Bitcoin’s estimated energy consumption and environmental impact has increased quite significantly. The energy consumption grew due to the heavy power demands of mining rigs until May’s halving event, at which point it fell off a cliff as mining rewards were slashed in half. However, not too long those estimates started ticking upwards again, and this month they hit levels unseen since March. According to Digiconomist, which tracks the estimated total power consumption of the entire Bitcoin network, Bitcoin is currently estimated to use 67.927 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year.
The recent peak was the highest since the halvening.
The recent peak was the highest since May 11, the day of the halving, and is close to the numbers seen in mid-March. Then, the estimated consumption had sharply dropped due to Bitcoin’s COVID-19 crash. However, it grew ahead of the halving event. This month’s peak is also a more than 12% increase from this time in July. The minimum estimated total Bitcoin power consumption hit a recent peak of 54.853TWh on September 2, the highest figure recorded since November 2018. It’s down slightly over the last week-plus, landing at 50.715TWh last week.
Bitcoin’s energy consumption is comparable to the Czech Republic.
The latest estimated energy consumption figure puts the bitcoin network behind energy consumption is only 42 countries globally on that front, with Bitcoin’s energy consumption compared to the Czech Republic. Bitcoin’s energy consumption now ranks above Switzerland, Kuwait, and Algeria on that list. The report estimates Bitcoin’s carbon footprint to be 32.27 Mt CO2, or comparable to that of Azerbaijan, with e-waste generation comparable to Luxembourg at 10.81 kt. A single Bitcoin transaction is estimated to have the same carbon footprint as 709,007 VISA transactions or watching 47,267 hours of YouTube videos or an average American household’s power consumption over 20 days.