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Bitcoin On Course To Overtake Pakistan In Energy Consumption

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Annual energy consumption of the Bitcoin network is almost 120 terawatt hours (TWh) and is on course to overtake Pakistan soon.

Researchers at Cambridge University estimate that the electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network is almost 119.87 terawatt hours per year, more than the energy consumption of the UAE at 119.45 TWh per year , and on course to overtake Pakistan where electricity consumption is 120.56 TWh per year.

Bitcoin’s total annual energy consumption surpassed that of the UAE just last week, while it was already ahead of Netherlands where the energy consumption stands at 110.68 TWh per year.

Electricity is a primary input of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The coins are mined by computers that process complex algorithms in halls that span the area of several football pitches. As the market for cryptocurrency grows, so does Bitcoin’s demand on energy grids.

Bitcoin mining now uses 66 times more electricity than in 2015 and carbon emissions from the process may face increasing regulation. The enormous amounts of energy needed to mine Bitcoin have been blamed for causing power cuts in Tehran as recently as January, and led to increasing competition in so-called green mining, which uses renewable energy sources to mine cryptos.

The researchers at Cambridge, who have endeavoured to provide a real-time estimate of the total electricity load and consumption of the Bitcoin network, say the model is based on an estimate, given that the exact electricity consumption cannot be determined.

Cryptocurrencies have emerged as an alternative investment for the past decade, but have been characterised by volatility. But in the last year Bitcoin’s value has increased more than seven-fold on hype from the likes of Elon Musk and increasing support from large institutional investors.

Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley plan to offer their clients access to crypto investments. Tesla earlier this year disclosed a $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin and now accepts it as payment for its electric cars.

On Tuesday, 3iQ Corporation, the world’s first Bitcoin fund to trade on a major exchange, said it will list on Nasdaq Dubai this quarter.

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Naya Daur