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Blockchain Energy Consumption

Bitcoin Blockchain Consumes A Lot Of Energy Engineers Changing That

Bitcoin Blockchain Consumes A Lot Of Energy Engineers Changing That

Innovators from top institutions such as M.I.T. and Cornell University and tech titans such as IBM and Intel are developing a number of "green" blockchain innovations to address demand by businesses for blockchain that streamlines transactions of all sorts. Blockchain can help automate transactions and records those transactions on a tamper-proof digital record available to all participants in a network. Energy efficiency allows blockchain to scale for business needs, developers said. That means processing significantly more transactions per second at minimal cost, while accommodating an ever-expanding user base. The potential reward has spurred a race to develop the winning blockchain solutions for companies and organizations. "The people who come out with the winning algorithms are going to capture a substantial portion of the many billions of dollars that go into back-end systems," Cornell's Sirer said. "We are in a phase where a thousand blockchains will bloom. And the markets will decide on a few winners." Bitcoin's cousin ethereum is trying to position itself to be one of those winners among the business community. Developers have created a new blockchain that would reduce its energy consumption to almost zero and allow it to scale as well as improve security, said Mike Goldin, a software engineer at ConsenSys, which builds applications on top of ethereum. "If we get to a place where ethereum scales 10,000 X, a million X, but it's using a million X energy ... game over," Goldin said. "We'd have to drain the power of the sun to power this blockchain. If we scale ethereum, but we don't also scale the power consumption, it's useless." The move will further set ethereum apart from bitcoin, with whom it currently shares a similar blockchain algorithm called proof-of-w Continue reading >>

Bitcoins Insane Energy Consumption, Explained

Bitcoins Insane Energy Consumption, Explained

Sign up or login to join the discussions! Bitcoins insane energy consumption, explained One estimate suggests the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy as Denmark. The skyrocketing value of Bitcoin is leading to soaring energy consumption. According to one widely cited website that tracks the subject, the Bitcoin network is consuming power at an annual rate of 32TWhabout as much as Denmark. By the site's calculations, each Bitcoin transaction consumes 250kWh, enough to power homes for nine days. Naturally, this is leading to concerns about sustainability. Eric Holthaus, a writer for Grist, projects that, at current growth rates, the Bitcoin network will "use as much electricity as the entire world does today" by early 2020. "This is an unsustainable trajectory," he writes. Global energy production obviously can't double in two years, and it would be an environmental disaster if it did. Fortunately, while the Bitcoin network consumes a ridiculous amount of energy, particularly on a per-transaction basis, the situation isn't as dire as critics like Holthaus claim. Bitcoin's energy consumption won't necessarily march steadily upward. Indeed, Bitcoin's energy consumption is designed to fall in the long run. And Bitcoin's energy consumption isn't tied to the number of transactions the network handles. That means that increasing use of the network won't necessarily impose a high environmental cost. The Bitcoin network consumes massive amounts of energy Bitcoin miningthe process that generates new bitcoins while maintaining the network's shared transaction ledgeris a secretive global industry.No one knows exactly how much energy it consumes. However, we can make some educated guesses. For starters, we know the industry's revenue: Bitcoin miners currently generate75 bitcoins Continue reading >>

