At press time, the granddaddy of all crypto, bitcoin, is trading for just shy of $11,900. The asset is now trading for about $1,500 more than where it stood just a week ago, suggesting that the currency is not only enduring a correctional phase, but bursting with strength given how little time it has needed before jumping the gun and adding more to its price yet again.
Bitcoin Is Tough, but It Still Has a Few Flaws
Bitcoin has certainly developed a thicker hide over the past year. Unfortunately, reports are still emerging that the currency utilizes too much energy. In a recent analysis, it is being suggested that bitcoin uses more energy through mining operations than the entire nation of Switzerland. This is even more ironic when one considers the country in question.
Switzerland is home to a region called Zug, which houses what has been playfully labeled “Crypto Valley.” Taking its name from Silicon Valley in Northern California, an area known for its growing list of tech hubs and startups, Crypto Valley headquarters several European blockchain and cryptocurrency-related enterprises. The report suggests that all these businesses combined do not use the amount of energy utilized by the world’s many bitcoin mining rigs.
The data stems from a new index that was launched earlier this week known as the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI). The platform estimates how much energy is required to maintain bitcoin operations in real time. It then calculates an annual sum. Thus far, it appears bitcoin is using more than “seven giga-watts of electricity,” which over a span of 12 months, comes out to around 64 terawatt hours.
Switzerland, by comparison, uses around 58 terawatts, though bitcoin still isn’t using quite as much energy as Latin American countries such as Colombia, which utilizes 68 terawatt hours.
CBECI co-creator Michel Rauchs explains in an interview:
We want to use comparisons that set the narrative. Visitors of the website can make up their own minds as to whether it seems large or small.
It was recently reported that bitcoin mining utilizes as much energy as the city of Las Vegas. Given the number of lights, casino operations and slot machines one can find in Vegas – many of which operate all night – that’s clearly a lot of electricity.
At the same time, the index’s parent company – the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance – acknowledges that the platform’s findings aren’t 100 percent accurate. It also states that several indexes exist for measuring bitcoin’s energy consumption, and most seem to produce different results.
Everyone Has a Different Opinion
In a blog post, the company mentions:
Reliable estimates of bitcoin’s electricity usage are rare. In most cases, they only provide a one-time snapshot and the numbers often show substantial discrepancies from one model to another.