It is estimated that one Bitcoin transaction takes 1544 kWh to be processed.
Quick back of the envelope calculation: with that energy my car can run for 7125 km, so basically a short drive from Brussels, Belgium to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Cryptobros in my mentions: don't waste your time. You won't convert me to your funny Internet tokens cult, the "correct" estimates you provide as refutation are still horrendous, no matter how you look at it you can't hide these simple facts:
- Blockchains are not suitable for financial transactions.
- Coins are not currency, they are commodities.
- Banks are not going anywhere.
@jkb that's not even the worst part in my mind.
The energy usage per block basically grows to whatever miners can justify to spend in order to get the reward (so follows bitcoin price).
This means that if the price is higher this week it's also more wasteful this week. And it'll keep getting worse the higher the price goes. And the price can pretty much only go up cause of limited supply and growing demand. It's the dictionary definition of unsustainable. It cannot keep going.
@jkb and cryptocurrency people will claim that it'll replace real systems of currency, but it can't scale on energy usage OR speed so all it has got going for it is a history of growing resale value. That's not a currency.
@rune It is horribly broken by design and cannot serve as a currency indeed, which is why I dismissed it as a funny thought experiment back in 2010-ish instead of buying 500 funny internet token and holding onto them.
Which is also why I drive a Skoda and not a Koenigsegg
@jkb ouch! Last winter the fan on the outdoor compressor of my HVAC seized. It was basically chewing through gobs of electricity and ejecting it outside in the form of waste heat. That has been the highest power usage month the entire time I've owned this house. I went back and looked: 1375 KWh.
Even at my absolute worst I can't waste as much power in _one month_ as a single Bitcoin transaction.
@jkb It actually took a few months to degrade to the point where I noticed, and yeah, they were impressi-bad.
@mxtthxw According to Digiconomist a couple years ago, the current figure is substantially higher: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption
I picked the lowest estimate I could find, the numbers are insanely high enough as is
@mxtthxw Also note that I picked *my* car for this valculation, which is a plug-in hybrid estate. So not the lightest of electric cars, and certainly not the most efficient. This is not cherry-picked to make BTC look bad, quite the opposite actually, but even then it's properly horrendous.
@jkb given the number of transactions taking place on LND and C Lightning I'm not too sure the figure's that accurate, it also makes no distinction between transaction size.
These are important points to consider when calculating the energy consumption of the network.
More importantly why do you want to drive to Kabul? It's a bit grim at the moment.
@jkb this year's energy consumption likely to be closer to 110TWh.
Whilst obviously significant, also significantly different to the estimate given hence my questioning of the data.
@mxtthxw Digiconomist figures are provided with methodology details and source data, along with criticism of both the method and the source data.
Even a lower estimate of 110 TWh would be insanely high, it's equivalent to what The Netherlands use. There are 17 million people in The Netherlands.
@mxtthxw The method and data are provided in great details, go there and Do Your Own Research™ if you'd like. Once again: even the lower figure you provide is a disaster, this cannot be skewed into anything nice no matter hpw hard you try.
@jkb Research comparing real use data provided within the last 24 hours vs. a 4 year projection that's over 50% off. Obvs TYOR...
Would you consider Cambridge University a reputable research resource?
@jkb So in a world of close to 9 billion people, just 17 million in the Netherlands are using 0.1% of the world's energy consumption?
I'm starting beef with Holland...
Not many 4 year projections re acuarte. BTW, I'm not a 'cryptobro trying to convert you' just someone on the internet with contrarian data. Different thing entirely :)
Currently reading Noise by Daniel Kahneman, it provides some interesting info on statistical noise, well worth a read.
@mxtthxw Not saying *you* are, just saying that even a more conservative figure is still extremely high when you put it in persoective.
Perspective is what I was going for in my original calculation, I have no plan of going to Kabul anytime soon
@jkb I hope not, all the evidence I've seen involving SUVs driving to Kabul have had devastating consequences.
I'd be interested to know the yearly power consumption of the US military, now there's a truly horrifying statistic :(
These "one transaction" comparisons also miss a fundamental aspect of Bitcoin. Either due to ignorance or perhaps because it fits a certain narrative.
One transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain isn't necessarily one transaction, it can represent potentially millions of transactions done on higher levels (e.g. Lightning network) that use Bitcoin as a settlement layer.
The proof of work that underlies Bitcoin's security and value is done by computers making hashes.
What underlies the security and value of fiat currencies?
Men with guns.
In the case of the global reserve fiat currency (petrodollar), it's men with guns who control access to oil.
How much energy do those men with guns use? Not to mention all the people being murdered in order to control the oil flow.
I haven't seen anyone being hashed to death by a computer yet.
@jcbrand @mxtthxw @jkb Yes, you could theoretically surpass VISA capacity for very little money by spinning up a bunch of Lightning Nodes on cloud VMs and doing txs over fee-less private channels. Except that credit card txs are not final, involve 3 middlemen between sender and receiver, and the receiver has to wait multiple days for settlement.
@mxtthxw @jkb If you think bitcoin mining is a problem in the grand scheme of things, then either you haven't looked at much global energy data yet, or you intentionally choose to ignore all or most of it. What's worse, you will potentially support policies that will stop progress in developing countries and prolong real human suffering among the poorest. Overall, we need *more* energy, not less. And production of it is increasing *much faster* than what bitcoin mining will ever consume.
@raucao @mxtthxw @jkb The digiconomist 'analysis' is well known to be utter drivel, but I'm more interested in Rau cao's line of reasoning here. I continue to be staggered by the idiocy of *almost* everyone with this Malthusian nonsense. As if human society is going to progress by stopping using energy.
The whole renewables thing is different. Clearly the future, although some flavour of nuclear is important Energy density matters for some use cases; fission/fusion can't be competed with there.
@waxwing @raucao @mxtthxw @jkb the interesting question really is: what portion of energy will humanity devote to securing bitcoin? What will be the trend through time, will that portion eventually level off? Keep increasing? Decrease?
Funny to see people moralizing it on both sides (for/against).
Hmm, how long until the capital is there to fund a nuclear-powered bitcoin mine? I can only imagine the outcry against something like that..
> the interesting question really is: what portion of energy will humanity devote to securing bitcoin?
couldn't agree more, I've been wondering that for many years. guess it's a function of security offered (you know, like this kind of stuff: https://reyify.com/blog/pow-a-pictorial-essay#the-same-in-modern-human-society ).
> Hmm, how long until the capital is there to fund a nuclear-powered bitcoin mine?
Pretty sure it already happened, maybe Russia, Ukraine(?) - though small deal up till now.
@raucao Funny internet tokens stop being funny when they have the same electricity consumption as an actual country without bringing anything of value to anyone who's not an already rich whale, that is my point.
The experiment has run for more than a decade, we know how wasteful it is, we know how inefficient it is, we know how it cannot scale. We know it should have stopped long before but it won't because of speculation, which feeds itself TO THE MOON. All this makes me sad.
@jkb Wow! I thought you were just a little bit ignorant about something you hadn't researched enough when I first replied. But the amount of obviously and provably false assertions and conclusions you just wrote up there is truly staggering. It's well too much BS for me to refute in even a few posts, and I don't actually care about the opinions of rich Westeners unwilling to understand the world they inhabit, or consider the lives of half of humanity. Have a nice day! I'm out.
@jkb Bitcoin was the first blockchain design and has received only minor improvements in the last 10 years.
Modern blockchains moved away from proof-of-work and generally scale much better, although still not at the level of credit card networks (which cost us 2-5% in transaction fees).
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