Bitcoin’s energy consumption (BTC) is yet another hotly debated topic after Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s recent tweets. A number of Bitcoin fans are even going to make a documentary to refute all fear, uncertainty & doubt (FUD) about energy consumption.
Galaxy Digital, the cryptocurrency company of billionaire Mike Novogratz, recently produced a research report on the topic called “On Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption: A Quantitative Approach to a Subjective Question.”
In the report, Galaxy estimates Bitcoin’s total energy consumption at 113.89 terrawatt hours (TWh) per year. According to the company, the energy consumption of the traditional banking system and of the gold industry is at least twice as high:
There is still a lot of uncertainty about the exact consumption of Bitcoin, especially about the share that comes from green electricity. Still, there are websites like the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBEBI), which at least give an estimate. This is much more difficult for the gold industry and the traditional financial system, says Galaxy, and nothing is reported at all.
In the study, Galaxy describes in detail how it was able to make estimates. For the gold industry, Galaxy estimates consumption at 240.61 TWh per year and for the banking system, Galaxy comes out at 263.72 TWh. Galaxy also reports that the global annual energy supply is 166,071 TWh, which is 1,458 times as much as bitcoin. The consumption of “always on devices” in American households is 1,375 TWh, 12 times as much as Bitcoin.