Bitcoin energy consumption relative to several countries
Depending on the evaluation method used, the energy consumption of cryptocurrencies can be comparable to countries such as the Czech Rerpublic or Ireland. This is no less than 71 TWh yearly that are necessary to feed the monster. Considering an average CO2 intensity of 0.5 kCO2/kWh, we reach a total of 36 MtCO2 – more or less the total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions of Slovakia. This probably a quite conservative approach because computers are in high CO2 intensity countries (China, Russian Federation,…). A bitcoin transaction uses 500,000 times more power than that of a credit card.
Moreover, cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.) are used for out-of-the-official-market transactions, such as tax evasion, illegal products purchases and any other borderline activities. In other words, the use of cryptocurrencies impacts tax revenues and facilitates access to drugs, arms, and prostitution/illegal pornography.
From a governance point of view, legislators have just begun to understand that a currency-like object should be regulated to avoid price manipulations, and they are about to understand that decentralized activities are difficult to supervise. However we can’t deny that crypto-currency is an expression of freedom and mistrut. This is a kind of local currency in a global village.