Online currency Bitcoin consumes more energy than the nation of Switzerland, according to new estimates from University of Cambridge researchers.
A new online tool from the University of Cambridge – the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index – provides a real-time estimate of the total electricity load and consumption of the Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin consumes electricity through the need to run bitcoin mining machines, the hardware of which consumes a lot of energy. The more machines a Bitcoin miner uses, the more likely they are to find Bitcoin.
Recent estimates (updated every 30 seconds) shows Bitcoin uses 59.19 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year, with Switzerland using 58.46TWh per year.
This means Bitcoin accounts for 0.27 per cent of the world’s total electricity consumption.
By comparison, Australia uses 229.4TWh per year.
It’s also estimated to use more energy than all of the world’s traditional banks combined, as well as having significantly less transactions.