Bitcoin Mining Now Consuming More Electricity Than 159 Countries Including Ireland & Most Countries In Africa

BitCoin Mining MapThe map above shows which countries consume less electricity than the amount consumed by global bitcoin mining

Bitcoin’s ongoing meteoric price rise has received the bulk of recent press attention with a lot of discussion around whether or not it’s a bubble waiting to burst.

However, most the coverage has missed out one of the more interesting and unintended consequences of this price increase. That is the surge in global electricity consumption used to “mine” more Bitcoins.

According to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, as of Monday November 20th, 2017 Bitcoin’s current estimated annual electricity consumption stands at 29.05TWh.

That’s the equivalent of 0.13% of total global electricity consumption. While that may not sound like a lot, it means Bitcoin mining is now using more electricity than 159 individual countries (as you can see from the map above). More than Ireland or Nigeria.

If Bitcoin miners were a country they’d rank 61st in the world in terms of electricity consumption.

Here are a few other interesting facts about Bitcoin mining and electricity consumption:

  • In the past month alone, Bitcoin mining electricity consumption is estimated to have increased by 29.98%
  • If it keeps increasing at this rate, Bitcoin mining will consume all the world’s electricity by February 2020.
  • Estimated annualised global mining revenues: $7.2 billion USD (£5.4 billion)
  • Estimated global mining costs: $1.5 billion USD (£1.1 billion)
  • Number of Americans who could be powered by bitcoin mining: 2.4 million (more than the population of Houston)
  • Number of Britons who could be powered by bitcoin mining: 6.1 million (more than the population of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Bradford, Liverpool, Bristol, Croydon, Coventry, Leicester & Nottingham combined) Or Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
  • Bitcoin Mining consumes more electricity than 12 US states (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming)

All maps created using Mapchart.net. For the full breakdown of data, please keep reading.

Bitcoin Mining Electricity Consumption Vs Countries

The map at the top of the page shows, which countries currently consume more or less electricity than that consumed by global Bitcoin mining.

The map below shows how much more or less bitcoin mining energy consumption compares to each countries energy usage with 100% being equal.

E.g. Ireland currently consumes an estimated 25 TWh of electricity per year, so global Bitcoin mining consumption is 116%, or 16% more than they consume. The UK consumes an estimated 309 TWh of electricity per year so global Bitcoin mining consumption is only equivalent to 9.4% of the UK total.

BitCoin Mining Map

Global Bitcoin Mining consumption compared to each country’s electricity consumption

The map below shows which countries in Europe consume more or less electricity than Bitcoin mining:

bitcoin-mining-vs-europe

Which European countries consume more or less electricity than the amount consumed by global bitcoin mining

As mentioned, above the data for Bitcoin mining energy consumption comes from the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index. You can read about their assumptions here.

Electricity consumption data mostly comes from the CIA via Wikipedia and is mostly for 2014, since that’s the most recent year available. Unlike some other sources it includes, residential, commercial and industrial use, so may be higher than other figures quoted elsewhere.

Below we have a table showing the data we used for each country:

