Are Cryptocoins Environment Friendly? Find Out!

In News

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely that of the author and do not represent those of, nor should they be attributed to CCN.
It turns out one Bitcoin transaction takes 30 kWh of energy to go through to the blockchain. To get everything straight, let us look at what one kWh is. With one kWh a 100 watt light bulb would be lit for 10 hours. With 30 kWh that same 100 watt light bulb would be lit 300 hours. To make the amount of 30 kWh even more clear, I calculated how far that same amount of energy would take a 2016 Tesla S.

According to a 2016 Tesla Model S AWD – 70D uses 33kWh/100 miles riding on a combination of city and highway. From there it is quite simple to calculate that with 30 kWh the Tesla would go roughly 86 miles. Today at the time of writing this article, in December 2016, there are about 250,000 transactions in one day according to This means that with one day’s worth of Bitcoin transactions the Tesla would run 21 500,000 miles. And the number of transactions is increasing very rapidly. Just a year ago at the same time, there were only about 150,000 transactions.

The problem with Bitcoin mining algorithm, and most of the major cryptocurrencies mining algorithms, is that rely heavily on energy-intensive calculations performed by graphics cards and CPUs. History shows us that there will be advancements in the energy efficiency of graphics cards and CPUs. But, there will also be a race between getting the best calculation power out of the cards and being energy efficient. This means there will be balance that will keep the energy consumption at a high level in the future, even with the advancements.

One cryptocurrency that promises to solve the problem of high energy consumption is Burstcoin. Burstcoin attacks the problem from a different angle by using an algorithm that is based on using hard drives of its users instead of relying on graphics cards or cpu to do the heavy lifting with good success. One Burstcoin transaction takes only 0.07 kWh. If we do the same calculation as I did before with Bitcoin and show you how much energy is spent on one transaction of Burstcoin. One Burstcoin transaction would take the same 2016 Tesla Model S AWD – 70D upto 0.21 miles. The difference compared to a Bitcoin transaction is 85.79 miles.

It is granted, that Burstcoin is no way near the level of brand recognition, sophistication, or user base of Bitcoin or some of the other cryptocurrencies. But what Burstcoin is, is a greener option and there are those who share my concern about the environmental issues regarding cryptocurrencies. The greenness of Burstcoin goes a bit further in the way that old hard drives can be used to mine Burstcoin. This is a great thing when many people are turning to cloud services for their hard drive needs and discarded drives can have a new life as parts of Burstcoin mining rigs.

Image from Shutterstock.


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