Bitcoins Energy Usage Is Huge We Can't Afford To Ignore It

Bitcoins Energy Usage Is Huge We Can't Afford To Ignore It

Bitcoins energy usage is huge we can't afford to ignore it The cryptocurrency uses as much CO2 a year as 1m transatlantic flights. We need to take it seriously as a climate threat Last modified on Wed 14 Feb 2018 11.54EST Bitcoin mining computers are pictured in Bitmains mining farm near Keflavik, Iceland.Photograph: Jemima Kelly/Reuters Bitcoins electricity usage is enormous. In November, the power consumed by the entire bitcoin network was estimated to be higher than that of the Republic of Ireland. Since then, its demands have only grown. Its now on pace to use just over 42TWh of electricity in a year, placing it ahead of New Zealand and Hungary and just behind Peru, according to estimates from Digiconomist . Thats commensurate with CO2 emissions of 20 megatonnes or roughly 1m transatlantic flights. That fact should be a grave notion to anyone who hopes for the cryptocurrency to grow further in stature and enter widespread usage. But even more alarming is that things could get much, much worse, helping to increase climate change in the process. Burning huge amounts of electricity isnt incidental to bitcoin: instead, its embedded into the innermost core of the currency, as the operation known as mining. In simplified terms, bitcoin mining is a competition to waste the most electricity possible by doing pointless arithmetic quintillions of times a second. What is bitcoin and is it a bad investment? Bitcoin is the first, and the biggest, cryptocurrency a decentralised tradeable digital asset. Whether it is a bad investment is the big question. Bitcoin can only be used as a medium of exchange and in practice has been far more important for the dark economy than it has for most legitimate uses. The lack of any central authority makes bitcoin remarkably resilient to censo Continue reading >>

The Blockchain Isn't Doomed To Become An Energy Hog

The Blockchain Isn't Doomed To Become An Energy Hog

The blockchain isn't doomed to become an energy hog Much ado has been made of blockchain technology's role as an ally of corporate sustainability teams and distributed energy advocates. Unilever, Nestle and Walmart are testing food safety and provenance applications, Siemens and IBM are developing services , and utilities ranging from Engie to Centrica are backing a much-ballyhooed framework to accelerate grid-related uses. The organization behind the latter work is Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a partnership between Rocky Mountain Institute and Grid Singularity. On Monday it revealed it has snagged $14 million in funding and more than a dozen more strategic partners, including Duke Energy, Exelon and PG&E, with total backing exceeding $17 million. That's just a drop in the bucket when you consider the money being allocated to blockchain experiments. For those companies and many others for that matter, the blockchain the digital verification and transaction system originally created for bitcoin but now promoted as an enabler for dozens of other applications has become something akin to the Holy Grail. In the best-case scenarios touted by technologists across the corporate sustainability world, the blockchain promises to scale data collection and transparency dramatically across supply chains or to enable completely new peer-to-peer energy trading markets. Organizations such as the ones listed above are investing in development projects and startups to test out those theories. The problem is that, at the moment, only about a fifth of the electricity used in the worlds data centers comes from renewable sources, and that's not good enough. But critics are urging early adopters to step back and consider the side effects especially where these potentially vast digital networ Continue reading >>

Will Energy Consumption Bring The Bitcoin-blockchain Gravy Train To A Grinding Halt?

Will Energy Consumption Bring The Bitcoin-blockchain Gravy Train To A Grinding Halt?

Will Energy Consumption Bring the Bitcoin-Blockchain Gravy Train to a Grinding Halt? Last edited: January 29, 2018 @ 10:47 PM PST Along with the skyrocketing value and gyrations in exchange prices of Bitcoin and other, popular digital cryptocurrencies, recent developments and events have raised serious doubts regarding much-touted claims that blockchain distributed trading and transaction systems are as secure and tamper-proof as they are made out to be. Furthermore, serious doubts are being raised regarding the claim that blockchain transaction processing is a more efficient, and hence less time consuming and less expensive, means of high-volume transactions processing, be it buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, stocks, bonds, derivatives or myriad other goods or services, including energy. SEE ALSO: Recent News, Events Raise Serious Concerns Regarding Blockchain Energy Networks Just shy of 15 US households (14.88) could be powered by the electricity used to process just one Bitcoin, according to Digiconomists Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index . With the price of a Bitcoin skyrocketing, it cost US$42 to send just one Bitcoin to another party as of mid-August 2017. That wasnt considered expensive, given that Bitcoin transaction fees fluctuate based on several factors, including the number of computer processing-fueled miners competing to process new Bitcoin transaction blocks, Mashable highlights in an Aug. 28 blog post . Median and average Bitcoin Transaction fees over the last 3 months. Click here to view the full-sized image. | Source: BLOCKCHAIR Bitcoin mining consumes more energy than all that consumed in Argentina at present, according to a market research note Morgan Stanley distributed to clients Jan. 17. Furthermore, the investment banks analysts have determ Continue reading >>

