Bitcoin Sustainability Report February 2018

Digiconomist is committed to promoting (the development of) sustainable blockchain technology. Blockchain protocols such as Bitcoin currently run on the energy-slurping proof-of-work algorithm (creating these proofs of work is better known as “mining”). The Bitcoin Energy Consumption index is a key tool that was created to provide insight into this energy consumption amount, and raise awareness on the unsustainability of the proof-of-work algorithm. The sustainability report uses historical data from the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index to summarize the sustainability progress and performance of the Bitcoin protocol over the past month.

February Highlights

February was a terrible month for Bitcoin miners. Revenues almost halved during this month as transaction activity and the revenues linked to transaction fees completely crashed. In fact, the average number of transactions processed per day is now lower than the average per day at the start of 2016. Even so, mining remains highly profitable, and the amount of energy consumed by miners continues to grow. The highlights of the past month are as follows:

  • Mining revenues decreased by 46 percent.
  • Mining revenue from transaction fees decreased by 89 percent.
  • The average fee per single transaction was $4.32.
  • The total network power consumption increased by almost 7 percent.
  • The average energy consumption per transaction was up by around 77 percent, and amounts to 705 KWh per unique transaction (enough to power 1 U.S. household for more than 23 days).

The full report is featured below:

DescriptionValueMonthly changeTrend
Mining Revenue
Average Bitcoin Price$9,427-27.78%
Average Price Volatility116.97%-0.56%
Mining Revenue from Fees$23,247,756-88.97%
Mining Revenue from Blocks Mined$587,646,039-35.64%
Total Mining Revenue$610,893,795-45.64%
Mining Costs
Total Costs of Mining$189,620,8826.77%
Percentage of Total Revenue31.04%96.43%
Total KWh Consumed3,792,417,6456.77%
Network Statistics
Total Transactions Processed5,375,668-39.96%
Average KWh Consumed per TX70577.58%
Average Fee per Transaction$4.32-81.65%
Energy cost per TX (at 5 cents per KWh)$35.2577.58%
Average Network Hashrate (GH/s)24,521,351,15426.54%
Average Network Effciency (J/GH)0.23-6.62%
Economic Maximum KWh Consumed12,217,875,901-45.64%
Technical Minimum KWh Consumed1,648,160,64514.34%

Year to Date Performance

Apart from the changes in monthly performance, numbers on the current year to date (YTD) performance are found in the following table. These numbers show that Bitcoin has, so far, consumed as much energy as a country like Hong Kong in 2018.

Mining Revenue
Average Bitcoin Price$11,333
Average Price Volatility117.32%
Mining Revenue from Fees$233,990,911
Mining Revenue from Blocks Mined$1,500,769,637
Total Mining Revenue$1,734,760,548
Mining Costs
Total Costs of Mining$367,212,718
Percentage of Total Revenue21.17%
Total KWh Consumed7,344,254,359
Network Statistics
Total Transactions Processed14,328,907
Average KWh Consumed per TX513
Average Fee per Transaction$16.33
Energy cost per TX (at 5 cents per KWh)$25.65
Average Network Hashrate (GH/s)21,818,981,603
Average Network Effciency (J/GH)0.24
Economic Maximum KWh Consumed34,695,210,966
Technical Minimum KWh Consumed3,089,715,759

For a daily estimate of Bitcoin’s energy consumption make sure to visit the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.

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