Rank Country Electricity Consumption in kWh/year Bitcoin Mining Consumption Relative To Country’s Use
1  China 5,920,000,000,000.00 0.49%
2  United States 3,913,000,000,000.00 0.74%
3  Russia 1,065,000,000,000.00 2.73%
4  India 1,001,191,000,000.00 2.90%
5  Japan 934,000,000,000.00 3.11%
6  Germany 533,000,000,000.00 5.45%
7  Canada 528,000,000,000.00 5.50%
8  Brazil 518,000,000,000.00 5.61%
9  Korea, South 495,000,000,000.00 5.87%
10  France 431,000,000,000.00 6.74%
11  United Kingdom 309,000,000,000.00 9.40%
12  Italy 291,000,000,000.00 9.98%
13  Saudi Arabia 272,000,000,000.00 10.68%
14  Taiwan 249,500,000,000.00 11.64%
15  Mexico 238,000,000,000.00 12.21%
16  Spain 234,000,000,000.00 12.41%
17  Australia 224,000,000,000.00 12.97%
18  Iran 218,000,000,000.00 13.33%
19  South Africa 212,000,000,000.00 13.70%
20  Turkey 207,000,000,000.00 14.03%
21  Indonesia 195,000,000,000.00 14.90%
22  Thailand 164,000,000,000.00 17.71%
23  Egypt 143,000,000,000.00 20.31%
24  Ukraine 143,000,000,000.00 20.31%
25  Poland 142,000,000,000.00 20.46%
26  Malaysia 131,000,000,000.00 22.18%
27  Sweden 127,000,000,000.00 22.87%
28  Norway 126,400,000,000.00 22.98%
29  Vietnam 125,000,000,000.00 23.24%
30  Argentina 116,000,000,000.00 25.04%
31  Netherlands 108,000,000,000.00 26.90%
32  United Arab Emirates 96,000,000,000.00 30.26%
33  Kazakhstan 91,000,000,000.00 31.92%
34  Philippines 90,797,891,000.00 31.99%
35  Pakistan 82,000,000,000.00 35.43%
36  Finland 81,000,000,000.00 35.86%
37  Belgium 81,000,000,000.00 35.86%
38  Venezuela 78,000,000,000.00 37.24%
39  Austria 69,750,000,000.00 41.65%
40  Chile 66,000,000,000.00 44.02%
41  Czech Republic 60,000,000,000.00 48.42%
42  Colombia 60,000,000,000.00 48.42%
43  Israel 59,830,000,000.00 48.55%
44   Switzerland 58,000,000,000.00 50.09%
45  Kuwait 54,000,000,000.00 53.80%
46  Greece 53,000,000,000.00 54.81%
47  Algeria 49,000,000,000.00 59.29%
48  Romania 48,000,000,000.00 60.52%
49  Uzbekistan 48,000,000,000.00 60.52%
50  Singapore 47,180,000,000.00 61.57%
51  Portugal 46,000,000,000.00 63.15%
52  Bangladesh 46,000,000,000.00 63.15%
53  Hong Kong 42,000,000,000.00 69.17%
54  Iraq 42,000,000,000.00 69.17%
55  New Zealand 40,000,000,000.00 72.63%
56  Peru 39,000,000,000.00 74.49%
57  Qatar 34,000,000,000.00 85.44%
58  Belarus 33,000,000,000.00 88.03%
59  Denmark 32,000,000,000.00 90.78%
60  Bulgaria 31,000,000,000.00 93.71%
61  Morocco 29,000,000,000.00 100.17%
62  Slovakia 28,360,000,000.00 102.43%
63  Serbia 26,910,000,000.00 107.95%
64  Bahrain 25,000,000,000.00 116.20%
65  Ireland 25,000,000,000.00 116.20%
66  Oman 25,000,000,000.00 116.20%
67  Nigeria 24,000,000,000.00 121.04%
68  Hungary 21,550,000,000.00 134.80%
69  Ecuador 21,000,000,000.00 138.33%
70  Azerbaijan 20,000,000,000.00 145.25%
71  Puerto Rico 19,000,000,000.00 152.89%
72  Iceland 17,000,000,000.00 170.88%
73  Syria 17,000,000,000.00 170.88%
74  Croatia 16,970,000,000.00 171.18%
75  Jordan 16,000,000,000.00 181.56%
76  Lebanon 16,000,000,000.00 181.56%
77  Dominican Republic 15,140,000,000.00 191.88%
