Bitcoin Sustainability Report March 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.

March Highlights

After February being a terrible month for Bitcoin miners (as their revenues halved last month), March brought them some stability. Revenues from transaction fees continued to crash, but the total revenue from mining actually increased slightly. Mining did become less profitable, as more mining machines flooded the Bitcoin network and caused an increasing amount of electricity costs. The highlights of the past month are as follows:

  • Mining revenues increased by a little over 2 percent.
  • Mining revenue from transaction fees decreased by 58 percent.
  • The average fee per single transaction was $1.69.
  • The total network power consumption increased by almost 25 percent.
  • The average energy consumption per transaction was up by around 18 percent, and amounts to 829 KWh per unique transaction (enough to power 1 U.S. household for more than 28 days).

The full report is featured below:

DescriptionValueMonthly changeTrend
Mining Revenue
Average Bitcoin Price$9,036-4.15%
Average Price Volatility87.61%-25.10%
Mining Revenue from Fees$9,705,306-58.25%
Mining Revenue from Blocks Mined$614,199,0684.52%
Total Mining Revenue$623,904,3742.13%
Mining Costs
Total Costs of Mining$237,516,28225.26%
Percentage of Total Revenue38.07%22.65%
Total KWh Consumed4,750,325,63125.26%
Network Statistics
Total Transactions Processed5,730,4726.60%
Average KWh Consumed per TX82917.59%
Average Fee per Transaction$1.69-60.88%
Energy cost per TX (at 5 cents per KWh)$41.4517.59%
Average Network Hashrate (GH/s)27,474,438,32712.04%
Average Network Effciency (J/GH)0.231.00%
Bounds
Economic Maximum KWh Consumed12,478,087,4732.13%
Technical Minimum KWh Consumed2,044,029,96224.02%

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 countries like Portugal and Singapore in 2018.

DescriptionValue
Mining Revenue
Average Bitcoin Price$10,542
Average Price Volatility107.09%
Mining Revenue from Fees$243,696,217
Mining Revenue from Blocks Mined$2,114,968,705
Total Mining Revenue$2,358,664,922
Mining Costs
Total Costs of Mining$604,728,999
Percentage of Total Revenue25.64%
Total KWh Consumed12,094,579,990
Network Statistics
Total Transactions Processed20,059,379
Average KWh Consumed per TX603
Average Fee per Transaction$12.15
Energy cost per TX (at 5 cents per KWh)$30.15
Average Network Hashrate (GH/s)23,766,972,253
Average Network Effciency (J/GH)0.24
Bounds
Economic Maximum KWh Consumed47,173,298,439
Technical Minimum KWh Consumed5,133,522,916

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

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