Blockchains Use Massive Amounts Of Energybut Theres A Plan To Fix That

Blockchains Use Massive Amounts Of Energybut Theres A Plan To Fix That

Blockchains Use Massive Amounts of EnergyBut Theres a Plan to Fix That Making cryptocurrencies less energy-hungry will mean reengineering how blockchains work. Its a staple of any argument over whether Bitcoin has a long-term future: Yeah, super-cool that it eliminates the need for a trusted authority when exchanging value. But do you realize how much energy it uses? A self-driving Uber has killed a pedestrian in Arizona Its true. It's been estimated that Bitcoin guzzles about as much electricity annually as all of Nigeria. Ethereum gulps electrons too, as do most other cryptocurrencies. As bad as that sounds, though, theres reason to believe a solution may be at hand. This piece appears in our new twice-weekly newsletter, Chain Letter, which covers the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Sign up here its free! Before we get to that, though, lets talk about miners. Blockchains get a lot of love, but they are only shared sets of data. What brings cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum to life is the way all the computers in their networks agree, over and over, that what a blockchain says is true. To do this, they use an algorithm called a consensus mechanism. Youve probably heard it called mining. (See: What Bitcoin Is, and Why It Matters ) Cryptocurrency miners do much more than unlock new coins. In the process, they check the blockchain to make sure people arent spending coins fraudulently, and they add new lists of transactionsthe blocksto the chain. Its the second step, meant to secure the blockchain from attacks, that guzzles electricity. Ultimately, the miners must transform each list of most recent transactions into a signature that can serve as proof that the information is true. All miners can do this, using a cryptographic tool that takes any input a Continue reading >>

Blockchain In The Energy Transition: Hope Or Hype?

Blockchain In The Energy Transition: Hope Or Hype?

Reetz says as long as the number of households is small the verification process uses a manageable amount of power. "But as the structure grows, the process will become more costly," he warns. Still, according to Reetz, "the biggest constraint" is not lack of computing power, but the need "to find prosumers who would be willing to participate." What's needed isn't just technological progress, but a change in mentality from thinking of the power system as a supply we passively plug into, to a network in which each user plays an active role. At this point, individual customers in the German market are still more interested in "a sturdy energy supply," than its means of its delivery, Reetz says. But he adds that the situation is "changing really fast." Cornefert is cautious in his expectations, calling blockchain "an enabler for the industry" that "provides transparency by giving you options." Reetz on the other hand, sees it as "the TCP/IP protocol" of the energy system, referring to the protocolwhich revolutionized the internet. And experience gained in the energy system could be applied way beyond it. "In a couple of years," Reetz says, "we probably won't betalking about blockchain anymore, but about the applications built on it" applications that embrace everything from data storage to online voting. 8 green-tech innovations you need to know about With every kick and pass, soccer players in Lagos, Nigeria, are powering the flood lights on their own pitch. Special tiles capture kinetic energy, which is transformed into off-grid electricity. UK-based company Pavegen, the mastermind behind the Lagos soccer field, has also installed power-generating walkways in London airports and public squares in Washington D.C. 8 green-tech innovations you need to know about Milk is co Continue reading >>

