While the adoption of bitcoin into the financial mainstream has been slower than predicted, it is still happening. The dizzy heights of early Bitcoin prices have gone, but the cryptocurrency has enjoyed a surge in price recently. Mining the currency is so popular a new study shows it consumes more electricity than over 20 European nations.
Power Compare, a UK-based energy price comparison firm recently concluded interesting research. It found the total electricity consumption from Bitcoin mining tops the energy needs of 159 separate countries.
For example, it takes more electricity than is used in Croatia, Ireland, Slovakia, and more.
In Africa, only Egypt, South Africa, and Algeria consume more electricity. Power Compare says mining takes more electricity than is consumed in Puerto Rico, North Korea, and more. Bitcoin mining is a computer process that prevents transactions on blockchain from moving.
The research also found the following information related to Bitcoin mining consumption:
- In the past month alone, Bitcoin mining electricity consumption is estimated to have increased by 98%
- If it keeps increasing at this rate, Bitcoin mining will consume all the world's electricity by February 2020.
- Estimated annualised global mining revenues: $7.2 billion USD (£5.4 billion)
- Estimated global mining costs: $1.5 billion USD (£1.1 billion)
- Number of Americans who could be powered by bitcoin mining: 4 million (more than the population of Houston)
- Number of Britons who could be powered by bitcoin mining: 1 million (more than the population of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Bradford, Liverpool, Bristol, Croydon, Coventry, Leicester & Nottingham combined)
- Bitcoin Mining consumes more electricity than 12 US states (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming)
Power Compare says the current annual electricity consumption from mining is at 29.05 TWh. This represents 0.13 percent of the world's overall electricity needs. Obviously, and as the map suggests, many major nations consume much more power. For example, the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Japan, China, Canada, etc.
Increasing Consumption Needs
However, if Bitcoin miners were a single autonomous nation, it would be ranked 61st globally in terms of electricity consumption.
Some of the facts listed about suggest Bitcoin mining will continue to consume vast amounts of power. Indeed, there as been a 30 percent surge in consumption in the last 30 days. Electricity needs for miners could surpass the UK's needs as soon as October next year.