Friday, July 7th 2017

Cryptocurrency Mining Consumes More Power Than 17M Population Country

So, yes, the headline is accurate. We all know that cryptocurrency mining has now reached an all time high, which has affected availability and pricing of most graphics cards from both AMD and NVIDIA. Who doesn't want to make a quick buck here and there? So long as it's profitable, right?

Well, that kind of thinking has already brought the global mining power consumption to unprecedented levels (some might also say demented.) The two top cryptocurrencies right now (by market-cap), Bitcoin and Ethereum, are each responsible for 14.54 TWh and 4.69 TWh power consumption figures. As of now, Ethereum consumes almost as much power as the 120th most power-consuming country, Moldova, which has a population of around 3 million. Bitcoin, on the other hand, stands at 81st on the list, in-between Mozambique and Turkmenistan, the latter of which has a population estimated at 5.17 million people. Combined, Ethereum and Bitcoin consume more power than Syria, which had an estimated 2014 population above 17 million.
Ethereum mining consumes more than 8x the power it takes to run the entire VISA network, while Bitcoin consumes almost 27x as much (this shows how much more efficient centralized systems are. This is the cost of transparency and doing away with the trusted third party.) Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology in general have come to stay, and they will change the world (I am a staunch believer in that myself.) However, this goes to show that the current Proof of Work (PoW) design is unfeasible in the long-run - especially if blockchain technology does want to achieve a global scale. Proof of Stake anyone?

Sources: Digiconomist, ETeknix, Moldova Wiki, Turkmenistan Wiki
Add your own comment

101 Comments on Cryptocurrency Mining Consumes More Power Than 17M Population Country

#2
R0H1T
Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology in general have come to stay, and they will change the world
So long as you need real money in the end, any crypto xyz currency will not do what it was intended for.
They aren't any better than digital mobile wallets IMO & you simply cannot justify the associated (power) costs, they're also highly speculative in nature (google ETH flash crash) & as such will not replace any real currency anytime soon.
Posted on Reply
#3
9700 Pro
Where's Earth Hour when you need it..
Posted on Reply
#4
theoneandonlymrk
Kind of a narrow angled approach to it but its better then nothing i suppose.
Posted on Reply
#5
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
It should be noted that Visa has a lot more concurrent users and processes a lot more transactions than cryptocurrency does too. I don't want to know how much cryptocurrency would use if it had as many users/transactions as Visa, nevermind MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Posted on Reply
#6
Tomgang
I mine with my two GTX 970 and soon a GTX 1080 TI joining forces. Who needs polar bears any way, it dosent matter if the poles are melting. I hate winter any way. More CO2 please :p

Alright joke aside. I dont mine, but others deffently do and some with mine park that has 7-8 GPU´s or more and if there milions of miners out there letting a bunch of GPU´s running at full throttle 24/7 i am not shocked by these numbers al throw they are very high.

And another problem coming from miners besides its hard to find a desent GPU. Every of the most popular GPU´s are sold out that includes GTX 1060/1070/1080 while GTX 1080 TI dosent seems to be effected so much and its the same story with AMD cards. Prices are as you all know also climed up and that is in my country to point where a GTX 1080 is chokingly close to a GTX 1080 TI from the same producent and brand even.
Posted on Reply
#7
Dj-ElectriC
So lets see.

Mining hurts gamers, it also hurts the environment.
Very nice.
Posted on Reply
#8
mouacyk
Dj-ElectriC said:
So lets see.

Mining hurts gamers, it also hurts the environment.
Very nice.
The way to mine right is to use energy harnessed from solar panels. Most other means of providing energy for mining produces unwanted waste. Crypto currencies are great at hiding the true current cost of mining, and people usually caught in the dazzle aren't aware.
Posted on Reply
#9
Mescalamba
Its not really profitable, but its worth "playing the stocks". Just near impossible to predict moves and also seems to be prone to be hacked now and then..
Posted on Reply
#10
RejZoR
Everyone bitching about global warming and here we have idiots computing a chain of useless numbers to generate money (while consuming hundreds of gigawats of power). Yeah, that's really eco...
Posted on Reply
#11
kruk
mouacyk said:
The way to mine right is to use energy harnessed from solar panels. Most other means of providing energy for mining produces unwanted waste. Crypto currencies are great at hiding the true current cost of mining, and people usually caught in the dazzle aren't aware.
You would be surprised how environmentally unfriendly solar panels are. Their production uses energy/water and produces waste, and their disposal is problematic because of all the metals they contain.

I see only one proper use of mining: warming the house/flat in cold winter :).
Posted on Reply
#13
xrealm20
Wonder how many TWh's are spent on Air Conditioning.... Not including mining.
Posted on Reply
#14
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
The bulk of electrical energy consumption is a combination of heating and cooling. Not just air, water heating and food preservation as well.
Posted on Reply
#15
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Hold on I'm trying to find a care to give.
Posted on Reply
#16
R-T-B
FordGT90Concept said:
Yay, I'm not the only one doing this math! :D It's worse than I guesstimated. :cry:
I am curious how this is calculated, however. Outside of China proper, direct bitcoin mining is dead. It is always done via another coin. How do they gauge that?

