The Bitcoin Mining Council brings together 51 miners representing 45% of the Bitcoin network’s computing power. Summary of his last quarterly report.
BTC mining: 60% renewable energy
Bitcoin uses an insignificant amount of the world’s energy (0.16%) and its share in CO2 emissions is even more negligible (0.10%). The reason is that the electricity used by BTC miners comes from almost 60% renewable energy.
The computing power allocated to securing the Bitcoin network increased by 73% year on year. However, its power consumption only increased by 41%. This difference is explained by a 23% increase in the energy efficiency of the mining.
Much of this efficiency gain can be explained by Moore’s “law”, according to which the density of transistors in microprocessors doubles every two years due to advances in technology.
Mining machines today use 5 nm chips and, by 2027, 1.4 nm chips if we are to believe the world leader TSMC.
Moore’s “law” and the fact that the reward paid to miners is halved every four years (half) to significantly limit bitcoin’s energy consumption.
Which allows us to say during its run that the security of the Bitcoin network depends only on the amount of energy injected. It is also a function of technological advances in semiconductors used to generate hashes (Proof-of-Work).
The BMC estimates that the amount of electricity required to maintain the current level of Bitcoin network security will be reduced by 24 within eight years.
Of course, if the value of bitcoin increases by 24 in the same time, electricity consumption will stagnate. In fact, the BTC appreciation makes it profitable to connect more machines.
Given these figures, we are far from done “Boil the Oceans”. Not to mention the fact that bitcoin is the best technology to extinguish methane flares and therefore participate in the fight against global warming. More information HERE.
In addition, the miner Ben Gagnon emphasized during the presentation of the report that from this quarter we will have a 40% increase in the energy efficiency of the machines. This is due to the arrival of the antiminers S19XP which has an energy efficiency of 21.5 watts per Terahash, against 29.5 W/Th of its predecessor S19Pro.
The BMC did not fail to notice that ethereum has just abandoned the race hashrate. Now there is bitcoin “100 times more secure than all of the competing cryptocurrencies combined”.
Another way to look at it is that the combined computing power of Google, Amazon and Azure is less than 1% of the power of bitcoin miners. This huge discrepancy is due to the fact that miners use ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) is specially dedicated to the SHA-256 algorithm.
Bitcoin stabilizes power grids
The BMC concluded its quarterly report with a presentation by Romain Nouzareth regarding the uses of bitcoin mining to secure power grids.
The big challenge for energy companies is to be able to withstand consumption peaks. The latter forces them to maintain many power plants that are economically unprofitable, but necessary for the blackout during peaks.
All this to say that the demand for electricity is not constant over time. On a daily scale, consumption peaks occur in the early morning and evening. The explanation is simple: these are the times when people are at home.
Weekends are less energy intensive since industries are generally idle. In addition there is the climate factor responsible for seasonal peaks. They intervene in winter (heating), but also in summer during heat waves (air conditioning).
Romain Nouzareth explains:
“We are the only digital industry in the world that can suddenly stop using electricity. This is not the case with Google or Amazon data centers which operate permanently.
For example, in Quebec, where we operate 20 megawatts of energy, we stop our engines mainly during the winter peaks. When the population needs heat because it is cold, theenergy body ask us to arrest our minors. We do it for several times each year, mainly in the winter.
This is a great way for the electron energy company to sell what it didn’t sell before. Let’s take an example: you are a municipality of 20,000 households and you have access to 100 MW of energy. You never want to use your network at 100% [il faut une marge en cas de très gros pics]. So you’re going to push it up to 80 megawatts. In the summer, the municipality will use a power of 60 megawatts and in the winter, because it is cold, 80 megawatts.
Before there were bitcoin miners on this network, the energy company sold 60 megawatts in the summer and 80 megawatts in the winter. While on the network, it will be able to sell an amount closer to 80 megawatts all the time. This means more income for the municipality and the energy company [qui pourra investir cet argent pour remplacer ses sources d’énergie carbonée par des sources d’énergie renouvelable]. »
Of course, in Quebec, most of the energy is of hydraulic origin (dams across the river), so that the energy consumed by the miners does not release CO2.
Let us conclude by reminding ourselves that miners are encouraged to settle where electricity is cheapest. This electricity must come from surplus renewable energy. Let’s say, bitcoin is an asset for the energy transfer!
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Journalist reporting on the Bitcoin revolution. My papers deal with bitcoin through geopolitical, economic and libertarian prisms.