Energy researcher Jonathan Koomey believes that there is wide spread misconception about the volume of electricity being consumed during crypto mining. He actually challenges a number of reports aiming to prove another thesis. One of the recent papers moving in this direction is a report developed by a group of climate scientists raising an alarm that Bitcoin. The scientists make a mistake Koomey has warned about: they extrapolate current data of Bitcoin electricity consumption for to give a forecast future figures. By this wrong method, according to view of Koomey, they come to wrong conclusion.
The report postulates that in 2017, out of a rough total of 314,2 billion cashless transactions, Bitcoin’s share is estimated to have been around 0.033%. The scientists believe that if Bitcoin takes a medium speed course of development then transactions with these cryptocurrencies will reach the level of all cashless transactions “in under 100 years.” This development will result into total emissions of Bitcoin application would “cross the 2 C threshold within 22 years” if Bitcoin propagation rate is similar to some of “the slowest broadly adopted technologies,” or within just “11 years” if it shows the faster rate of adoption. The scientists make also controversial reservation that the development of alternative origins of energy from recoverable sources actually doesn’t alter the current electricity generation framework when it’s based on oil, gas and coal as the main el sources.
The report cites Digiconomist: “60% of the economic return of the Bitcoin transaction verification process goes to electricity, at $0,05 per kWh and 0,7 kg of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2) emitted per kWh, resulting in an estimate that Bitcoin usage emits 33,5 metric tons of CO2 annually, as of May 2018.”
Koomey joined ranks with another scientists’ critique of such approach to calculate the impact of Bitcoin on environment but he moved further and he’s suspicious that data used to blame Bitcoin doesn’t hold a water. Koomey cites some historical cases during the early age of the internet. In the early 2000s, many pundits claimed that the internet “used 8% of US electricity in 2000, that all computers (including the internet) used 13%, and that the total would grow to 50% of US electricity in 10 years.” These claims turn out false as years of another research found that the internet “used only 1% of US electricity in 2000, all computers used 3%, the total would never grow to half of all electricity use.”