Bitcoin has been getting a lot of attention this year, with prices soaring for the cryptocurrency. Would be investors have been absorbing knowledge on how exactly bitcoin works, but one aspect of the currency is being overlooked; the power drain.
The amount of power to generate new “coins” in the current system is a tremendous amount of energy. This makes it real cost unsustainable as a viable currency with levels of energy production the creates presently. It may be a technology far ahead of its time. It takes approximately 200 kilowatt hours to process one bitcoin transaction. As the chart shows, that's almost enough power to run an average microwave for a year. So is the power consumption a factor in its rapid ascension in value? Most experts conclude that no, it does not. It is purely the speculation on the market that is responsponsible for its meteoric rise. It has been described as an economic phenomenon similar to the .com craze of the 1990s. I’m curious to how the power grids of the world will adapt when everytime someone buys something the strain of a microwave cooking a burrito for a year taxes the system. When the harsh realities of the limitations on bitcoin by this simple fact are more widely known, the craze may very well fizzle out.