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The Trump administration asked a U.N. panel to ban oil-product sales to North Korea this year, calling out China and Russia for exports Washington alleges have often been in violation of sanctions.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia
A mainstream media assertion made recently implies that cryptocurrency is quite costly in terms of energy consumption. “Bitcoin has been alarming people for years,” the report notes, pointing to the amount of electricity used for its mining – almost as much as a small nation needs. But is that really so?
Bitcoin Said to Use ‘Almost’ as Much Electricity as Ireland
Mainstream media is often preoccupied with exploring and revealing the negative effects of cryptocurrencies. A common criticism towards Bitcoin is that its energy-intensive mining is too expensive for the planet.
The latest mention of this feature comes from a respectable outlet. In an article titled “Why bitcoin uses so much energy”, “The Economist explains” the reasons noting that “Bitcoin has been alarming people for years because of the amount of electricity needed to mint new virtual coinage.”
The magazine quotes Alex de Vries, a bitcoin specialist at PwC, who estimates that “the current global power consumption for the servers that run bitcoin’s software is a minimum of 2.55 gigawatts (GW), which amounts to energy consumption of 22 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year – almost the same as Ireland.” The piece adds that bitcoin miners consume more and more power with no signs of a slowdown. “Why does bitcoin require so much energy to make something that exists only electronically?” the Economist asks.
Let’s skip the lecture on how bitcoin transactions are recorded in the ledger, how “the miners’ race, known as ‘proof of work’, could be superseded by ‘proof of stake’,” and get straight to the point by asking in our turn – Does Bitcoin really spend as much electricity as Ireland, and what does “almost the same” consumption really mean?
Bitcoin Burns at Least One Malta Less Than Ireland
It seems the Economist got it wrong in two respects. Let’s take a look at the energy consumption of Ireland first. According to the data compiled in the CIA World Factbook, the country has used 25 TWh of electrical power in 2017, and over 26 TWh yearly between 2011 and 2014. Consumption, in this case, means the total electricity generated in the country, plus imports and minus exports, as quoted by Indexmundi. And according to Eurostat, Ireland is among the EU countries with the highest increase in gross energy consumption – 38% between 1990 and 2015, when it consumed almost 24 TWh.
The statistics reveal a difference of 3 TWh, if we use the 2017 data for reference, between the 22 TWh claimed in the article and what Éire actually consumed last year – 25 TWh. Using a similar comparison to illustrate the discrepancy, 3 TWh is more than what Malta or Andorra need in a year – 2 TWh and change, each. So, it’s safe to say that Bitcoin uses less electricity than Ireland by a substantial margin.
Now, let’s talk about the financial side of things. Each mined BTC block currently generates 12.5 new bitcoins (the next halving will occur in 2020). A block of transactions takes 10 minutes to get mined, on average, which means approximately 1,800 bitcoins are minted each day. That translates into a daily BTC network reward of roughly a little more than $ 11 million (at the time of writing).
The reward should allow miners to cover their costs for electricity, but also all other expenses of their business – salaries, amortization, maintenance, rent and so on. Let’s not forget the electricity needed to power the cooling systems. Actually, the electrical energy consumed by cryptocurrency mining is believed to account for around half of all costs. Let’s assume that it’s half of the total reward, $ 5 or $ 6 million. Do you want to know how much the Irish consumers pay for their daily electricity consumption?
Last year, Eurostat revealed that Ireland has some of the most expensive electricity in Europe, actually the fourth highest rates in the EU, as of November, 2017. It has been reported that Irish customers pay an average of 23.1 cent per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity, which is 13% higher than the EU average. According to Eurostat, electricity prices for household consumers in Ireland were averaging €0.24 per kWh (~$ 0.28, with taxes) in the second half of 2017. The simple arithmetic shows the Republic has paid an average of $ 19 million dollars for electricity daily, last year.
With the current state of crypto markets, it’s true that mining is getting less profitable, if not more expensive. According to a recent study, its profitability in different countries varies significantly. Using a Bitmain’s Antminer S9 at an energy consumption of 1.5 kWh earns about 0.0008 BTC in 24 hours and mining a single bitcoin requires approximately 45 MW of electricity. That means that in the Czech Republic, where electricity is priced at €0.06 per kWh (~$ 0.07), mining 1 BTC would cost around €3,000 (~$ 3,500). And in Germany or Italy, bitcoin mining is prohibitively expensive – it eats more than €6,500 ($ 7,500) per coin.
Do you think bitcoin mining is expensive, in terms of energy consumption and other costs? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Eurostat, CIA World Factbook, Index Mundi.
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Energy and industrial companies led stocks higher in early trading Tuesday on Wall Street following three straight days of gains for the market.
