Bitcoin mining consumes more electricity a year than Ireland

Bitcoin’s “mining” network uses more electricity in a year than the whole of Ireland, according to statistics released as the currency broke $9,000 for the first time.

According to Digiconomist the estimated power use of the bitcoin network, which is responsible for verifying transactions made with the cryptocurrency, is 30.14TWh a year, which exceeds that of 19 other European countries. At a continual power drain of 3.4GW, it means the network consumes five times more electricity than is produced by the largest wind farm in Europe, the London Array in the outer Thames Estuary, at 630MW.

The value of one bitcoin neared $10,000 on 27 November, as the currency continued to grow in its third significant boom in its history. Previous periods of sustained growth, in 2013 and 2014, each ended with substantial busts, leading commentators to label them, in hindsight, as speculative bubbles.