Bitcoin Mining and its Energy Footprint

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* Article: Bitcoin Mining and its Energy Footprint. By Karl J. O’Dwyer† and David Malone. ISSC 2014 / CIICT 2014, Limerick, June 26–27



"Bitcoin is a digital cryptocurrency that has generated considerable public interest, including both booms in value and busts of exchanges dealing in Bitcoins. One of the fundamental concepts of Bitcoin is that work, called mining, must be done in checking all monetary transactions, which in turn creates Bitcoins as a reward. In this paper we look at the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining. We consider if and when Bitcoin mining has been profitable compared to the energy cost of performing the mining, and conclude that specialist hardware is usually required to make Bitcoin mining profitable. We also show that the power currently used for Bitcoin mining is comparable to Ireland’s electricity consumption."