Mining Cryptocurrency Requires More Electricity Than That Used by Finland, Study Shows
It has become incredibly hard to mine just one coin. Years ago, you could easily obtain one with a simple personal computer, but things have changed now. Entrepreneurs around the globe are investing enormous financial resources to continue mining, causing a heated competition in the industry.
Bitcoin mining consumes nearly 91 terawatt-hours of electricity annually, which is more than is used by Finland, a nation of about 5.5 million, The New York Times writes. Notably, the cryptocurrency network uses almost the same amount of electricity as Washington State does annually.
According to the study by the NYT, the usage of electricity for mining is close to half-a-percent of all the electricity consumed in the world, and has increased about tenfold over five years.
In 2011, one personal computer would have been enough to mine a single coin in a few seconds. At present, that capacity would let you mine a coin in 13 years, as the number of miners has grown significantly.
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Today, one needs specialised machines, tools, money, as well as a big space and enough cooling power to keep the constantly running hardware for mining from overheating. So most operations, the NYT suggests, have consolidated and only seven mining groups own nearly 80 percent of all computing power on the cryptocurrency network.
At the same time, there are more concerns about the environmental impact of mining operations.