78  Tunisia 15,000,000,000.00 193.67%
79  Cuba 15,000,000,000.00 193.67%
80  Korea, North 15,000,000,000.00 193.67%
81  Slovenia 13,000,000,000.00 223.46%
82  Turkmenistan 13,000,000,000.00 223.46%
83  Tajikistan 12,000,000,000.00 242.08%
84  Mozambique 12,000,000,000.00 242.08%
85  Kyrgyzstan 11,000,000,000.00 264.09%
86  Sri Lanka 11,000,000,000.00 264.09%
87  Zambia 11,000,000,000.00 264.09%
88  Bosnia and Herzegovina 11,000,000,000.00 264.09%
89  Myanmar 11,000,000,000.00 264.09%
90  Uruguay 10,000,000,000.00 290.50%
91  Lithuania 9,900,000,000.00 293.43%
92  Sudan 9,900,000,000.00 293.43%
93  Georgia 9,800,000,000.00 296.43%
94  Paraguay 9,700,000,000.00 299.48%
95  Libya 9,300,000,000.00 312.37%
96  Congo, Democratic Republic of the 9,300,000,000.00 312.37%
97  Costa Rica 9,200,000,000.00 315.76%
98  Ghana 9,200,000,000.00 315.76%
99  Trinidad and Tobago 9,100,000,000.00 319.23%
100  Guatemala 8,915,000,000.00 325.86%
101  Estonia 8,200,000,000.00 354.27%
102  Angola 8,100,000,000.00 358.64%
103  Zimbabwe 8,000,000,000.00 363.13%
104  Panama 7,800,000,000.00 372.44%
105  Albania 7,793,000,000.00 372.77%
106  Kenya 7,600,000,000.00 382.24%
107  Bolivia 7,500,000,000.00 387.33%
108  Macedonia 6,960,000,000.00 417.39%
109  Latvia 6,800,000,000.00 427.21%
110  Ethiopia 6,700,000,000.00 433.58%
111  Luxembourg 6,200,000,000.00 468.55%
112  Cameroon 6,100,000,000.00 476.23%
113  Ivory Coast 5,800,000,000.00 500.86%
114  El Salvador 5,700,000,000.00 509.65%
115  Mongolia 5,600,000,000.00 518.75%
116  Honduras 5,300,000,000.00 548.11%
117  West Bank 5,200,000,000.00 558.65%
118  Yemen 5,200,000,000.00 558.65%
119  Armenia 5,100,000,000.00 569.61%
120  Tanzania 5,000,000,000.00 581.00%
121  Afghanistan 4,700,000,000.00 618.09%
122  Macau 4,500,000,000.00 645.56%
123  Nicaragua 4,412,000,000.00 658.43%
124  Moldova 4,305,000,000.00 674.80%
125  Cambodia 4,100,000,000.00 708.54%
126  Laos 3,900,000,000.00 744.87%
127    Nepal 3,900,000,000.00 744.87%
128  Cyprus 3,900,000,000.00 744.87%
129  Brunei 3,766,000,000.00 771.38%
130  Botswana 3,700,000,000.00 785.14%
131  Namibia 3,700,000,000.00 785.14%
132  Papua New Guinea 3,000,000,000.00 968.33%
133  Senegal 3,000,000,000.00 968.33%
134  Kosovo 2,887,000,000.00 1006.23%
135  Montenegro 2,800,000,000.00 1037.50%
136  Jamaica 2,800,000,000.00 1037.50%
137  Uganda 2,700,000,000.00 1075.93%
138  Mauritius 2,600,000,000.00 1117.31%
139  Gabon 2,100,000,000.00 1383.33%
140  Bhutan 2,085,000,000.00 1393.29%
141  New Caledonia 2,000,000,000.00 1452.50%
142  Malta 2,000,000,000.00 1452.50%
143  Suriname 1,900,000,000.00 1528.95%
144  Malawi 1,900,000,000.00 1528.95%
145  Bahamas 1,600,000,000.00 1815.63%
146  Guam 1,500,000,000.00 1936.67%
147  Swaziland 1,500,000,000.00 1936.67%
148  Mali 1,400,000,000.00 2075.00%
149  Liechtenstein 1,360,000,000.00 2136.03%
150  Madagascar 1,300,000,000.00 2234.62%
151  Burkina Faso 1,200,000,000.00 2420.83%
152  Niger 1,200,000,000.00 2420.83%
153  Togo 1,100,000,000.00 2640.91%
154  Benin 1,000,000,000.00 2905.00%
155  Curacao 968,000,000.00 3001.03%
