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Secrets of Cryptocurrency: Energy Consumption

06 September 2023 13:41, UTC

Cryptocurrency mining has been making headlines not only for its potential profits but also for its remarkable energy consumption. The process of mining involves solving complex mathematical puzzles that require huge amounts of computational power, leading to a surge in electricity usage. Across the globe, large-scale mining farms are popping up rapidly, gobbling up vast amounts of energy resources.

Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, is particularly notorious for its high energy demands. The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance estimates that Bitcoin’s total power consumption exceeds that of some small countries. This staggering figure raises concerns about sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the mining process.

Bitcoin: Most Energy Consuming

Cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, poses a significant concern due to its astonishing energy consumption. With an annual estimated consumption of 127 terawatt-hours (TWh), it surpasses the energy usage of numerous countries, including Norway. Moreover, ExpressVPN Gaming team revealed it would take over 1,000 years of charging a phone to meet the energy equivalent of transacting a single Bitcoin. This high energy demand translates into serious environmental consequences. In the United States alone, cryptocurrency activities are responsible for emitting a staggering 25 to 50 million tons of CO2 annually — equivalent to the emissions resulting from diesel fuel utilized by US railroads in a year. According to The Guardian, Bitcoin mining’s energy consumption has grown substantially over the years, with current usage being 66 times higher than in 2015.

The colossal energy requirements of cryptocurrencies have caught the attention of environmentalists and sustainability advocates globally. Bitcoin mining relies on powerful computers solving complex mathematical problems, and immense amounts of electricity are essential to maintain this process. This voracious energy appetite is highly problematic as it contributes substantially to greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbates climate change.

How Bitcoin Mining Uses Energy

In the world of cryptocurrency mining, specialized computer hardware called application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) plays a crucial role. These ASICs are designed specifically for this purpose and can carry a hefty price tag of up to $10,000 per unit. However, their high energy consumption has attracted backlash from various environmental organizations concerned about sustainability.

The immense power requirements of these ASICs not only contribute to increasing electricity bills for miners but also have an adverse impact on the environment. Critics argue that the significant energy consumption involved in cryptocurrency mining exacerbates climate change and undermines efforts towards achieving sustainable energy goals.

Environmental Impact

Crypto mining operations consume vast amounts of electricity, with estimates suggesting that Bitcoin’s carbon footprint rivals that of some small countries. This alarming reality raises concerns about the sustainability and long-term viability of cryptocurrencies. Moreover, the high energy demand intensifies reliance on fossil fuels, exacerbating greenhouse gas emissions and contributing to global warming.

Price volatility in the crypto market also presents challenges for climate action. The unpredictable fluctuations make it difficult for renewable energy providers and investors in green technologies to plan and allocate resources effectively. This uncertainty inhibits the growth of clean energy infrastructure as potential stakeholders hesitate due to financial risks associated with crypto investments.


In conclusion, the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies is a complex issue that cannot be ignored. While the decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies offers numerous benefits, it also comes at a high cost in terms of energy usage. As the popularity and adoption of cryptocurrencies continue to grow, it is crucial for individuals and organizations to be aware of the environmental impact. Efforts must be made to find sustainable solutions and promote the use of renewable energy sources in cryptocurrency mining.