Blockchain and Crypto, Member Exclusive

4 charts on Bitcoin’s environmental impact

  • Bitcoin has a controversial relationship with the environment.
  • Here are four charts depicting Bitcoin’s energy consumption and environmental impact.
close

Email a Friend

4 charts on Bitcoin’s environmental impact

As the market value of Bitcoin has recently shot up, so has the need for the electric power required to run it. This is primarily due to Bitcoin mining, which involves extensive use of heavy computing power to verify the hundreds of thousands of daily Bitcoin transactions.

And as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency garners increased public attention, many investors, media outlets and critics are raising concerns about its high energy consumption and potential negative impact on the environment.

Bitcoin’s annual energy consumption in terawatt-hours (TWh)

bitcoin energy usage

Source: BBC

It’s not easy to accurately determine Bitcoin’s energy consumption because of the complex nature of the calculations involved. However, estimates suggest that in the beginning of 2017, Bitcoin was using 6.6 terawatt-hours of power a year. By October 2020, this figure had increased tenfold to 67 TWh — enough to support over 6 million U.S. homes.


This content is available exclusively to Tearsheet Outlier members.

Tearsheet Outlier information and signup Missing out? Subscribe today and you’ll receive unlimited access to all Tearsheet content, original research, exclusive webinars and events, member-only newsletters from Tearsheet editors and reporters and much more. Join Outlier now — only $49/mo. Already an Outlier member? Sign in to your account

0 comments on “4 charts on Bitcoin’s environmental impact”

Outlier OpinionsMakers

Member Exclusive, Payments

Payments Briefing: ‘We penetrated the blue ocean opportunity of the Spanish-speaking market’ – NovoPayment’s Anabel Perez

  • This week, we take a look at Miami-based BaaS provider, NovoPayment.
  • We also discuss Bumped, a firm that rewards customers with equity in the brands they shop from.
Ismail Umar | May 12, 2022
Member Exclusive

Lending Briefing: How fintechs are digitizing the mortgage process

  • Shifting consumer preferences are incentivizing mortgage banks to digitize other outdated, paper-based or manual parts of the business. But most of the innovation is happening outside the legacy system with fintechs taking the lead.
  • Given the current macroeconomic environment, uncertainty and dwindling margins in the mortgage sector, digital processes can help weather the storm by reducing costs.
Iulia Ciutina | May 11, 2022
Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

Data Snack: Real-time payments contribute a meager 0.9% to US transactions, FedNow expected to change that

  • The US real time payments industry is small, with just two networks, neither of which span across the country.
  • Federal Reserve’s country-wide real-time payments network initiative, FedNow, is expected to become one of the biggest payment clearance settlement systems in the world upon release.
Subboh Jaffery | May 11, 2022
Member Exclusive, New banks

Banking Briefing: Interest rates, big banks, and Revolut’s bumpy road to super-app-dom

  • The Central Bank raised its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point. But with more fintech competition than ever, can major banks afford to respond the way they have in the past?
  • Meanwhile, Revolut’s super app strategy is hitting some bumps. What does that mean for the firm?
Rivka Abramson | May 09, 2022
Data Snacks, Member Exclusive

Data Snack: US fintech lenders down 30% on average in Q1 2022

  • Macroeconomic trends loom over the fintech sector and pressure public market stocks - most fintech lenders are down 30% or more in the first three months of 2022.
  • This could be a reaction against higher interest rates, which can grow the risk of defaults - driving investors to reevaluate fintech valuations, especially those with aggressive growth strategies.
Iulia Ciutina | May 06, 2022
More Articles