Elon Musk calls crypto “quite energy intensive”

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Recently Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors, SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company, had an interview in ARK invest FYI (Four Year Innovation) podcast. They mostly spoke about his company Tesla and key features of its success, but at the end of the 30-minute show, they touched cryptocurrencies as well. The show hosts Tasha Keeney and Cathie Wood asked Elon what was his take on crypto assets, since he and Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, shared support for Bitcoin. The outcome of this was that Elon called crypto “quite energy intensive”.

Crypto is better than paper money

At the start of this crypto segment, he laughs and tells the story about his ban on Twitter by making fun on the phrase “wanna buy some bitcoin”. Later he continues by saying “I’ve got some friends of mine that are really involved in crypto”. And then came his legendary phrase, which all the major news sites were picking up: ”I think Bitcoin’s structure is quite brilliant.” Elon continues by elaborating on what he thinks are the downsides of crypto. He mentions that one of the biggest downsides is the energy consumption. “One of the downsides of crypto is it’s quite energy intensive,” says Musk.

This was the main concern of the popular media when Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general were at their peak. Headlines like “Expanding Bitcoin use will push global warming above 2C in just two decades” flooded the internet and people started to compare the energy consumption of crypto to things like Christmas decoration energy consumption.

Crypto energy consumption

Whether we should be concerned or not, we’re not quite sure. I think it is not that indefinite, and cannot be measured in such arguments like comparing to the global warming expansion. At the time of writing, Bitcoin handles more than 320k transactions per day, and to this date, the number of transactions has only increased. The total amount is 384 million transactions.

Bitcoin transactions per day
The total number of Bitcoin transactions

It’s not like since the emerging bear market Bitcoin transactions have lowered. It’s actually the opposite. At the moment, Bitcoin transactions per day are slowly increasing to the amount that it processed during the peak bull market days. Also, the transactions per block are almost at the same heights as of December 2017. The amount of Bitcoin transacted per day, also is almost at the same levels as of December – January 2018.

Bitcoin transactions per block
The amount of Bitcoin transacted per day

Since the price is not even comparable to the heights of the previous bull market, it is quite safe to say that this is not as big of a problem. In fact, the Bitcoin energy consumption index has dropped since the end of 2018.

Bitcoin energy consumption Index

Infographic of cryptocurrency energy consumption

This infographic by BTXchange.io simply explains and compares the energy consumption month by month for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They compare it to such things as countries of the world and the explains how much money miners spend to maintain the network. So is Bitcoin a threat to global warming? You will have to think about it yourself.

Have a look at the beautiful infographic:



Photo by flickr.com