The power usage of the Bitcoin network, assuming that every miner utilised the same mining equipment, according to statistics from Glassnode.
Best-Case Bitcoin Network 4.8 times more efficient than worst-case scenario
According to the on-chain analytics company Glassnode, the power estimations are based on the BTC network’s current hashrate. The amount of computer power currently linked to the Bitcoin blockchain is indicated by a metric called “mining hashrate.”
In the actual world, miners from all over the world contribute to this hashrate since they each face unique challenges and operating conditions that affect their profit margins. Only the largest mining businesses can afford to replace their facilities with the newest and most effective rigs since the available cash at each miner might vary greatly.
All of these variations lead to a very diversified network where the miners would utilise a wide range of mining rigs, and even within the same facility, the machines may be a mix of old and modern versions. Since it is plainly difficult to determine the actual power usage of Bitcoin, Glassnode has instead calculated the network’s power by assuming a consistent blockchain for four distinct mining rigs. These numbers are shown in the graph below.
The four machines in use here are the Antminer series S9, S17, S19 Pro, and S19 XP Hyd. The S9, which was released in 2017, is the least efficient machine out of them, hence the estimated upper bound for the Bitcoin network’s power consumption if all of its hashrate came from the S9 alone is approximately 24 Gigawatt (GW). On the other side, the S19 XP Hyd, which was released this year, is the best-case scenario and would put the total at close to 5 GW. Naturally, none of these boundaries is a representation of the actual blockchain and is merely theoretical.
The real power consumption figure is probably close to the estimates of the other two machines, which are 7 GW and 11 GW (S17 and S19 Pro, respectively). These hashrate-based estimates are really quite close to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index’s estimate of 10 GW.
Glassnode has also demonstrated the efficiency improvements associated with these machines using these estimations for the various mining rigs. The network would be 2.2 times more efficient with S17 than it would be with S9, and 3.3 times more effective with S19 Pro. In the best case scenario, the S19 XP Hyd is around 4.8x more efficient.
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