Daily Productive Sharing 195 - How Much Energy Does Crypto Cost?

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(The English version follows)

#finance/crypto

数字货币饱受诟病的一点就是它需要消耗大量的能源,可事实真的像我们所听说的那样吗?今天的分享提供了一些不同的视角来看待这一问题:

  1. 数字货币的交易中所需要的能量并不大,而能量消耗主要集中的挖矿过程中;

  2. 比特币每四年产量减半一次,所以但看比特币挖矿的话,消耗的能源会越来越少;当然其他货币有各自的计算方式;

  3. 如何看待数字货币消耗能源这一问题,取决于我们怎么看待数字货币本身。如果我们觉得数字货币一无是处,那么消耗哪怕一定点能源也是浪费的;

如果你想了解数字货币背后的数字原理,不妨参考我们之前的分享:Daily Productive Sharing 120 - 20200129

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How Much Energy Does Bitcoin Actually Consume?

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One of the much criticized aspects of digital currency is that it consumes a lot of energy, but is it really what we've been told? Today's sharing provides some different perspectives on this issue.

  1. digital currencies do not require much energy to trade, and the energy consumption is mainly concentrated in the mining process.

  2. that bitcoin production halves every four years, so only looking at bitcoin mining, it consumes less and less energy; other crypto currencies of course have their own calculations.

  3. how we view the issue of digital currencies consuming energy depends on how we view digital currencies themselves. If we think that digital currencies are useless, then consuming even a certain amount of energy is a waste.

If you want to understand the digital principles behind digital currencies, you may want to refer to our previous share: Daily Productive Sharing 120 - 20200129

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Excerpt

  • According to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance (CCAF), Bitcoin currently consumes around 110 Terawatt Hours per year — 0.55% of global electricity production, or roughly equivalent to the annual energy draw of small countries like Malaysia or Sweden.

  • How you answer that likely depends on how you feel about Bitcoin.

  • If you are one of the tens of millions of individuals worldwide using it as a tool to escape monetary repression, inflation, or capital controls, you most likely think that the energy is extremely well spent.

  • Whether you feel Bitcoin has a valid claim on society’s resources boils down to how much value you think Bitcoin creates for society.

  • Understanding Bitcoin’s energy consumption may not settle questions about its usefulness, but it can help to contextualize how much of an environmental impact Bitcoin advocates are really talking about making.

  • In December 2019, one report suggested that 73% of Bitcoin’s energy consumption was carbon neutral, largely due to the abundance of hydro power in major mining hubs such as Southwest China and Scandinavia.

  • Almost all of the energy used worldwide must be produced relatively close to its end users — but Bitcoin has no such limitation, enabling miners to utilize power sources that are inaccessible for most other applications.

  • The process of oil extraction today releases significant amount of natural gas as a byproduct — energy that pollutes the environment without ever making it to the grid.

  • Given the reality that oil is and will continue to be extracted for the foreseeable future, exploiting a natural byproduct of the process (and potentially even reducing its environmental impact) is a net positive.

  • The vast majority of Bitcoin’s energy consumption happens during the mining process. Once coins have been issued, the energy required to validate transactions is minimal.