The digital currency Bitcoin annually consumes more electricity than the entire country of Argentina, according to an analysis by scientists from Cambridge University. Accordingly, the cryptocurrency consumes around 121.36 terawatt hours (TWh) per year.
The whole of Argentina with its around 45 million inhabitants, on the other hand, uses only 121 TWh.
The scientists complain that the highly complex computing processes on more and more computers are consuming ever larger amounts of electricity.
Extremely high power consumption
The high power consumption of Bitcoin is inherent in the system and will only decline when the course falls again, according to the scientists in a BBC report. According to calculations by the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, if the Bitcoin system were a state, it is among the 30 largest electricity-consuming countries.
The author David Gerard sees the power consumption of the Bitcoin system continue to rise, and the associated CO2 emissions from the cryptocurrency. “It is very bad that all this energy is literally wasted on a lottery.”
The latest price rally was triggered by an announcement by the electric car manufacturer Tesla that it would invest in Bitcoin.
Environmental funding is practically invested in Bitcoin
Tesla received $ 1.5 billion in environmental grants in 2020, which taxpayers financed for the US group. “And they spend 1.5 billion dollars on Bitcoin, the majority of which are generated with electricity from coal-fired power plants.
The se subsidies must be checked,” demands Gerard.
This difference of 10 TWh was necessary for the system of pumped storage, i.e. the pumping of water into storage systems, as well as to cover network losses and to draw power plants from the network, e.g. to start up caloric systems. An average Austrian household consumes around 4,400 kilowatt hours of electrical energy per year.