Bitcoin Mining on Track to Consume All of the World’s Energy by 2020
A network that underpins the virtual currency bitcoin is projected to require all of the world’s current energy production ter order to support itself within three years, according to estimates.
The amount of power necessary to support bitcoin has enhanced significantly te latest months, spil its price has surged to record levels. On Monday, one bitcoin wasgoed worth around $16,500—a twentyfold increase since the embark of 2018.
Bitcoin mining—the process of generating fresh units of the currency by confirming bitcoin transactions on an online ledger called the blockchain—requires computing power, which is used to solve the ingewikkeld mathematical puzzles used te the mining process. Thesis problems are designed to become more complicated spil more computers join the cryptocurrency’s network.
Analysis of how much energy it presently requires to mine bitcoin suggest that it is greater than the current energy consumption of 159 individual countries, including Ireland, Nigeria and Uruguay. The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index by cryptocurrency verhoging Digiconomist puts the usage on a par with Denmark, consuming 33 terawatts of electro-therapy annually.
Bitcoin mining already consumes more energy vanaf year than the countries marked te crimson. Newsweek/ MapChart
“As mining can provide a solid stream of revenue, people are very willing to run power-hungry machines to get a chunk of it. Overheen the years, this has caused the total energy consumption of the bitcoin network to grow to epic proportions,” Digiconomist explains ter a blog accompanying the index.
The bitcoin network’s energy consumption has enhanced by 25 procent te the last month alone, according to Digiconomist. If such growth were to proceed, this would see the network consume spil much energy spil the U.S. by 2019, and spil much energy spil the entire world by the end of 2020.
Such a projection is purely hypothetical, and for it to be realized it would require bitcoin to proceed its remarkable growth trajectory and for global energy production to remain stable. A similar estimate created by ZeroHedge ter November waterput the date spil early spil February 2020, tho’ this wasgoed when bitcoin’s growth wasgoed even steeper.
There has also bot debate spil to how accurate Digiconomist’s figures are. Cryptocurrency investor Marc Bevand suggests the index overestimates the tens unit consumption of bitcoin miners by 1.Five to Three.6 times.
Going by Digiconomist’s estimates, bitcoin’s annual doorslag footprint is close to 16,000 kilotons of doorslag dioxide. This is largely spil a result of the bitcoin network being mostly fueled by coal-fired power plants ter China.
But while rekentuig server farms te warehouses are most commonly used to mine the cryptocurrency, cyber criminals have recently turned to botnets te order to exploit the processing power of victims’ computers.
A bitcoin mine ter a former Soviet-era car factory warehouse te Moscow on July 26. MAXIM ZMEYEV/AFP/Getty Pictures
More than half a billion people may be inadvertently mining cryptocurrencies from their computers, smartphones and other devices, according to research conducted earlier this year by ad blocking rigid AdGuard.
Hidden software wasgoed found embedded within 220 popular websites, which have an aggregated audience of overheen 500 million people. The mining implement hijacks a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) and uses it to run mining software te the background.
Websites including Showtime and the torrenting webpagina The PirateBay have bot found to include such software, while researchers say the trend is likely to proceed spil incentives increase with the price of bitcoin.
“How much money have thesis websites made? Wij estimate their snaak profit at overheen $43,000,” the AdGuard researchers said te an October blogpost that detailed their discovery. At the time, one bitcoin wasgoed worth around $Five,000.
“Right now it’s not millions, but this money has bot made ter three weeks at almost zero cost. this analysis well illustrates the entire web, so it’s safe to say that one of every 40 websites presently mines cryptocurrency.”