New University of Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) Launches to Track Power Usage


With many world governments putting policies in place such as Iran who cut off several people from the national power grid due to excessive use of energy for crypto mining this is a hot topic that is not going away anytime soon. Now researchers at the University of Cambridge have conducted an intense study using a real-time index to track the total electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network. This was announced on July 2, 2019, via the university's interdisciplinary academic research institutes which is the Cambridge center for alternative finance.

Details About the Index

The network is called the Cambridge bitcoin electricity consumption index and gives the total annualized energy consumption of the Bitcoin network and is updated every 30 seconds. The tool also compares bitcoin consumption levels over other electricity users as a way to give context just how much power is being consumed. As of press time, the index was reading an estimated 7.15 gigawatt with an annualized 53.01 terawatt-hour average.

Since this has been published, there has been a lot of commentary over the internet about just how much power is required and how much is being used. It has been estimated that the amount of electricity wasted each year in the United States can power the Bitcoin network for 4 years. Wasted in this sense refers to electricity that is spent on devices that are always on but are generally inactive within the home.

Another contextualized comparison is that the amount of power consumed by the Bitcoin network in a single year could power all between kettles used to boil water in the United Kingdom for 11 years and one-and-a-half years in Europe including the UK. While bitcoin certainly consumes a lot of power is only estimates for 0.24 percent of the total electricity consumption worldwide each year. A graph was released which compares the amount of power consumption worldwide and if Bitcoin were a country, it would be ranked 43rd in the world in electricity consumption surpassing states such as Romania, Denmark, Israel, and Uzbekistan.

The index was created for the purpose of providing objective and neutral data to be used by various policymakers regulations and so on in making decisions that could impact the Bitcoin and also gaining a better understanding of what the use of bitcoin means for the environment. Before now, there was no real-time tracking of the power usage of bitcoin and this motivated a need for more analysis of the carbon footprint of the crypto industry even as it gets more attention worldwide.

As such, a second phase of the index on the site development is being planned at this would include an interactive geographical map of mining facilities across the globe which will help show just which places in the world are consuming the most electricity for the purpose of crypto mining.

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