners may thus provide an incentive for the construction of new coal-based power plants, or reopening existing ones.

This impact would be even harder to quantify. To put the energy consumed by the Bitcoin network into perspective we can compare it to another payment system like VISA for example. We also know VISA processed With the help of these numbers, it is possible to compare both networks and show that Bitcoin is extremely more energy intensive per transaction than VISA note that the chart below compares a single Bitcoin transaction to , VISA transactions. Of course, these numbers are far from perfect e.

More energy efficient algorithms, like proof-of-stake, have been in development over recent years. In proof-of-stake coin owners create blocks rather than miners, thus not requiring power hungry machines that produce as many hashes per second as possible. Because of this, the energy consumption of proof-of-stake is negligible compared to proof-of-work. The only downside is that there are many different versions of proof-of-stake, and none of these have fully proven themselves yet.

Even though the total network hashrate can easily be calculated, it is impossible to tell what this means in terms of energy consumption as there is no central register with all active machines and their exact power consumption. This arbitrary approach has therefore led to a wide set of energy consumption estimates that strongly deviate from one another, sometimes with a disregard to the economic consequences of the chosen parameters.

The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index therefore proposes to turn the problem around, and approach energy consumption from an economic perspective. The index is built on the premise that miner income and costs are related. Since electricity costs are a major component of the ongoing costs, it follows that the total electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network must be related to miner income as well.

To put it simply, the higher mining revenues, the more energy-hungry machines can be supported. Note that one may reach different conclusions on applying different assumptions a calculator that allows for testing different assumptions has been made available here. The chosen assumptions have been chosen in such a way that they can be considered to be both intuitive and conservative, based on information of actual mining operations.

In the end, the goal of the Index is not to produce a perfect estimate, but to produce an economically credible day-to-day estimate that is more accurate and robust than an estimate based on the efficiency of a selection of mining machines.

The latter index was based on the alternative methodology provided by Bevand which is strongly advocated by Koomey , but failed to produce significantly different estimates. Apart from the energy consumption estimates, the resulting environmental impact in the form of carbon footprint has also been strongly contested by critics like Robert Sharratt and the company Coinshares.

Specifically, Sharratt used the Coinshares mining report to argue that the network has limited environmental impact. This is an important omission, as it ignores that the carbon intensity of electricity bought in Sichuan China , where miners are primarily located according to Coinshares, is nowhere near as low as one might expect. Of course, the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index is also very much a prediction model for future Bitcoin energy consumption unlike hashrate-based estimates that have no predictive properties.

At the moment January , miners are spending a lot more on electricity. This can happen after a significant drop in mining revenues where mining becomes generally unprofitable. In this situation machines are removed from rather than added to the network.

The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index is the first real-time estimate of the energy consumed by the Bitcoin network, but certainly not the first. A list of articles that have focussed on this subject in the past are featured below.

These articles have served as an inspiration for the Energy Index, and may also serve as a validation of the estimated numbers. If you find an article missing from this list please report it here , and it will be added as soon as possible.

Annualized Total Footprints Carbon Footprint. Electrical Energy. Electronic Waste. Carbon Footprint. Find more info on e-waste here. Please confirm deletion. There is no undo! Cancel Delete. Number of U. Bitcoin's electricity consumption as a percentage of the world's electricity consumption. The bitcoin and blockchain: electricity hogs.

How To Calculate Mining Profitability For Your GPU Rig?, time: 16:54
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