Bitcoin Uses 50 Times Less Energy Than Traditional Banking, New Study Shows

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New research from payment consultancy firm Valuechain finds past energy analyses of Bitcoin were incomplete, inaccurate, and unfairly biased against crypto.

Key points

  • A recent peer-review white paper finds that Bitcoin’s blockchain uses almost half the annual energy of previous estimates.
  • The Valuechain publication also shows that Bitcoin is 56 times more energy efficient than the current banking system.

The Bitcoin blockchain gets a bad rap from environmentalists and critics because its proof-of-work (PoW) programming used to settle transactions is widely portrayed as a hoggish energy glutton that’s stomping all over ecological ideals with its massive carbon footprint.

Some of the most frequently touted research bashing Bitcoin’s power use comes from the University of Cambridge, which pegs Bitcoin’s annual power drain at more than 121 terawatt-hours (TWh), ranking it in the top 30 electricity consumers worldwide. In fact, if Bitcoin was a country, it would be sucking down more energy than either the Netherlands or Pakistan according to the Cambridge data.

To give a sense of how much energy that is, the WorldCounts website states that a single terawatt can power 10 billion, 100-watt bulbs at the same time. And the power panning against Bitcoin isn’t just from theoretical academicians, it’s also coming from leaders within the crypto community itself.

Cardano cofounder Charles Hoskinson verbally bludgeoned Bitcoin’s energy inhalation in a top-tier media article last month stating, “Bitcoin’s energy consumption has more than quadrupled since the beginning of its last peak in 2017 and it is set to get worse because energy inefficiency is built into Bitcoin’s DNA….


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