Duncan Davidson
Monday, August 24, 2020

⛓ Thousands of miles per bitcoin transaction.

Reading through an article titled Bitcoin, the amazing solution for almost nothing, I came across this:

Carrying out a payment with Visa requires about 0.002 kilowatt-hours; the same payment with bitcoin uses up 906 kilowatt-hours, more than half a million times as much, and enough to power a two-person household for about three months.

906kWh per transaction. If true, and doing a bit of back of the envelope math, you could drive a Volkswagen ID.3 over 4000 miles on that much power. At roughly 35% efficiency, it’d take a generator 72 gallons of gasoline to make that much power.

That might be overstating it, however. The Bitcoin Energy Consumption website estimates a blockchain transaction to take 573.02kWh. That’s a lot better, but still would power that ID.3 for over 2500 miles.

I’ll stick to my Visa, thanks.