No it won't. If it starts taking that much power to succeed at Bitcoin mining, I doubt it will still be profitable in any way. Even now with the insane price of bitcoin, it's barely profitable to be a miner.
Ethereum mining though - that might be going somewhere up for a while, until ethereum switches away from mining to staking.
Wouldn't using more electricity only push us to green tech quicker? Since green tech is becoming increasingly more efficient wouldn't we use the more efficient method to produce more electricity? Especially if it were to become an actual crisis, which I doubt it would.
Power usage per transaction is incredibly misleading. They're taking total power usage of bitcoin network and dividing it by number of transactions. This is not power usage necessary for transactions to happen.
Increasing the number of transactions would decrease power usage per transaction when calculated this way.
I assume you're talking about https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption. Their stats table is a little bit missleading combining input variables with key points. The only two variables you need to calculate total power consumption is the hash rate and watts/GHs.
Here's a translation, which I think will make more sense.
Decentralized currencies such as bitcoin are a threat to the current Fiat currencies as it would make it impossible to do the following:
Create extra bitcoin out of nowhere, lend it to people and then ask them to repay it with interest. Bitcoin is limited, you can't make more, you can't artificial inflate it, you can't ask people to pay back loans with money that doesn't exist. You can't stop giving people loans to cause a financial crisis and then take everything they own.
Earn money via speculation by manipulating political, social and economic factors. This is usually done by causing a problem to make a currency lose its power, buying into it when it's worth almost nothing and then showing up as the "hero" to fix that problem.
Overall one single individual or a group of individuals could not control bitcoin. If bitcoin were the only currency that everyone would use it would simply be worth services. You would pay a certain amount of bitcoin, to a specific person who would then provide a specific service with the terms and conditions of that arrangement being agreed upon by both parties.
I'm not saying bitcoin is the solution to all and it probably isn't, but decentralized currency sure as hell sounds a lot better than the mess we have now.
Tl;dr: To those worried about climate change. If it takes that much energy to power bitcoin transaction, how much energy do you think it takes to power a single bank? And I'm talking about one single branch. Now think about how many banks there are and how many branches they each have across the globe. Bitcoin doesn't really sound like it uses up that much energy now, does it?
"Today, each bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy used to power nine homes in the U.S. for one day. And miners are constantly installing more and faster computers. Already, the aggregate computing power of the bitcoin network is nearly 100,000 times larger than the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers combined...
The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge — an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year....
By July 2019, the bitcoin network will require more electricity than the entire United States currently uses. By February 2020, it will use as much electricity as the entire world does today."
All bitcoin needs to do is change the block size (easier said than done) and the number dramatically changes.
It's transaction capacity is being artificially capped right now at about 3 transactions a second. That's 1 megabyte of data every 10 minutes.
Make that 1000 transactions a second, and it's a whole different picture.
Hydro primarily powers the Bitcoin network today (most large Bitcoin mines are situated right next to a hydro station). Solar and wind will power the Bitcoin network of tomorrow. In fact, Bitcoin will drive the cost of solar lower than most can imagine. This in turn will have a beneficial effect on the world as energy becomes abundant and cheap.
"The total energy use of this web of hardware is huge — an estimated 31 terawatt-hours per year. More than 150 individual countries in the world consume less energy annually. And that power-hungry network is currently increasing its energy use every day by about 450 gigawatt-hours, roughly the same amount of electricity the entire country of Haiti uses in a year."
And plenty of people disagree. It's just an estimate no matter how you look at it. The numbers don't add up when taking into account overall energy usage of everything in the world. But you can freak out if you feel like it. I'll be patient and wait till actual hard evidence is published before I scream about the sky falling
Ok, let's do the math here. The current [hash rate](https://blockchain.info/charts/hash-rate) is about 15 * 10^6 TH/s (2017-12-07). Assuming best case scenario with everyone using the most efficient miner [Antminer S9](https://shop.bitmain.com/specifications.htm?name=antminer_s9_asic_bitcoin_miner) at 98 J/TH. Multiplying the two, we get
15 * 10^6 TH/s * 98 J/TH = 1.47 GJ/s = 1.47 GW
Giving us yesterday's energy consumption 35.28 GWh, 1/3rd of what the site says. That's with the assumption that everyone is using the most effective miner in the world, and it only accounts for Bitcoins. It is still alot of energy and it's increasing every day as you can see from blockchain.info.
