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Debunking the Cryptocurrency Power Usage Myth: Ignorance, Hypocrisy, and Mainstream Media FUD

This research took a little time, so I would really appreciate if you at least take some time to read it even if it kills you to read this long winded novel.

I’d like to first start off by speaking about Ethereum. Ethereum transactions do use up a good chunk of power. That part is not a myth.

2nd. BTC uses up roughly the same power per transaction but only 1/3 of total transactions done by ETH.

However , The centralized corporate media FUD surrounding the ETH , and BTC power usage falls flat on its face.

I will explain.

Starting with ETH.
________

A few people on my Facebook feed during lockdown talked about watching Netflix all day.

One in particular. *”Been watching movies on netflix since I woke up at 6am, and can’t stop I’m on my 8th movie today!”*. – that post was at 11pm.

Assuming these movies averaged 1.5hr each. That’s 12hours of streaming!

###”How much power could it possibly take to stream our movies?, Surely it can’t be more than that Evil Crypto thing all those selfish people do?”, said Nancy Know Nothing, and her gluten free husband Nick Know it All.

Well let’s take a look!

###Researchers at lancaster university found a 2-hour stream equates to boiling 10 KETTLES of tea.

###Each kettle of water uses 1KWH to boil.

Nancy Know Nothing bragged about 12hrs of streaming, then joined the cancel culture group to tell you evil crypto users you’re hurting the environment. That’s boiling 60 kettles of water. She used 60KWH! Wow and highly likely she also boiled water that day. Maybe, maybe not. Many people enjoy relaxing with a hot cup of tea while watching a movie.

###An ethereum transaction uses 48.14KWH.

but not per household. Or maybe per crypto user? No. That’s ludicrous. Instead all this power per transaction is divided amongst many computers at many locations. And those giant farms. 😆

**Now, let’s compare the power needed of ETH transactions per day on the Eth network with the power needed to stream movies per day.**

During this bull run, we average about 1.2 Million ETH transactions per day. “During a bull run”.

##This is total worldwide transactions.
Not US, not Europe. Total Worldwide

That’s 1.2M at 48.14KWH.

1.2M x 48.14 = 58.09M KWH per Day. Seems like an insane amount right? Not really if we are comparing this to worldwide energy needed.

Now let’s look at streaming movies.

###According to a Statista survey in the US.
25% of adults ages 18-29 said they streamed at least one movie per day in the early part of 2020.

**That’s 2.5 months of pre-pandemic lockdown mixed with only .5 months of lockdown**

These aren’t even figures during full lockdown which we all know is probably way higher. But let’s just stick with the survey for the early part of 2020. I don’t want to add to much confusion.

I will be conservative and say these movies averaged 1.5hrs ea, and each of those 25% were conservative, and environmentally conscious(like they all claim), and only streamed one movie each.

###There are 53.7 Million adults 18-29 in the US.

**At 25% that’s 13,400,000 adults ages 18-29 streaming at least one 1.5HR movie per day.**

I’m not even considering those who streamed 2,3,4 or 8 movies like Nancy Know Nothing bragged about that day.

I’m also not considering everyone aged 4-17 and 30-XX years old who streamed movies.

Let’s keep it stupid simple.

**13,400,000 x 1.5hrs = 20,100,000Hrs per day streaming movies in the US ALONE and only for the age group 18-29. and Sorry I have to keep repeating that. I’m sure some non crypto users are choosing to block that fact out of their head due to biases. Maybe some might call it a racist fact. That wouldn’t surprise me much these days.**

So we have 20,100,000 Hours of streaming.

According to researchers we had 10 kettles of tea per 2 hrs of steaming, and each kettle using 1KWH. 1hr of streaming would be 5 kettles or 5KWH.

20,100,000hrs x 5KWH = 100,500,000KWH per day.

– JUST IN THE US ALONE.
– JUST AGES 18-29
– JUST CONSIDERING THEY STREAMED ONLY ONE 1.5HR MOVIE PER DAY.

Compare this 100,500,000 KWH to total worldwide ETH transactions per day.

###100,500,000KWH Steaming Just 18-29 in US per day.

###58,090,000KWH in ETH transactions per day DURING A BULL RUN!

Wow! Who would’ve thought that just in the US in a certain age group streaming movies is almost doubling the power needed for the worldwide ethereum network?

Holy shit. Just that age group in the US. Not only that. Most of that profit is going to just a couple of big tech corps. Profits from ETH are being spread out amongst millions of regular people (and some rich mining farm owners). Close to a million. But at least a few hundred thousand. Still better than going to the pockets of just a couple big tech corps.

If we calculated exact numbers for every age around the world for streaming per day. You can bet your ass we are in the Billions of KWH per hour.

###BILLIONS in KWH! and all streaming profits go to a handful of powerful corporations.

World wide Ethereum network power usage isn’t even close to competing in power usage.

Not even close.

This is what the world is. This is what centralized control is about.

They feed off regular people‘s ignorance about crypto, make them afraid of what they do not understand by just pointing out a number, and not educating them on the bigger picture.

