Powering The Future? Bitcoin Energy Consumption Lower Than Credit Cards, Bank Processing

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When compared to traditional methods of electronic payment, a recent research suggests that Bitcoin uses far less power than traditional methods. According to the author of the report, opponents neglect to contrast the amount of power used by Bitcoin with that of the current electronic payment system that we engage with when transmitting money across bank accounts.

It has been estimated by industry professionals that a single operation using the Lightning network renders Bitcoin 194-million-times more electricity effective than a traditional payment and one million times-fold more efficient than a transfer involving an immediate payout.

As per the information presented in the research, the conventional payment system has an annual energy consumption of 4,981 TWh, is capable of processing 3.14 trillion payments annually, and consumes 1.58 kWh for each operation. Without Lightning, Bitcoin’s overall power consumption is 88.95 terawatt-hours per year, the cryptocurrency is capable of processing 133 million operations annually, and each transaction consumes around 460 to 653 kwh of electricity.

Bitcoin could consume 52.8 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, possess a transactional bandwidth of 545 million annually, and utilize 97 kWh for each operation if everything went perfectly. When you take into account Lightning, however, the scales are substantially tilted in favor of bitcoin. None of these developments are very beneficial for bitcoin.

With Lightning taken into account, the annual total energy consumption is 88.95 terawatt-hours, the maximum number of operations that may occur in one year is 31.54 trillion, and the amount of power used by a single transaction is an insignificant 0.00282 kWh. This indicates that it is capable of handling a much greater number of operations than the infrastructure that is already in place while also using a substantially lower amount of electricity.

William Reid
A science writer through and through, William Reid’s first starting working on offline local newspapers. An obsessive fascination with all things science/health blossomed from a hobby into a career. Before hopping over to Optic Flux, William worked as a freelancer for many online tech publications including ScienceWorld, JoyStiq and Digg. William serves as our lead science and health reporter.