Explained: Bitcoin Uses So Much Energy, Isn’t That An Issue?


On today’s show, Preston talks with energy and mining experts, Harry Sudock and Marty Bent. We talk about bitcoin using so much energy.

Preston Pysh
Bitcoin mining uses so much energy, it will boil the oceans.

Marty Bent
It’s our goal. This is what we got into this industry for. Really just trying to increase the temperature of the world’s oceans. To start this particular topic, I think it has to be laid bare that Bitcoin wears its energy consumption to a certain degree on its sleeve. Anybody can point at the network due to the fact that it’s an open protocol, an open source protocol of the data about what’s happening in the blocks and the computing power dedicated to bringing those blocks to market and the amount of hash rate dedicated to that then, which is estimated based on how fast or slow blocks are coming, every 2016 blocks, you can ballpark how much energy is being consumed to produce the amount of hashes that are being produced to secure the network and add blocks to the Bitcoin blockchain.

Marty Bent
So right off the bat, Bitcoin has this, I don’t want to say an unfair advantage, is easy to pick on and point out and say, hey, look at how much energy the Bitcoin network’s consuming. Whereas if you had to get a measurement of the amount of energy that is used to back the US dollar reserves system, and that includes things like the military industrial complex, all the buildings that run the federal reserve banks and the commercial banks in the US banking system, all the commutes to and from work and the people that work in those buildings, the amount of paper expanding in those buildings, amount of energy and air conditioner and heating, consumed in those buildings.

Marty Bent
That number just isn’t public, the extent and effort to which you’d have to go and actually get that information to compare to Bitcoin is extremely hard. It’s not easy to find that information. Bitcoin at a disadvantage right off the bat with this particular argument that it can’t really be compared, truly compared to its competitors, because they don’t wear their energy consumption on their sleeve, just like the Bitcoin network does. And then, which is what Harry and I know very intimately to what we’re doing specifically in the field with Bitcoin mining is, if people came to understand the sources of energy that is being converted into electricity to mine Bitcoin, paints a bit of a different picture, where you’re not really creating new energy to mine Bitcoin, you’re not going out and drilling a hole in the earth to pull out oil to mine Bitcoin, specifically Bitcoin miners, again, because they are incentivized to drive their cost of power production down as low as possible.

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