The overwhelming majority of of bitcoin mining is hydroelectric, geothermal and solar, so it's not green because you could be using that to do useful stuff like invade other countries paid for with central bank fiat.
You're looking at them through rose-tinted "noble savage" glasses. Have you ever been to Africa? I can promise you, if they (or the millions of poor in India, China, etc) could live they way we do, almost every one of them would.
So because it's "technology" it must be good?
Just the other day at the bar two guys I sometimes meet there proudly showed me the wallets on their phones that they recently installed to buy coins. I had to think of the shoeshine boy who gave a rich guy stock tips in 1929.
Edit: one more guy and his girlfriend tonight, both with brand new wallets and high on Bitcoin excitement.
All these doomers around here won't listen to you. I try explaining bitcoin is old, worthless tech. The creation of a blockchain is the real significance. Proof of stake systems don't require all the mining and cpu power that bitcoin does, but the individuals on the sub will continue to argue about power consumption.
Fuck how much does the current banking system use for all it's transactions? The costs are probably very similiar. One guy posted a b's article/study backed by a bank, which is obviously gonna side with banks not crypto, which is designed to make banks useless. Trust the government and banks who have let you down in the past, or trust decentralized systems. You can only lead people to information.
>Fuck how much does the current banking system use for all it's transactions?
Quite a bit but they also process billions of transactions every day. Estimates put bitcoin's transaction energy cost in the thousands of times range compared to credit card transactions. It's very hard to calculate the primary and secondary energy use in a credit card transaction because the system is so distributed and has many stages but if you look at the plain old bitcoint transactions, bitcoin is ludicrously wasteful.
I think computers and data networks will soon reach about 10% of the global electricity consumption, so it's quite relevant to talk about the energy consumption of the traditional financial sector, but bitcoin? Yeah... that's kinda fucked up.
> Fuck how much does the current banking system use for all it's transactions? The costs are probably very similiar.
Maybe they are similar if you compare Bitcoin to the total energy cost of the global transaction system (SWIFT etc).
But if every basic global transaction used as much energy as a Bitcoin transaction we would have an instant energy crisis.
Flying gold bars around in private jets is arguably more efficient on per dollar basis.
Bitcoin won't reach that point. BTC is too slow and has too many fees. Point of stake systems don't require mining to confirm transactions. There is also IOTA, which doesn't require any mining or excess energy. Its not even a blockchain, but called the 'tangle' that has partnered with microsoft and other huge companies recently. Bitcoin won't ever be shit but a household name/overhyped tech. Again, there are many cryptos that are way better then bitcoin. Bitcoin was just the first recognizable name, so it's still around. Wait another couple years to see the real currencies and projects emerge. There are feeless currencies with untraceable transactions. Think of bitcoin like dialup, great for initial interest and connections, but will be surpassed as soon as massive adoption for cryptos occur just like broadband and cable internet connections did. There's hundreds of different crypto coins and projects.
Only centralized until the main processing computer that verifys transactions is shut down. This occurs whenever more individuals start to utilize IOTA. And imagine the more efficient energy consumption whenever it's using devices already in use, instead of creating new machines from them. Again, this is just one crypto and it's own tech. Look at all the blockchain deviations that have sought to correct this.
Stash wallet now enables anonymous interactions with supported blockchains which now included BTC and BCH. I tend to agree with you but we may be underestimating the power of the network effect. What I'm certain of is that with the current devs BTC will NEVER become permissionless ecash for the masses.
It's per a transaction energy costs are phenomenal as it's transaction process has a massively bloated built in Proof Of Work system.
Every transaction requires the same amount of energy as nine US homes use in a day.
And it's make work not even processing to do something useful like predict weather/climate, cure cancer or other diseases. It's a complete waste of processing power and energy.
Making processing power more efficient doesn't change anything. Mining difficulty will automatically adjust accordingly.
The only relevant parameter is energy costs. These must not exceed a total of 12.5 × 6 × <price per pitchoin>/hour for all miners. Currently, this is 1.1 million dollars per hour or an equivalent of 0.75% of the global oil production.
This is completely insane.
> The stupid Luddite environmentalists want to keep us burning coal.
Eh? Virtually all of the environmental groups opposed to nuclear are *also* opposed to coal. And several environmental groups are pro-nuclear, but still opposed to coal.
I guess you could make a cryptocurrency that uses a neural net to try to create more efficient solar panels.
It would be a huge waste of energy, but at least that energy would actually being used for something.