A recent research suggested that crypto mining consumes a lot of electricity. The research also expects that the crypto mining processes will consume up to half of the world’s electricity. Yet, there are doubts that the research had some ambiguous assumptions and insufficient evidence for that claim.
A research paper, published last week on science magazine Joule have stated that the crypto mining consumes 2.55 gigawatts of electricity currently. The author Alex de Vries also estimates the number to be 7.67 gigawatts in the future. This makes crypto mining’s power needs to be comparable to some European countries such as Ireland or Austria. The author also says that mining process uses power as high as a household’s daily consumption in order to mine a single coin.
Crypto mining requires such a huge amount of energy because it needs computers to track the coin transactions along the blockchain, a publicly controlled virtual ledger book that makes cryptocurrency viable. By the use of blockchain, the system prevents duplicate transactions by the use of a process called “proof-of-work”. However, this “proof-of-work” process needs a lot of computers because of the power needs. As of today, reward per block for Ethereum is around 3 ETH. This makes around 5600 blocks per day. In other words, just for Ethereum, miners can make 0.053 USD/Day for 1 MHash/s. Thus, the miners invest more in their hardware so that they can earn faster. This makes the power consumption go off the roof.
However, for some other analysts, the situation is not that bad. For example, Marc Bevand said that de Vries’ model is based on the assumption of miners would sell the coins without any profit, which does not reflect the real situation. Also, de Vries assumes all mining rigs produced by Bitmain is used for Bitcoin mining; yet, this is not the case either. Since most of the mining rigs are used for altcoins other than Bitcoin. Thus, there are some controversial points in de Vries’ assumptions for the future of the crypto mining.