One Bitcoin Transaction Now Uses As Much Energy As Your House In A Week

One Bitcoin Transaction Now Uses As Much Energy As Your House In A Week

One Bitcoin Transaction Now Uses as Much Energy as Your House in a Week Bitcoins surge in price has sent its electricity consumption soaring. Bitcoin's incredible price run to break over $7,000 this year has sent its overall electricity consumption soaring, as people worldwide bring more energy-hungry computers online to mine the digital currency. An index from cryptocurrency analyst Alex de Vries, aka Digiconomist , estimates that with prices the way they are now, it would be profitable for Bitcoin miners to burn through over 24 terawatt-hours of electricity annually as they compete to solve increasingly difficult cryptographic puzzles to "mine" more Bitcoins. That's about as much as Nigeria, a country of 186 million people, uses in a year. This averages out to a shocking 215 kilowatt-hours (KWh) of juice used by miners for each Bitcoin transaction (there are currently about 300,000 transactions per day). Since the average American household consumes 901 KWh per month , each Bitcoin transfer represents enough energy to run a comfortable house, and everything in it, for nearly a week. On a larger scale, De Vries' index shows that bitcoin miners worldwide could be using enough electricity to at any given time to power about 2.26 million American homes. Expressing Bitcoin's energy use on a per-transaction basis is a useful abstraction. Bitcoin uses x energy in total, and this energy verifies/secures roughly 300k transactions per day. So this measure shows the value we get for all that electricity, since the verified transaction (and our confidence in it) is ultimately the end product. It's worth asking ourselves hard questions about Bitcoin's environmental footprint Since 2015 , Bitcoin's electricity consumption has been very high compared to conventional digital payment Continue reading >>

How Big Is Blockchain's Carbon Footprint?

How Big Is Blockchain's Carbon Footprint?

How Big Is Blockchain's Carbon Footprint? Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Whats the carbon footprint of blockchain technology? originally appeared on Quora : the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. Answer by Michael Barnard , Low-carbon Innovation Strategist, on Quora : Whats the carbon footprint of blockchain technology? Bitcoin is a bubble. There are three things which drive its absurd power use: artificial scarcity leading to many, many miners, its increasingly hard competition for the remaining few million coins and its proof-of-work approach to immutability and validity. Theres no inherent value in Bitcoin, its slow to transact and its expensive to transact. It will turn into a rarely turned over asset like fine art paintings in a specialty market, but will peak soon if it hasnt already. Proof-of-work is an already obsolete approach to the Byzantine Generals Problem. The Bitcoin problem, in other words is a multiplying problem: high energy to discover the solution * many, many people trying to discover the solution * proof-of-work. Its inefficient and inelegant from a resources perspective, while being elegant as a first mover on the Byzantine Generals problem. Ethereum is bubbly but its consumption is about to drop radically. It has been using proof-of-work, but is about to move to its Casper proof-of-stake model which will reduce mining competition and the like substantially. Ethereums electricity consumption will drop by orders of magnitude. Casper will be a hard fork so while the old stuff will still be around, its problems will become more and more apparent. There will be a lot of secondary coins created on the Ethereum model which wont follow the hard fork, but th Continue reading >>