@FordGT90Concept, I have done some thinking on our discussion, and I think you had some points. More coming in an editorial later today.

cdawall said:
Hold on I'm trying to find a care to give.
It's attitudes like this that are going to get us regulated out the wazoo, and have your holdings become worthless. My guess is you MIGHT care then.
Posted on Reply
#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
If you know the production rate, it's pretty easy to calculate the cost, in terms of watt-hours, from that. For example, if it takes, on average, 100 GwH to get one bitcoin and there's a bitcoin being found every hour globally, then there's theoretically 100 Gw worth of hardware running out there mining.

Of course these conclusions can only be based on broad estimates looking at what hardware is most popular and how most miners power it. I don't see a range on their estimates but my guess is it is pretty broad. As I surmised in the post in the other thread, we also don't know if they're weighing in the addition AC load in the northern hemisphere (summer).

Point is: it is a LOT of electricity.


Might want to look at the first source cited, provided here for convenience:
http://digiconomist.net/ethereum-energy-consumption

Sadly, it doesn't cite any sources (other than IEA's energy consumption by country) or methodology.


Edit: Without citing sources and methodology, I have little faith this is remotely accurate. This is certainly not a scientific study.
Posted on Reply
#18
yotano211
BUT BUT I provide jobs to people when I mine.

Honestly I really dont care about how much power I use. This world is already dead and dying, the only way for planet Earth to get better and bring down all of the CO2 exhaust is to delete the human race. This comes from a person who drivers a 2012 Prius getting 51mpg. I dont drive that car to reduce my CO2 consumption or save the environment blah blah. I drive it because it was cheap at the time I bought it, 5 months ago and it saves my business lots of money on business expenses, I driver about 35k miles per year. That car replaced a 2005 Prius with 392k miles on it.
Posted on Reply
#19
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
R-T-B said:
It's attitudes like this that are going to get us regulated out the wazoo, and have your holdings become worthless. My guess is you MIGHT care then
See the thing is who is going to regulate a currency with no home of origin? They can't ban it in the US it has grown to big political contributors are making money on it now.
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
cdawall said:
See the thing is who is going to regulate a currency with no home of origin? They can't ban it in the US it has grown to big political contributors are making money on it now.
People don't see to get that but yeah, I think a ban is impossible now. Regulation is the most that could happen.
Posted on Reply
#21
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Destroy the network and the cryptocurrency is gone.
Posted on Reply
#22
R-T-B
FordGT90Concept said:
Destroy the network and the cryptocurrency is gone.
You may as well threaten to destroy BitTorrent.

You can't. Not easily or worth it anyways. And people won't because significant holders now exist everywhere who would stand to lose a ton.

You can regulate. That's all you can hope for at this point.

FordGT90Concept said:
If you know the production rate, it's pretty easy to calculate the cost, in terms of watt-hours, from that. For example, if it takes, on average, 100 GwH to get one bitcoin and there's a bitcoin being found every hour globally, then there's theoretically 100 Gw worth of hardware running out there mining.
That's REALLY questionable.

Are we talking ASICs direct mining bitcoin? GPUs direct mining? GPUs mining another coin and exchanging it for bitcoin? All are mining bitcoin, all at VERY different energy levels. One of these I just listed takes almost 100X as much as the rest.
Posted on Reply
#23
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Remember the SMB exploit (e.g. WannaCrypt)? *Any* broad reaching exploit could be used to attack cryptocurrencies.

Attack on the software itself? There's too many ways to go about this to list here.

Deceit? Already happened repeatedly and it's not going to stop happening. Worst part is that honest people have no means to recover what they lost.

Direct network attacks? It's not difficult for network routers to pick up on cryptocurrency protocols and redirect/destroy the traffic. If peers can't communicate, the system is effectively shut down. Securing the network requires centralization (authentication servers) which defeats the purpose of it existing in the first place.


Read the article. They put the price of Bitcoin at $0.05/kwH and Ethereum at $0.12/kwH. Ethereum costs signicantly more because it is "ASIC-resistant." It stands to reason that the only reason why people do cryptocurrency is for profit so the bulk of those participating will be doing it using the most efficient means available. They at least took ASIC vs GPU into consideration.
Posted on Reply
#24
R-T-B
FordGT90Concept said:
Remember the SMB exploit (e.g. WannaCrypt)? *Any* broad reaching exploit could be used to attack cryptocurrencies.
Considering bitcoin really only accepts SHA-256 nonce hash counts on a port, no, I really doubt that. This also limits attacks on the software itself.

Crypto users tend to be security minded. Ransomware originated in their community to target mining rigs, actually. It didn't gain much traction.


FordGT90Concept said:
Read the article. They put the price of Bitcoin at $0.05/kwH and Ethereum at $0.12/kwH. Ethereum costs signicantly more because it is "ASIC-resistant." It stands to reason that the only reason why people do cryptocurrency is for profit so the bulk of those participating will be doing it using the most efficient means available. They at least took ASIC vs GPU into consideration.
I don't dispute that it's expensive, but I do dispute that they can detect the end coin the user is going for.

Nearly everyone mining on this forum is mining bitcoin. No one however, is mining it directly and thus is being counted in this survey.

If anything Ford, the numbers are higher and more disturbing.
Posted on Reply
#25
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
R-T-B said:
People don't see to get that but yeah, I think a ban is impossible now. Regulation is the most that could happen.
How do you regulate a network on multiple continents are we going to try and regulate the Pirate Bay as well?
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment