In the first rigorously peer-reviewed article quantifying
Bitcoin’s energy requirements, a Commentary appearing May 16 in
the journal Joule, financial economist and blockchain specialist
Alex de Vries uses a new methodology to pinpoint where Bitcoin’s
electric energy consumption is headed and how soon it might get
His estimates, based in economics, put the minimum current usage
of the Bitcoin network at 2.55 gigawatts, which means it uses
almost as much electricity as Ireland. A single transaction uses
as much electricity as an average household in the Netherlands
uses in a month. By the end of this year, he predicts the network
could be using as much as 7.7 gigawatts — as much as Austria and
half of a percent of the world’s total consumption.
This is not going to end well.