There Is Nothing Virtual About Bitcoins Energy Appetite

There Is Nothing Virtual About Bitcoins Energy Appetite

Technology |There Is Nothing Virtual About Bitcoins Energy Appetite An employee at a Bitmain facility in Inner Mongolia, one of the biggest Bitcoin farms in the world. Credit Giulia Marchi for The New York Times SAN FRANCISCO Creating a new Bitcoin requires electricity. A lot of it. In the virtual currency world this creation process is called mining. There is no physical digging, since Bitcoins are purely digital. But the computer power needed to create each digital token consumes at least as much electricity as the average American household burns through in two years, according to figures from Morgan Stanley and Alex de Vries, an economist who tracks energy use in the industry. The total network of computers plugged into the Bitcoin network consumes as much energy each day as some medium-size countries which country depends on whose estimates you believe. And the network supporting Ethereum, the second-most valuable virtual currency, gobbles up another countrys worth of electricity each day. The energy consumption of these systems has risen as the prices of virtual currencies have skyrocketed, leading to a vigorous debate among Bitcoin and Ethereum enthusiasts about burning so much electricity. The creator of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, is leading an experiment with a more energy-efficient way to create tokens, in part because of his concern about the impact that the networks electricity use could have on global warming. But many virtual currency aficionados argue that the energy consumption is worth it for the grander cause of securing the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks and making a new kind of financial infrastructure, free from the meddling of banks or governments. The electricity usage is really essential, said Peter Van Valkenburgh, the director of research at Co Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Bitcoin's current estimated annual electricity consumption* (TWh) Country closest to Bitcoin in terms of electricity consumption Estimated electricity used over the previous day (KWh) Total Network Hashrate in PH/s (1,000,000 GH/s) Electricity consumed per transaction (KWh) Number of U.S. households that could be powered by Bitcoin Number of U.S. households powered for 1 day by the electricity consumed for a single transaction Bitcoin's electricity consumption as a percentage of the world's electricity consumption Carbon footprint per transaction (kg of CO2) *The assumptions underlying this energy consumption estimate can be found here . Ever since its inception Bitcoins trust-minimizing consensus has been enabled by its proof-of-work algorithm. The machines performing the work are consuming huge amounts of energy while doing so. The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index was created to provide insight into this amount, and raise awareness on the unsustainability of the proof-of-work algorithm. Note that the Index contains the aggregate of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. A separate index was created for Ethereum, which can be found here . New sets of transactions (blocks) are added to Bitcoins blockchain roughly every 10 minutes by so-called miners. While working on the blockchain these miners arent required to trust each other. The only thing miners have to trust is the code that runs Bitcoin. The code includes several rules to validate new transactions. For example, a transaction can only be valid if the sender actually owns the sent amount. Every miner individually confirms whether transactions adhere to these rules, eliminating the need to trust other miners. The trick is to get all miners to agree on the same history of transactions. Every miner in the network is constantly t Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Mining Operations Now Use More Energy Than Ireland

Bitcoin Mining Operations Now Use More Energy Than Ireland

Bitcoin Mining Operations Now Use More Energy Than Ireland The cryptocurrency needs to consider more efficient mining practicesfast. Jason is a contributing writer for GTM, focused on global trends in energy storage and wind. He is based in Barcelona, Spain. Energy use from Bitcoin mining is surging fast. It's been a big week for Bitcoin. The price of one bitcoin hit $13,000 on Wednesday, marking a 1,200 percent increase in value this year. The price of Bitcoin isn't the only thing rising. The energy used to "mine" the cryptocurrency is also skyrocketing -- and people are getting worried . The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index tracker puts Bitcoins current estimated annual energy use at almost 32 terawatt-hours, roughly equivalent to Serbias yearly electricity consumption and ahead of at least 159 other countries, including Ireland and most nations in Africa. Each Bitcoin transaction is estimated to require the same energy as 4,000 Visa card transactions, said Francois Sonnet, co-founder of the energy generation data project ElectriCChain. And Power Compare, a U.K. utility pricing comparison site, noted that Bitcoin energy consumption had risen by almost 30 percent in the last month. Based on that rate of growth, Bitcoin electricity consumption will overtake the U.S. by July 2019 and the world by 2020. The cryptocurrency industry is considering moves to adopt more energy-efficient business models amid concerns that the current method of mining coins could endanger the planet. More energy efficient algorithms, like proof-of-stake, have been in development over recent years, said Chris Conway, managing director of accountancy firm Accounts & Legal Consultants and author of a recent report on Bitcoin energy use. The energy consumption of proof-of-stake algorithms is neglig Continue reading >>

