Bitcoin electric consumption



This has to be the most complete comparison of BTC’s electric usage vs the banks I have found thus far. As some of you know I work in the Data Center industry and primarily the financial sector. So when I see people complaining about how much electric BTC uses I always cringe because I know that person is clueless as to how much electric our current banking systems use. Most of the comparisons I see are very similar to the Visa comparison in the beginning of this article. Even this article doesn’t include some of the larger power usage with in a Financial data center that revolves around collecting your data for research in trends, government regulations, and in general market data. Sure some of this would stick around if BTC were to replace banks but not to the level that it is currently.

In summary Carlos Domingo (Author of the Article on Hackernoon) came to the conclusion that BTC is atleast 3 time more efficient in power usage than our current system. This is using the outrageous 28.67TwH estimate. He goes on to show that with the current hash rate if everyone was using an S9 this number is more like 500GwH several orders of magnitude lower than the TwH estimation. Using 500GwH’s makes BTC 60x more efficient than our current banking system. This is just comparing BTC electric usage with Visa, it doesn’t include any of the other credit card companies like MasterCard or American Express which have and require the same infrastructure.

One last point that I want to bring up is that our current system has yet to scale to some of the largest populations in the world “The Unbanked” in places like China and India. The large banks are just now starting to move into those places and with that it will scale their inefficiencies both from payments and power usage.

Anyhow here is the link and please share so that the ones that are worried about climate control can get on board with BTC. :smile:


And here is another power cost and detriment to mother nature that I didn’t think of, Paper usage.
This article has some facts but he did not write it as well as Carlos’ article above, but I agree it is still relevent. Maybe at some point I will try to combine this research together. I disagree with him including the building and cooling usage as both Banks and BTC will require those to differing degrees and not sure it is worth the effort to compare.


Oh hell, let’s have Elon Musk send a rocket to Mercury where it unfurls a mile-wide solar sail to power 100,000 miniaturized ASICS. The sun provides the solar power and space itself provides the cooling. There is no drag on the world’s finite resources. Bitcoin bliss!

Remember, you heard it here on TheBitcoin Pub!!!


I think comparing the electricity usage is the wrong metric. What should be compared is the total energy expenditure. A proportional cost of discovery, drilling and refinement of oil should be included as the plastic is needed to make the cards. Then there is the distribution of cards to customers via a postal service requiring more fossil fuels to be burnt. etc etc


Electric consumption is just one of the metrics and it is viable. Now comparing it to the entire eco system I think you are correct as I did find an article that compared credit cards impact on the environment to paper checks. Paper checks is the way to go but Crypto’s would even be better as no plastic or paper is used for the wallets.

Here is the article explaining the carbon footprint of your credit card which is another piece of the story when comparing BTC to our current banking system as a whole.


So good. thanks for the perspective.