Bitcoin network consumes an average of 113 MWh

18.05.2021 |

Galaxy Digital conducted a comparative study of the electricity consumption of various financial companies and the first cryptocurrency mining network. Although now bitcoin is criticized mainly because of its carbon footprint, but in comparison with the banking sector and physical gold mining, the latter loses by a factor of two.

Thus, mining companies collectively consume about 113 MWh, physical gold mining 240 MWh, and the entire banking sector consumes more than 260 MWh. While everything is quite transparent with the network of the first cryptocurrency, other industries are trying to hide their carbon footprint, which has complicated the work of researchers.

The electricity consumption of the first cryptocurrency mining makes the latter reliable and safe, which cannot be said about physical gold. When calculating the consumption of precious metal production, all stages of production were taken into account, including the purification of ore and processing of the obtained metal. Although only the carbon footprint was used in the calculation, we cannot ignore other aspects of environmental degradation in the production of physical gold in this context. Most of the existing technologies consume huge amounts of fresh water, which becomes unusable without additional treatment for normal use.

When calculating the consumption of the banking sector, the operation of data centers, ATMs and self-service devices, offices of financial companies and plastic card services were taken into account.

In any case, the entire bitcoin network consumes less electricity than all unplugged, standby electronic devices in the United States, as well as almost 20 times less loss in the transmission of electricity from the production site to the end consumer.