Galaxy Digital has released a report on Bitcoin energy consumption, detailing how it consumes less than traditional financial industries and the value it can bring. The analysis uses several calculations to ascertain how much energy the Bitcoin network uses and how it stacks up against the banking and gold industries. The authors also noted that the energy usage criticisms are not usually applied to traditional industries.
Bitcoin’s annual energy consumption is estimated to be 113.89 TWh/yr.
Galaxy Digital report lauds Bitcoin for being transparent, while incumbent companies are opaque and don’t often disclose their energy footprint. The authors accept that the Bitcoin network consumes a great deal of energy but assert that this is exactly what secures the network and makes it so robust. According to Galaxy Digital’s calculation, the annual electricity consumption of Bitcoin is estimated to be 113.89 TWh/yr. For some perspective, the energy consumption of always-on devices in the US is 1,375 TWh/yr — 12.1 times that of Bitcoin’s consumption.
The total energy consumption of the gold industry is estimated to be 240.61 TWh/yr.
For the gold industry, the analysts took a look at all of the processes involved, including those directly emitting greenhouse gasses, those indirectly emitting them, and emissions stemming from refinement and recycling. Multiplying the total 100,408,508 tCo2 in emissions with the global IEA carbon intensity multiplier estimates the total energy consumption of the gold industry to be 240.61 TWh/yr. The analysts also noted that the consumption of the gold and banking industries is hard to estimate because of a lack of data on energy usage. This makes it difficult to “have an honest conversation” about Bitcoin’s energy use. The report estimated the banking industry’s energy consumption to be 238.92 TWh/year. Earlier, Tesla announced to discontinue bitcoin payments citing environmental issues.