Discussion about energy consumption of Bitcoin, SAFE Network etc

Not only that. You associate SAFEcoin with something that should die a natural death simply because it’s passé (at least by the time SAFE Network is live and running as projected).

I mean, there are about a 32 million BTC addresses. I keep about a hundred of those. How often do I transact BTC… 4 times a month? At most!

And BTC consumes a similar amount of energy as my entire country. I’ve seen people trying to downplay this aspect, but it sounds dishonest, corrupted and immature. The truth is BTC leaves a nasty CO2 footprint and is basically unsustainable unless it serves a relative handful of people (but everyone screams for more adoption of course).

If you can look past how many grand you have made and how much it mooned and blah blah blah, bitcoin sucks. Bitcoin is not something to associate with. It’s something to bury.


Up until now PoW seems to be the most reliable way of keeping a network (relatively) decentralised AND secure. Is there another alternative that exists currently that you think is better?

How much energy does all of the Global Finacial system consume to secure wealth - while still making ‘mistakes’?

Bear in mind Christmas tree lights only in the US - US Christmas lights use more energy than entire countries

We could also add up all the the useless internet searches by the CO2 cost (0.2g of CO2/search) and it too would be a high number. Does that mean that we should bury internet search engines? No.

Nothing in modern society is really zero carbon and carbon offsets are quite debateable in their effectiveness; but that is a discussion for a different time and place.


Off the top of my head, Decred’s POW/POS hybrid is much better. A factor of at least 20 split between cost to attack/energy efficiency… e.g. it could use 5x less energy and cost 4x more to attack at the same token price. You get on chain governance for free :slight_smile:

SAFE is potentially an even better option, but we’re going to have to test it in the wild before we can start drawing conclusions.


Is carbon dioxide such a bad thing? I understand the moral argument for using as few resources as possible and disposing of waste as cleanly as possible, but CO2??? I don’t buy it. Sure it has greenhouse properties but water vapour has so much more. Climate always changes, CO2 concentrations have been higher and lower. The models have all been wrong. The doomsayers always predict a disaster in 10yrs times and the move the goalposts when it doesn’t happen. It’s all a socialist charade designed to allow governments to steal more from you in taxation.

I am more worried about crap in the ocean (not literally)


Seems to be. If Ethereum successfully implements PoS, we will have people complaining about the network being (relatively) less decentralized. Honestly, decentralization is pretty futile if it’s unsustainable. If PoS reduces the energy consumption by a hundredfold, there is no debate.

I don’t know – do you?

And do you realize that the Global Financial system serves the entire human race? (ironical asterisk)

Total numbers have no use in this debate. Let’s count the consumption per person. And the fact you can find even more wasteful whims (such as Christmas lights in the states) should not distract anyone from seeing that Bitcoin is a wasteful crock poop of technology that has absolutely no potential for a worldwide adoption and global use.

At the moment, a single bitcoin transaction creates a carbon footprint of 258 kg of CO2. It is expected that the total number of worldwide non-cash transactions should reach about 725 billion a year by 2020.

Let’s pretend the bitcoin network could ever process this number of transactions, let’s pretend it would not kill cash and the number of non-cash transactions would not therefore explode, let’s pretend this adoption would (with the current system) not hysterically increase the carbon footprint per transaction.

With 258 kg of CO2 per transaction, bitcoin as a global payment system would pollute the planet with about 187 gigatons of CO2 a year.

On average, a car emits about 6 tons of CO2 a year. By a quick math, bitcoin implemented as a worldwide payment system at the current rate of the carbon footprint per transaction would pollute the planet like a 31 billion of passenger cars.

How cool is that? Either bitcoin chokes, or we will. But if we will, so will it.

It was really groundbreaking in 2009, pretty nerd-cool in 2011-12. And now, bitcoin is hype. Dirty and smelly hype. :nauseated_face:


Per transaction pollution numbers would fall dramatically with layer 2 and higher scaling obviously

Would it? By how much.

This guy argues the layer 2 would have to bring a 100 000% improvement of the current throughput.

The global financial system does not serve, and indeed marginalises, the majority of the world’s population. 1.5 billion people have the priviledge to be able to have access to global markets - the rest are not able to take part in the modern banking. Around 2.5 billion do not have access to a bank account (only counts head of households).

The total amount of electricity for the current financial system is going to be many, many times greater than BTC which no doubt we all accept.

We should not make the mistake of looking at BTC now and think that the situation will be the same in the future. With the internet thirty years ago who could have imagined that this would play such an important role today?

Scalibility is always an issue with any new communication system; it was an issue to send email 30 years ago, then it was a problem to attach ‘large’ documents to emails. When that got solved it took ages to download to music. Then our connection to the internet allowed us to do that so we wanted to start watching video, etc. It is the same with BTC - lightning network is the first iteration of off-chain scalability and there will be many more, working alongside each other, in the future.

Should we think SAFE is going to come to the world and serve the whole of humanity straight away? We would be in for a surprise if that is the case - no doubt there will be some scalability issues early on.

