Bitcoin mining uses more electricity than Oman
Digiconomist report estimates Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity than many countries
Bitcoin mining is consuming almost the same amount of electricity every year as the whole of Oman, according to a report by Digiconomist.
The cryptocurrency blog has calculated that because of the large amount of computing power which goes into verifying bitcoin transactions, the currency is a massive consumer of electricity.
Verifying bitcoin transactions, part of a process known as mining, means that the virtual currency consumes some 30.14TWh a year. In comparison, Oman consumes 29.6TWh, and Bahrain 27.8TWh. Bitcoin consumes one tenth of Saudi Arabia's annual consumption of 313TWh.
The news comes as the digital currency hits new highs of $9,700 per bitcoin.
The energy intensive nature of bitcoin mining, which often uses dedicated custom-built PCs, means that a single bitcoin transaction (294KWh per transaction) requires as much energy as could power 9.94 average US households for one day.
Bitcoin transactions are also very energy intensive in comparison to other transaction methods, such as VISA. The blog estimates that bitcoin transactions used the equivalent of 2.79 million households per day, with 127 million bitcoin transactions per year, compared to VISA's data centre energy consumption of the equivalent of the daily consumption of 50,000 households, to process 82.3 billion VISA transactions per year.