Blockchain The Bane And Blessing Of Energy Consumption

Blockchain The Bane And Blessing Of Energy Consumption

Blockchain the bane and blessing of energy consumption Blockchain technology is an energy consumption monster. To mint new coins and secure the network miners must perform difficult computational tasks which demand a lot of power. How much is that? At this point, all numbers are more or less an educated guess. Bitcoin, as the first blockchain iteration, uses huge amounts of energy. But the upcoming technology generations are already much more efficient. Alex de Vries has constructed a real-time modeling tool that shows a ballpark estimate of energy consumption for Bitcoin and Ethereum networks. According to de Vries estimations, this year bitcoin will use more than 30 TWh (a Watthour is the amount of energy needed to run a 1W appliance for an hour) of electrical energy. For comparison Ireland, a country with a GDP of $293 billion, roughly the same as bitcoins market capitalization of $284 billion, consumes around 26 TWh of electrical energy. Every transaction on the bitcoin network uses up the amount of energy sufficient to power more than eight U.S. households for a day! Smaller in size, Ethereum gulps up about 11 TWh of electrical energy, a number on par with Zambia. Every Ethereum transaction uses enough juice that would keep two U.S. households going for a day. As both networks grow in size so do the energy costs to keep them going; Bitcoins electricity bill will soon hit $2 billion and Ethereums has already flew past $1.3 billion, if de Vries estimates are to be believed. The reason why these numbers are worrisome is that more than 70% of the worlds electrical energy comes from either coal , natural gas or nuclear energy . Put in simplest terms, to satisfy increasing blockchain-related energy needs as the first and second generation networks scale, well need to bu Continue reading >>

Energy Web Foundation Has A Fix For Blockchains Biggest Problem

Energy Web Foundation Has A Fix For Blockchains Biggest Problem

The blockchain platform developer Energy Web Foundation has unveiled a series of developments including an answer to energy blockchains biggest challenge: power use. EWF said the architecture it is developing for energy blockchain companies would use a proof-of-authority (POA) consensus validation process instead of proof-of-work, which is the dominant protocol today and is the cause of bitcoins massive waste of electricity . Proof-of-work systems, such as bitcoins Hashcash function, allow anyone who can solve complex, energy-intensive computing algorithms to validate transactions. With POA, validation will fall to a set of trusted "industry validators," usually developers. This feature could cut energy requirements significantly. Jesse Morris, EWF secretary, told GTM that POA would allow energy sector blockchain companies to scale to millions of transactions with an electricity consumption around that of a medium-sized office block, rather than a medium-sized country, as is the case with bitcoin. However, the benefit will only be available to companies that adopt EWFs open-source energy blockchain platform, rather than those that use existing platforms such as Ethereum. The blockchain community knows energy consumption is a problem, said Morris, [but] I dont have a good answer for the bitcoin network. EWFs aim is to build a technology platform that is specifically tailored to the needs of peer-to-peer energy trading application developers. It will be like an Apple store for energy blockchain apps, Morris said. The foundation, a nonprofit organization co-founded by Rocky Mountain Institute and energy blockchain developer Grid Singularity, plans to make its platform fully available in the next 12 to 16 months, said Morris. A test version of the platform, called Tobalaba Continue reading >>

Let's Talk About Bitcoin's Insane Energy Consumption

Let's Talk About Bitcoin's Insane Energy Consumption

Cryptocurrency fever is heating up. Even the less-than-legitimate websites that hawk opportunities to buy the latest coin are struggling to keep up with its price. Whatever societal or technological value blockchain technology may have in the long run, its hard to deny that the market is filled with speculators . In the midst of this fever, its very difficult to come up with rational assessments. If youre a cryptocurrency enthusiast, people assume that you stand to gain financially from pumping up the price. If youre against it, proponents will accuse you of sour grapes: you regret the missed opportunity to buy in at a low price, and youre hoping that the price will crash out of spite. Or perhaps you just have insufficient imagination to understand the revolutionary potential of the blockchain. The cynics say tulip fever and speculation bubble; the enthusiasts say HODL and fiat is dead. Investors argue that Bitcoins apparent lack of an intrinsic value beyond what people are willing to pay for it is really just the same flaw that gold, or fiat currency, has. Cynics argue that the whole thing is one vast pump-and-dump scheme , especially when it comes to the more obscure coins. If you think thats a conspiracy theory, you should see some of the others out there . Personally, I bow at the altar of the Gartner Technological Hype Cycle . It seems obvious that blockchain technology is extremely overhyped when companies can simply change their names to include the word blockchain and enjoy a bump in share price of up to 200 percentwithout any real indication of how a company that makes iced tea is going to leverage the incredible power of cryptographic ledgers to its advantage. Blockchain technology may well be the next internet, doing for transactions and record-keeping what Continue reading >>

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