Total numbers do matter clearly because this was used in the post to highlight that BTC network uses energy on the scale of countries. With this same metric we cannot ignore the case of Christmas tree lights which only in America uses around ten times the energy of entire BTC network. In other words, more than Ethiopia, El Salvadore and Tanzania. What use do Chrismas tree lights serve? Why don’t we just give this useless power to these countries? :thinking:

The PoW public ledger is what gives people the confidence in BTC and the network it’s value - but if one feels so strongly that BTC is destroying the planet, they can of course choose to not take part in BTC protocal, sell any coins they may hold, and choose another route. In the end the people will decide the winner(s?).


I hope people research instead of ‘accepting’ anything, because otherwise they risk being fooled. In this case, it’s relatively harmless.

But not really correct.

The global banking industry processes around 500 billion of non-cash transactions per year. With a total energy requirement of 200 TWh


During the same time span, Bitcoin processed around 81 million transactions. With a total energy consumption estimates around 60 TWh.

Not only is not 200 many, many times greater than 60. When you account for the difference between the transaction numbers, Bitcoin comes off as extremely wasteful and non-efficient.

I get Satoshi’s point. And yeah, in the crisis-riddled 2009, taking money away from the banks was THE thing.

But at this cost? No thanks from me.

EDIT: Apology for talking about this here. Can it be moved elsewhere?


Can you please send the source that outlines the workings of that number please? I have seen very conservative maths energy requirements for basic bank and ATM operation, but with an additional unknown amount for data centres, energy for transporting assets, security, etc.

In any case, seasonal lights in first world countries have a much higher energy overhead than BTC, by an order of magnitude.

It’s in the article I have already posted above:

Oh come on, They’re not seasonal lights, they are Christmas lights (given that 1st world countries generally have a Christian culture)

Christmas lights are not the only seasonal lights in the First World :slight_smile:

Is. This. True.

I think this needs to be shouted from the roof tops.
Especially in comparison to the small carbon footprint of a SAFECoin.

Current token purchase…

Buying maid currently is,

Buy BTC, withdraw from exchange.
Send to Poloniex, buy
Withdraw to BTC wallet

3x 258kg =774 kg of CO2

774kg of CO2

I feel sick. I had no idea. :nauseated_face::nauseated_face:

This is a good tweet fact for maidsafe .


Well, some folks insist it is exaggerated. They’re always estimates, but yeah, pretty scary. And it makes you wonder why governments just let it slide. The answer seems pretty obvious. They’re in.

EDIT: Also another reason to encourage HODL. HODL or we will have to HODL our breaths :smiley:

It’s like saying Civilizations always die, which is also true. The disaster is already starting to unfold. Earth will recover from this eventually, sure, but without us.

The impact of humans on the environment is clear and extreme, there is no doubt about it.

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Even if we hacked that estimate to 1kg.
It is proof that as a global payment system Blockchain tech is impossible… which is why zuckercoin is a database backed crypto. For the expansion in mind of Facebook a Blockchain coin isn’t scalable… it’s also the reason why MasterCard et al have not touched block chain.

Maidsafe on the other hand… scalable. It’s going to be interesting to see if visa, MasterCard move on to SAFENet.


Will we shout about the total wasted energy used by Christmas lights, which only in America and the UK is around 10 times higher than the usage of the BTC network?

Surely, we need to keep this in perspective. Firstly no one really knows how much energy banking uses - 200TWh seems like a finger in the air estimate when one reads that article; the number could be argued to be higher when we start to dig deeper. Secondly when BTC scales, which it will, it will be more efficient than the current mature, inefficient, corrupt banking system. Rome was not built in a day - and it was not a long time ago when one would have struggled to do anything useful, by today’s standards, on the internet.

SAFE still has a long way to come - and if one thinks that scalability will not be an issue in the early days, they will be in for a surprise. SAFE at the beginning will not be able to service a large number of users, just like Bitcoin struggled, though as time goes on the situation gets better. Good things take time.

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Mmmm. Christmas lights - I could praise the new technologies out there. A Christmas tree set of lights definitely does not produce 258 kg of CO2.

But the main hard hitting point is that a transaction that I do now… say buy a sandwich at lunch time with cash has zero carbon foot print. If I do the same transaction with a debit card the carbon foot print only rises by a tiny about. BUT! If I did the same transaction with blockchain… that transaction carbon footprint would be much larger that the carbon foot print of the creation of every sandwich in that shop.

I understand your point on transactions - but we need to compare apples with apples. We are lucky that we have access to banking and modern finance. Most people in the world don’t have that choice.

Banking systems can scale and verify transactions easily but are they decentralised, permissionless, borderless, immutible, peer-to-peer? Nope. Should we forget about Bitcoin? You and I are free to choose and partake as you please.

TBH, not speaking about wasted energy such as Christmas tree lights or useless internet searches that add up to a huge amount of total CO2 seems a bit short-sighted. Anyway BTC exists and does not require approval to exist.

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