Exxon Mobil and Boeing each rose 1.2% in early trading. Energy companies benefited from a 1% increase in the price of crude oil.
PepsiCo rose 2% after…
The United States is on the verge of losing more than half of its low-carbon energy as the fight against climate change reaches a crucial point — a reality the country hasn’t fully grappled with.
That’s according to findings recently published by researchers at UC San Diego, Harvard University…
Arizona’s largest utility is fiercely opposing a push to mandate increased use of renewable energy in the sun-drenched state, setting up a political fight over a measure funded by a California billionaire.
Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona aims to ask voters whether they want the state Constitution…
US stocks are closing higher Friday as oil prices and energy companies rallied, the AP reports. OPEC says it will produce more oil, but not as much as investors feared; US crude jumped 4.6% and Exxon Mobil advanced 2.1%. Health care companies also rose while technology companies and…
U.S. stocks are rising Friday morning as energy companies climb along with the price of oil. Oil producers in OPEC are discussing an increase in production, a step investors have expected for the last few weeks. Industrial and basic materials companies are rising too, while technology companies…
Spending on renewable energy is outpacing investment in electricity from coal, natural gas and nuclear power plants, driven by falling costs of producing wind and solar power.
WSJ.com: US Business
US stocks are finishing mostly lower as energy companies skidded along with oil prices, the AP reports. The market dropped Thursday after President Donald Trump said he canceled a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but recovered most of those losses. Crude oil prices and energy companies fell…
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Partnership announced in same week as Energi Mine launches promotion with OKEx, the world’s biggest exchange
London – Energi Mine, the blockchain platform that financially rewards energy saving behaviour using EnergiTokens (ETK), and Simply EV, a leading provider of EV accessories today, announced a partnership. The partnership will enable those with ETK to spend their currency on electric vehicle charging cables and accessories, as well as earn ETK through a rewards scheme at Simply EV.
The relationship will enable Simply EV customers to join the Energi Mine community and use the ETK tokens. These tokens can be earned through the Energi Mine platform, by rewarding people for energy saving behaviour: from purchasing electric vehicles, to using energy efficient appliances. Operating in a similar way to rewards and loyalty schemes, ETK can also be gained by customers through purchasing certain goods from a growing list of suppliers. In fact, one of the very actions through which a customer could earn ETK would be to purchase products from Simply EV.
Simply EV sells electric vehicle charging equipment direct to consumers – rather than through the vehicle manufacturers themselves. Therefore, whatever make of electric vehicle a customer has, they will be able to find a variety of charging equipment on their site; the charge cables in particular offering an industry leading five-year warranty.
Conor Thomas, managing director of Simply EV, said that “By teaming up with Energi Mine and joining their circle of partners, we are creating a real community for our customers. Our customers have made the decision to invest in sustainable transportation and reduce their carbon footprint, what better way to reward them than to bring them into the Energi Mine ecosystem, offering them rewards with us and the other companies Energi Mine has partnered with.”
This is one of many recent partnerships announced by Energi Mine, including others with the Energy Managers Association that will see the platform trialled on Network Rail, as well as a recently announced partnership with FuzeX that takes crypto one step further to being used at the checkout when buying goods in person. In forming such partnerships, Energi Mine is building a community of energy conscious businesses that will accept and aid the distribution of EnergiTokens.
Omar Rahim, CEO of Energi Mine said “Part of our vision at Energi Mine is to create a community of likeminded businesses that all strive to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainability. With this partnership we are now making consumers part of that ecosystem by giving them a way that they can benefit from financial rewards for their energy conscious decisions. This should also have the effect of incentivising further energy saving behaviour.”
This partnership comes off the back of recent research that has shown that the UK is lagging behind when it comes to the provision of infrastructure for charging electric vehicles – as the rate of uptake of electric cars outstrips the installation of vehicle charging points.
Following on from the successful launch of its rewards app, Energi Mine is offering bonus EnergiTokens (ETK) and a prize of $ 20,000 worth of ETH when you open an account with the biggest crypto exchange in the world, OKEx, simply by depositing 1 ETH. The first 3000 people to sign up to OKEx, using this link will receive EnergiTokens (ETK), with the first 1000 people each receiving 3000 ETK, the next 1000 people receiving 2000 ETK and the final 1000 people receiving 1000 ETK. As well as this, you will have a 1 in 3,000 chance to WIN $ 20,000 worth of ETH.
Get involved today, help be a part of the change! For more information about the EnergiToken energy-saving reward scheme, or to become a partner, please visit www.energitoken.com, follow us on twitter @EnergiMine or join the Energi Mine Telegram group @energitoken.
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