The real Truth. The cold honest truth is that those who are “pro-centralization” that “don’t do the evil crypto thing” are eating up more power steaming propaganda filled movies than those who “do the bad crypto thing”, and are Pro-Decentralization.

**Streaming statistic source**:
https://www.statista.com/statistics/935493/movies-watching-streaming-frequency-us-by-age/

**Steaming power usage source**:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7022913/Energy-used-stream-one-film-make-60-cups-tea.html

**ETH daily transactions source**:
https://ycharts.com/indicators/ethereum_transactions_per_day#:~:text=Ethereum%20Transactions%20Per%20Day%20is,from%20720114.0%20one%20year%20ago.

**Eth transaction power usage per transaction source**:
https://www.loop-news.com/p/the-big-problem-with-nfts-energy

Quick Note: we average 300K BTC transaction per day worldwide. BTC transactions use roughly the same power per eth transaction.
Still, combing these two cryptos isn’t even near to the power used by US streaming movies for 18-29 age group.

We can even add Litecoin which averages today about 90K. Worldwide usage with these 3 still isn’t even close to that age group in the US.

Remember: I only considered one 1.5hr stream. We all know at least 5% are steaming more than that.

Thank you.



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19 Comments

  1. This looks like a really well researched post but I’m just looking for the part that explains whether or not it’s worth it to mine ETH or BTC in my house. Do the rewards exceed the cost of electricity?

  2. Like u/thegreatmcgeek says, except with a softer tone; we *can* do better with alternatives to the existing power usage. Just because other things use more doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for even better. Like saying my country’s CO2 output is okay just because China is worse.

    Well thought out post though, I bet the downvoters didn’t even read. In particular the GPU market is annoying with gamers thinking their hedonistic pleasure is worth the waste of electricity but a decentralized network with lots of use is not.

  3. ETH and BTC are no where near the levels of “global adoption”.

    >Still, combing these two cryptos isn’t even near to the power used by US streaming movies for 18-29 age group.

    You’re comparing global power usage from **everyone** streaming (in this bracket) to a niche community hardly anyone knows exists (of all age brackets).

    This whole post is a strawman with numbers being used where convenient to push whatever argument/agenda you have.

  4. Great post! As an ETH miner, I can use this as a reference when someone brings up power usage again.

    I just find it upsetting when people constantly bring up power usage of crypto and ignore power usage of fiat and other goods/services. Crypto can easily go green when governments stop being stubborn.

  5. Ethereum needs to move to POS asap

    This articles logic is all taken from ass, really. There are hundreds if not thousands of computers wasting energy on POW in etherum. **WASTING**.

    POS is the solution.

    It doesn’t matter who is wasting more, bitcoin, netflix user or eth. ETH is wasting energy and destroying environment unnecessary.

  6. There is some serious whataboutism going on here.

    A **single** ETH/BTC transaction is equivalent to boiling a kettle 48 times, and it’s alright because other services use more?

    If anything this post just makes it clear that PoW requires **way** more energy than most people imagine (in addition to other things 1st-world civilisations take for granted).

  7. Agreed, ETH is rather efficient. Gen 3 adoption will be even better.

    Though, side note – your “quick note” is way off-base. BTC is where the lion’s share of power consumption comes from, and lumping it in **will** inflate your numbers. Otherwise solid analysis!

  8. The more important issue is justifying that BTC, ETH and crypto more broadly is worth any energy at all. I truly believe that a lot of people use it as a justification to be against crypto and even if the energy footprint dropped to the power of one home computer some people will still see it as a waste or find some other reason to attack it.

    We justify energy use for all sorts of things because society deems it valuable. If they don’t see it as valuable even 1 watt is too much and people will freak out.

  9. This should almost be stickied, geez. Nicely done.

    Definitely a good reference to keep around.

    See that little “save” button, people? Maybe a good time to use it.

  10. I appreciate the well research post, but I just have one criticism. You’re kind of comparing apples oranges. I think it’s hard to argue that the current crypto space brings that much value to society, where as entertainment like watching movies does. most people’s issue with crypto is that it seems to be “wasting” energy because the end product is just to fuel greed and speculation, its not revolutionized the world yet, so until it does most people will scoff at it. The same happened with the internet, and time will tell if it happens to crypto

  11. Good job!

    Now figure out how much power a single bank branch uses, and how many of those there are, and it will make Netflix feel like a drop in the bucket.

    Further, consider that carbon emissions come not from energy usage, but rather from energy *production.* And finally, that the bulk of mining operations run on surplus energy, meaning that it’s already produced, and that *not* using it would be wasting it, without having a beneficial effect on carbon emissions. Netflix (and running banks, and most other power usage is, on balance, the opposite. Most people have no understanding of [how electrical grids work.](https://energycentral.com/c/ec/available-vs-demand-electricity-what%E2%80%99s-difference)

    Here is an undeniable fact, once you do understand how they work, and who is using them for what: if you shut down Netflix viewing, you would immediately reduce net carbon emissions, but if you shut down PoW mining operations, you would see almost no reduction.

    I’ve been saying this for months, and getting repeatedly downvoted. If you buy into the pearl-clutching over PoW crypto mining, you are providing a megaphone for the propaganda of those who want to squash crypto currency use.

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