Every single Bitcoin transaction – even just buying a Flat White – consumes at least $100 worth of electricity, a new report has found.
The study, which was conducted by MoneySuperMarket worked out the kWh cost per transaction for various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum 2.0, Cardano, Dogecoin and XRP.
The most sobering part of the study (for those that reckon Bitcoin could be useful in the future as a transaction tool), was as follows: even small transactions, like buying a chocolate bar, or paying for lunch at a cafe, require a substantial amount of electricity.
The report found that each Bitcoin transaction guzzles 1,173-kilowatt hours of electricity. To put this into perspective, that amount of energy could power the typical UK home for more than three months at a cost of roughly £125 ($173), based on a fixed cost of £0.11 ($0.148) per kWh, the study’s authors claim.
Likewise, in the U.S, “it would equate to roughly 6 weeks of electricity based on an average household electricity usage of 877 kWh per month (U.S Energy Information Administration),” the authors add.
“Based on the number of Bitcoin transactions that took place over a 12 month period, we estimate that the total energy usage to be roughly 123 Terawatt Hours (TWh) or 123 billion kWh. This means that Bitcoin alone uses more energy than 185 countries and is comparable to the annual energy consumption of Norway.”
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There you have it: yet more evidence that Bitcoin is likely to be used as a store of value and a hedge against inflation (much like gold) in the years ahead – but probably not a daily transaction tool.
It certainly has its place in the crypto market as the Grand Daddy, but faster, less energy-intensive coins like Cardano and Ripple (or if Elon Musk and Mark Cuban have their way, Dogecoin), or new coins that even beat the aforementioned sustainable coins at their own game, are likely to be the ones used for transaction/currency purposes.