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With the demand for bitcoin ever increasing, its price has also risen tremendously over the years, presently flirting around with $14,000. But one thing most people never give consideration too is what really goes into the production or mote technically, mining of bitcoin. Just as bitcoin’s price has increased so has the cost of mining too. In fact, a new research shows that the mining of bitcoin consumes so much more electricity than all the electric cars in the world combined. Now that is unbelievably insane, if not ridiculous.

Just How Much Power Is Consumed

It is estimated that the power consumption rate of the cryptocurrency is going to triple in this year. This would then make its energy consumption as much as what is consumed by the whole country of Argentina, per a new Morgan Stanley report published this Wednesday.

In 2017 bitcoin consumed 36 terawatt hours of energy which is equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by Qatar in the same year. All electric cars worldwide are estimated to use up to 125 terawatt hours of energy by the year 2025 (7 years from), but bitcoin is already said to be poised to use up that same amount of energy in this year alone, per Morgan Stanley’s analysts’ report released earlier this week.

Bitcoin Consumes Even More Than Tesla Vehicles

A similar comparison was made with how much popular electric car company, Tesla’s electric cars consume energy. Here’s a breakdown of it.Tesla vs bitcoin energy consumption

All of Tesla’s cars available on road as at the end of 2017 is 280,000 (which is the figure per by the company’s stats), and they all barely used 1.3 terawatts altogether per a report released by Fortune. This figure was derived by assuming each car drove 15,000 miles—roughly the national average—at a rate of 30 kilowatt hours of electricity per 100 miles, based on the median mileage rate for Tesla Model 3 and Model S vehicles, according to figures reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

With these figures it is justifiable to say that the amount of energy required to mine bitcoins last year alone was approximately 29 times the amount of energy that was required or used to power all on road Tesla cars today.

What’s worse, all electric cars worldwide consumed just 6 terawatts of energy in 2016, but here sits bitcoin outclassing them all in a not so handsome way.

Why Does Bitcoin Mining Consume So Much?

Bitcoin’s mining consumes so much energy because the mining if a single coin involves very high-powered computers working out a really complex mathematical puzzle through another cryptographic process. All these computational processes are to ensure ad much security as possible on the blockchain network.

bitcoin mining

The report by Morgan Stanley approximates the cost of mining a single bitcoin to be between $3,000 – $7,000. Well, judging by the current price of bitcoin amidst its lackluster performance, mining a single bitcoin is still very profitable.

Even though the mining of other cryptocurrencies isn’t as energy guzzling as bitcoin, the report also states that as cryptocurrencies continue to gain more value, there is going to be a rise in the amount of energy consumed by the mining of these digital coins.

What remains unknown at the moment is if there is any cause and effect relationship between bitcoin’s price and the cost of electricity. The analysts suggest that people who buy bitcoins do not really consider the cost involved in bitcoin mining. Moreover, it could also mean that fluctuating energy prices is not one of the factors that determine bitcoin’s price. This was what they had to say

“We do not see cryptocurrency values being driven by electricity costs in the near term. 2017 shows that cryptocurrency pricing appears not to be fully based on fundamentals.”


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