EMAILED ON November 6, 2017 BY Lindsey Quinn

Global Bitcoin mining now consumes as much electricity as Nigeria

Bitcoin prices are at an all-time high (over $7k per coin), but the trajectory comes with a surprising side effect: energy consumption for cryptocurrency transactions is through the roof.

As more and more miners take to their comps, they must solve “increasingly more difficult cryptographic puzzles.”

These complex computations, in turn, take more and more energy, meaning that today, just one Bitcoin transaction now takes 215 kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough to power the average American home for a week.

It’s all thanks to massive international mining operations

Operating overseas in countries like China, Malaysia, and Iceland, out of huge data centers filled with supercomputers. Aka energy-sucking monsters. Aka we aren’t talking Dells, people!

As a result, electricity costs comprise nearly 95% of total mining costs — hence why the highest concentration of miners are located close to cheap hydropower (near places like Tibet).

So sure, it’s not “mining” in the traditional sense… it’s crypto-mining in, like, “the future is now” kinda sense.

And crypto sure has a carbon footprint

According to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index,” as Bitcoin’s energy consumption continues to rise, it’s blowing other global payment systems out of the water.

Bitcoin mining currently takes 27 times more energy than the entire global Visa network and 3 times more energy than the next largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum — which, unlike Bitcoin, is actually taking steps to reduce its energy-sucking mining algorithm.

Don’t you dare make us start taking sides in the crypto-game, Bitcoin. It’s too soon!