Yesterday, the value of a single bitcoin hit a record high of $48,000. The higher it goes, the greater the incentive for bitcoin miners who earn bitcoins by providing the computing resources to verify transactions on the public ledger that the cryptocurrency is built upon. The rub is that those computers are quite power hungry. According to an online tool created by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, bitcoin mining currently consumes 121.36 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year. From the BBC News:
The online tool has ranked Bitcoin's electricity consumption above Argentina (121 TWh), the Netherlands (108.8 TWh) and the United Arab Emirates (113.20 TWh) – and it is gradually creeping up on Norway (122.20 TWh).
The energy it uses could power all kettles used in the UK for 27 years, it said.
However, it also suggests the amount of electricity consumed every year by always-on but inactive home devices in the US alone could power the entire Bitcoin network for a year.