University of Cambridge launches Bitcoin electricity consumption index

05 Jul, 2019
by Alberto Arnaldo
Mining
University of Cambridge launches Bitcoin electricity consumption index

The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) was officially launched on the 2nd of July. According to the official release, it is intended to provide a real-time estimate of the total annual electricity usage of the Bitcoin network, enabling comparisons with alternative electricity uses.

Although the model accounts for variables such as energy efficiency and lifetime of more than 60 different mining hardware equipment, the researchers themselves acknowledge the scarcity of reliable estimates of Bitcoin´s electricity usage.

In fact, the numbers provided by the CBECI are a mere best-guess estimate taking into account an upper and a lower bound of consumption. As it can be observed by the graph below, at simple sight standard deviation appears to be an issue for the reliability of the model, given the great swings in consumptions bounds.

Another interesting section of the project presented this week by the University of Cambridge is the one where comparisons are made with more tangible dimensions. For example, the world´s hydroelectric output could power the entire Bitcoin network 69 times.

Bitcoin is also compared to countries in terms of energy consumption. With the current estimate of 60.45 TWh per year, Bitcoin currently ranks right between Switzerland and Czech Republic.

The oddest comparison of the study puts side to side the power consumed by tea kettles used to boil water against that used by Bitcoin: all the kettles of the United Kingdom could be running for 11 years with the energy consumed by the Bitcoin network in one year.

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Read more about: Bitcoin (BTC) Mining

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