Bitcoin: ein Energiefresser!

Was es nicht alles gibt! Mit bitcoin habe ich mich noch nicht beschäftigt. Das wird sich jetzt ändern, weil ich auf ein umfassende Quelle gestoßen bin:
the balance – bitcoin basics.

Aufmerksam geworden bin darauf über den Artikel How Much Power Does the Bitcoin Network Use?, in dem es u.A. heißt:

At this rate, the bitcoin network runs at 342934450 watts, which equates to around 343 megawatts. Calculations based on EIA data reveal that the average US household consumes about 1.2 kilowatts of power, meaning that 343 megawatts would be enough to power 285,833 US homes at the time of writing (May 2015).

Auf motherboard habe ich dann einen weiteren Artikel zum Energiebedarf von bitcoin gefunden. Zitate:

That’s because bitcoin is incredibly energy intensive: at the time of Malmo’s piece, he calculated that a single bitcoin transaction requires as much electricity as the daily consumption of 1.6 American households, and that number has increased since then. “Adopting Bitcoin as a major currency anytime in the next few decades,” he wrote, “would just exacerbate anthropogenic climate change by needlessly increasing electricity consumption until it’s too late.”

As I have some experience in developing energy scenarios, I wanted to see how this could develop into the future. My findings weren’t much more encouraging. According to my calculations, if the bitcoin network keeps expanding the way it has done recently, it could lead to a continuous electricity consumption that lies between the output of a small power plant and the total consumption of a small country like Denmark by 2020.

Even in the optimistic scenario, just mining one bitcoin in 2020 would require a shocking 5,500 kWh, or about half the annual electricity consumption of an American household. And even if we assume that by that time only half of that electricity is generated by fossil fuels, still over 4,000 kg of carbon dioxide would be emitted per bitcoin mined. It makes you wonder whether bitcoin could still be called a virtual currency, when the physical effects could become so tangible.

In einem weiteren Artikel auf motherboard heißt es:

With about 110,000 transactions per day, that works out to 1.57 households daily usage of electricity per Bitcoin transaction. Yes, every time you buy something in Bitcoin, you could be using as much electricity as 1.57 American families do in a day.

Working off these (admittedly imperfect) figures, each VISA transaction consumes around 0.0003 household’s daily electricity use. That makes Bitcoin about 5,033 times more energy intensive, per transaction, than VISA, at current usage levels.

Interessant wären ein Vergleich mit Bargeld und dem GNU-Projekt Taler

Also: leider wieder ein Bereich, wo Digitaltechnik die Umwelt enorm belastet.