156  Congo, Republic of the 900,000,000.00 3227.78%
157  Guinea 900,000,000.00 3227.78%
158  Barbados 900,000,000.00 3227.78%
159  Mauritania 800,000,000.00 3631.25%
160  Lesotho 800,000,000.00 3631.25%
161  Guyana 800,000,000.00 3631.25%
162  Fiji 800,000,000.00 3631.25%
163  Aruba 800,000,000.00 3631.25%
164  French Polynesia 700,000,000.00 4150.00%
165  South Sudan 694,100,000.00 4185.28%
166  Jersey 630,100,000.00 4610.38%
167  Bermuda 600,000,000.00 4841.67%
168  Cayman Islands 600,000,000.00 4841.67%
169  U.S. Virgin Islands 600,000,000.00 4841.67%
170  Marshall Islands 600,000,000.00 4841.67%
171  Andorra 562,400,000.00 5165.36%
172  Rwanda 500,000,000.00 5810.00%
173  Burundi 400,000,000.00 7262.50%
174  Belize 400,000,000.00 7262.50%
175  Djibouti 400,000,000.00 7262.50%
176  Haiti 400,000,000.00 7262.50%
177  Seychelles 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
178  Somalia 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
179  Saint Lucia 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
180  Antigua and Barbuda 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
181  Cabo Verde 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
182  Eritrea 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
183  Faroe Islands 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
184  Gambia 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
185  Greenland 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
186  Liberia 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
187  Maldives 300,000,000.00 9683.33%
188  Chad 200,000,000.00 14525.00%
189  Saint Kitts and Nevis 200,000,000.00 14525.00%
190  Central African Republic 200,000,000.00 14525.00%
191  Sierra Leone 200,000,000.00 14525.00%
192  Turks and Caicos Islands 200,000,000.00 14525.00%
193  Gibraltar 200,000,000.00 14525.00%
194  Grenada 200,000,000.00 14525.00%
195  Micronesia, Federated States of 178,600,000.00 16265.40%
196  Timor-Leste 125,300,000.00 23184.36%
197  British Virgin Islands 100,000,000.00 29050.00%
198  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 100,000,000.00 29050.00%
199  American Samoa 100,000,000.00 29050.00%
200  Samoa 100,000,000.00 29050.00%
201  Equatorial Guinea 91,140,000.00 31874.04%
202  Dominica 90,210,000.00 32202.64%
203  Western Sahara 83,700,000.00 34707.29%
204  Solomon Islands 79,050,000.00 36748.89%
205  Sao Tome and Principe 65,100,000.00 44623.66%
206  Vanuatu 55,800,000.00 52060.93%
207  Tonga 46,500,000.00 62473.12%
208  Saint Pierre and Miquelon 41,850,000.00 69414.58%
209  Comoros 40,920,000.00 70992.18%
210  Guinea-Bissau 31,620,000.00 91872.23%
211  Cook Islands 31,620,000.00 91872.23%
212  Kiribati 27,900,000.00 104121.86%
213  Nauru 23,250,000.00 124946.24%
214  Montserrat 21,390,000.00 135811.13%
215  Falkland Islands 13,950,000.00 208243.73%
216  Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 9,300,000.00 312365.59%
217  Niue 3,720,000.00 780913.98%
218  Gaza Strip 202,000.00 14381188.12%
219  Northern Mariana Islands 48,300.00 60144927.54%

