Banks Consume Over Three Times More Energy than Bitcoin, According to the Researcher Dr. Katarina M. Kelly-Pitou.

Banks Consume Over Three Times More Energy than Bitcoin, According to the Researcher Dr. Katarina M. Kelly-Pitou.

Bitcoin’s energy consumption has become the topic of many debates. Earlier this year, an article stated that Bitcoin dramatically increases global energy consumption and that electricity Is Bitcoin’s, Achilles Heel. According to Dr. Katarina, a clean energy researcher, this is not true, and the subject has been oversimplified.

According to Katarina, the debate about Bitcoins energy consumption is not heading in the right direction, and the naysayers are missing critical factors when making their claims. She argues that new technologies such as computers, cars and planes, ones were, are often energy intensive in the beginning but as it progressed, it was possible to save on energy costs.

“By talking specifically about just the consumption of energy alone, I believe many fail to understand one of the most basic benefits of renewable energy systems. Electricity production can increase while still maintaining a minimal impact on the environment. Rather than focusing on how much energy bitcoin uses, the discussion should center around who indeed is producing it – and where their power comes from” – Dr. Katarina.

She still agrees that Bitcoin mining uses a lot of energy and during 2017 the energy consumption got estimated to around 30 terawatt hours which is the same amount of power Ireland requires for one year.

Even though it is a lot of energy, it is not exorbitant. Banking consumers an estimate of 100 terawatts of power annually. If Bitcoin improves as its still a new technology, the costs of running the network could significantly decrease. Even if it stays at current levels, banking consumes over three times as much energy as Bitcoin.  

She argues that the right discussion should not focus on the energy consumption of Bitcoin’s network but towards the carbon production of Bitcoin and how it can be reduced.
“Rather than discussing the energy consumption of bitcoin generally, people should be discussing the carbon production of bitcoin, and understanding whether certain mining towns are adding to an already large environmental burden. Although there has been an extensive discussion in the media of bitcoin’s energy consumption, I’m not aware of any studies that calculate the comparative carbon footprint of the bitcoin process”.

That being said, global energy consumption is going up overall, and the U.S. Energy information administration predicts that the world will increase by nearly 29 percent over the next two decades. However, energy increasing is only bad if we are not shifting to less carbon-dense power production.

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