It is estimated that one Bitcoin transaction takes 1544 kWh to be processed.

Quick back of the envelope calculation: with that energy my car can run for 7125 km, so basically a short drive from Brussels, Belgium to Kabul, Afghanistan.

One transaction.

@mxtthxw According to Digiconomist a couple years ago, the current figure is substantially higher:

I picked the lowest estimate I could find, the numbers are insanely high enough as is

@jkb this year's energy consumption likely to be closer to 110TWh.

Whilst obviously significant, also significantly different to the estimate given hence my questioning of the data.

@mxtthxw Digiconomist figures are provided with methodology details and source data, along with criticism of both the method and the source data.

Even a lower estimate of 110 TWh would be insanely high, it's equivalent to what The Netherlands use. There are 17 million people in The Netherlands.

@jkb @mxtthxw I don’t see how it is equivalent, the Netherlands used 814 TWh in 2020.

@pamaca @mxtthxw Oh so the Energy Information Administration is wrong, either that or a country suddenly increased their electricity consumption eight-fold over the course of one year. Your choice.

@jkb @pamaca Their projections are wrong.

Not many 4 year projections re acuarte. BTW, I'm not a 'cryptobro trying to convert you' just someone on the internet with contrarian data. Different thing entirely :)

Currently reading Noise by Daniel Kahneman, it provides some interesting info on statistical noise, well worth a read.

@mxtthxw Not saying *you* are, just saying that even a more conservative figure is still extremely high when you put it in persoective.

Perspective is what I was going for in my original calculation, I have no plan of going to Kabul anytime soon

@jkb I hope not, all the evidence I've seen involving SUVs driving to Kabul have had devastating consequences.

I'd be interested to know the yearly power consumption of the US military, now there's a truly horrifying statistic :(


@mxtthxw @jkb It is the single largest emitter of CO2 on the planet, because it runs almost entirely on oil and gas. Bitcoin mining pales in comparison (to most things).

@raucao @mxtthxw @jkb

These "one transaction" comparisons also miss a fundamental aspect of Bitcoin. Either due to ignorance or perhaps because it fits a certain narrative.

One transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain isn't necessarily one transaction, it can represent potentially millions of transactions done on higher levels (e.g. Lightning network) that use Bitcoin as a settlement layer.

@raucao @mxtthxw @jkb

The proof of work that underlies Bitcoin's security and value is done by computers making hashes.

What underlies the security and value of fiat currencies?

Men with guns.

In the case of the global reserve fiat currency (petrodollar), it's men with guns who control access to oil.

How much energy do those men with guns use? Not to mention all the people being murdered in order to control the oil flow.

I haven't seen anyone being hashed to death by a computer yet.

@jcbrand @mxtthxw @jkb Yes, you could theoretically surpass VISA capacity for very little money by spinning up a bunch of Lightning Nodes on cloud VMs and doing txs over fee-less private channels. Except that credit card txs are not final, involve 3 middlemen between sender and receiver, and the receiver has to wait multiple days for settlement.

@jcbrand @raucao @mxtthxw @jkb love that you brought up lightning but let's cut to the chase. Electricity consumption is at the bottom of the list of CO2 production. So boil it down to two points.

1. Btc mining creates value out of surplus energy that is lost to entropy (literally fizzles in the grid) and sops up what would otherwise be waste. Pro environment people should be pro efficiency.

2. Climate activism is a front for people who want to destroy modern civilization and blast us back to pre industrial living standards. And by us, I mean not those in power.

@mxtthxw @jkb If you think bitcoin mining is a problem in the grand scheme of things, then either you haven't looked at much global energy data yet, or you intentionally choose to ignore all or most of it. What's worse, you will potentially support policies that will stop progress in developing countries and prolong real human suffering among the poorest. Overall, we need *more* energy, not less. And production of it is increasing *much faster* than what bitcoin mining will ever consume.

@raucao @mxtthxw @jkb The digiconomist 'analysis' is well known to be utter drivel, but I'm more interested in Rau cao's line of reasoning here. I continue to be staggered by the idiocy of *almost* everyone with this Malthusian nonsense. As if human society is going to progress by stopping using energy.

The whole renewables thing is different. Clearly the future, although some flavour of nuclear is important Energy density matters for some use cases; fission/fusion can't be competed with there.

@waxwing @raucao @mxtthxw @jkb the interesting question really is: what portion of energy will humanity devote to securing bitcoin? What will be the trend through time, will that portion eventually level off? Keep increasing? Decrease?

Funny to see people moralizing it on both sides (for/against).

Hmm, how long until the capital is there to fund a nuclear-powered bitcoin mine? I can only imagine the outcry against something like that..

@htimsxela @raucao @mxtthxw @jkb

> the interesting question really is: what portion of energy will humanity devote to securing bitcoin?

couldn't agree more, I've been wondering that for many years. guess it's a function of security offered (you know, like this kind of stuff: ).

> Hmm, how long until the capital is there to fund a nuclear-powered bitcoin mine?

Pretty sure it already happened, maybe Russia, Ukraine(?) - though small deal up till now.

Sign in to participate in the conversation

The social network of the future: No ads, no corporate surveillance, ethical design, and decentralization! Own your data with Mastodon!