Bitcoin Mining Electricity Consumption Vs US States

While doing the research we also though it might be interesting to compare Bitcoin mining energy consumption to US states. So we created the map below:

Bitcoin-mining-vs-states

Overall, 12 States consume less electricity than Bitcoin Mining (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming)

The data for this section comes from the EIA and is for 2015 and uses total retail sales. Please note this data set uses MWh instead of kWh.

State Total retail sales (MWh) Bitcoin Mining Consumption Relative To State’s Use
Alabama 88,845,543.00 33%
Alaska 6,159,204.00 472%
Arizona 77,349,416.00 38%
Arkansas 46,465,154.00 63%
California 261,170,437.00 11%
Colorado 54,116,046.00 54%
Connecticut 29,476,155.00 99%
Delaware 11,498,205.00 253%
District of Columbia 11,291,233.00 257%
Florida 235,599,398.00 12%
Georgia 135,878,215.00 21%
Hawaii 9,511,352.00 305%
Idaho 23,058,814.00 126%
Illinois 138,619,970.00 21%
Indiana 104,514,518.00 28%
Iowa 47,147,293.00 62%
Kansas 39,849,127.00 73%
Kentucky 76,038,630.00 38%
Louisiana 91,676,489.00 32%
Maine 11,888,168.00 244%
Maryland 61,781,719.00 47%
Massachusetts 54,621,088.00 53%
Michigan 102,479,921.00 28%
Minnesota 66,579,234.00 44%
Mississippi 48,691,529.00 60%
Missouri 81,504,081.00 36%
Montana 14,206,911.00 204%
Nebraska 29,495,073.00 98%
Nevada 36,019,690.00 81%
New Hampshire 10,999,149.00 264%
New Jersey 75,489,623.00 38%
New Mexico 23,093,553.00 126%
New York 148,913,655.00 20%
North Carolina 133,847,523.00 22%
North Dakota 18,128,948.00 160%
Ohio 149,213,224.00 19%
Oklahoma 61,336,385.00 47%
Oregon 47,263,974.00 61%
Pennsylvania 146,344,028.00 20%
Rhode Island 7,664,718.00 379%
South Carolina 81,328,246.00 36%
South Dakota 12,101,979.00 240%
Tennessee 99,632,108.00 29%
Texas 392,337,354.00 7%
Utah 30,192,350.00 96%
Vermont 5,521,109.00 526%
Virginia 112,009,045.00 26%
Washington 90,116,086.00 32%
West Virginia 32,303,026.00 90%
Wisconsin 68,698,932.00 42%
Wyoming 16,924,762.00 172%

Growth of Bitcoin Mining Electricity Consumption

Growth-In-Consumption

While Bitcoin Mining is only currently consuming 0.13% of the world’s electricity output, it’s growing incredibly quickly.

The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimates consumption has increased by 29.98% over the past month. If that growth rate were to continue, and countries did not add any new power generating capacity, Bitcoin mining would:

  • Be greater than UK electricity consumption by October 2018 (309 TWh)
  • Be greater than US electricity consumption by July 2019 (3,913 TWh)
  • Consume all the world’s electricity by February 2020. (21,776 TWh)

The Cost of Mining Bitcoins

The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimates that the total annual cost of mining Bitcoins stands at $1.5 billion (£1.1 billion).

However, that assumes Bitcoin mining is occurring in places with cheap electricity (not an unreasonable assumption).

The US average retail price per kilowatthour is 10.41 cents, which means using 28.05 TWh would cost: $3.02 billion (£2.28 billion).

In the UK it would even more expensive, assuming you paid the rock bottom price of 10.10 pence per kilowatthour (Bulb’s prices for London homes) it would still cost £2.93 billion ($3.89 billion).

Interestingly, Bitcoin’s price increase over the last month has been just over 40%, which is greater than the increase in electricity consumption.

This means the estimated annualised global mining revenues now stand at $7.2 billion USD (£5.4 billion), which even at the more expensive estimates listed above, means it’s still very profitable.

How Does Bitcoin Mining Consume Electricity?

At a very basic level Bitcoin mining requires expensive and power hungry computer hardware. As the the IEEE explains:

Mining power is high and getting higher, thanks to a computational arms race. Recall that the required number of zeros at the beginning of a hash is tweaked biweekly to adjust the difficulty of creating a block—and more zeros means more difficulty.

The Bitcoin algorithm adds these zeros in order to keep the rate at which blocks are added constant, at one new block every 10 minutes. The idea is to compensate for the mining hardware becoming more and more powerful.

When the hashing is harder, it takes more computations to create a block and thus more effort to earn new bitcoins, which are then added to circulation.

To better understand how this whole process works have a look at Investopedia’s guide.

Post your thoughts below in the comment section.

SOURCE: Powercompare.co.uk

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