Bitcoin Sustainability Report December 2017

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.

December Highlights

Now that December has ended, we can get a full picture of how Bitcoin has performed over the past year in terms of sustainability. December itself was far from a boring month, and many records were broken. The highlights of the past month are as follows:

  • Mining revenues increased by 127 percent.
  • Mining revenue from transaction fees increased by 297 percent.
  • The average fee per single transaction was $25.93.
  • The total network power consumption increased by almost 28 percent.
  • The average energy consumption per transaction was up by around 1 percent, and amounts to 259 KWh per unique transaction (enough to power 1 U.S. household for more than 8 days).

The full report is featured below:

Description Value Monthly change Trend
Mining Revenue
Total Blocks Mined 5,029 15.37%
Average Bitcoin Price $15,146 94.01%
Average Price Volatility 102.35% 50.05%
Mining Revenue from Fees $291,846,659 297.33%
Mining Revenue from Blocks Mined $1,014,330,837 102.04%
Total Mining Revenue $1,306,177,495 126.96%
Mining Costs
Total Costs of Mining $145,924,317 27.69%
Percentage of Total Revenue 11.17% -43.74%
Total KWh Consumed 2,918,486,344 27.69%
Network Statistics
Total Transactions Processed 11,253,684 26.01%
Average KWh Consumed per TX 259 1.17%
Average Fee per Transaction $25.93 215.45%
Energy cost per TX (at 5 cents per KWh) $12.95 1.17%
Average Network Hashrate (GH/s) 14,453,842,876 20.63%
Average Network Effciency (J/GH) 0.27 2.45%
Bounds
Economic Maximum KWh Consumed 26,123,549,905 126.96%
Technical Minimum KWh Consumed 1,075,345,005 24.63%

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 consumed as much energy as the Dominican Republic consumes over a full year.

It should be noted that the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index wasn’t officially launched until February 10, 2017. For this reason, the year to date performance is measured as of this date.

Description Value Dec vs. YTD
Mining Revenue
Total Blocks Mined 49,475 10.16%
Average Bitcoin Price $4,375 346.19%
Average Price Volatility 66.78% 153.26%
Mining Revenue from Fees $541,679,741 53.88%
Mining Revenue from Blocks Mined $2,911,553,352 34.84%
Total Mining Revenue $3,453,233,093 37.82%
Mining Costs
Total Costs of Mining $776,532,329 18.79%
Percentage of Total Revenue 22.49% 49.68%
Total KWh Consumed 15,530,646,590 18.79%
Network Statistics
Total Transactions Processed 92,167,146 12.21%
Average KWh Consumed per TX 169 153.25%
Average Fee per Transaction $5.88 440.99%
Energy cost per TX (at 5 cents per KWh) $8.45 153.25%
Average Network Hashrate (GH/s) 7,282,524,701 198.47%
Average Network Effciency (J/GH) 0.27 98.94%
Bounds
Economic Maximum KWh Consumed 69,064,661,866 37.82%
Technical Minimum KWh Consumed 5,661,920,011 18.99%

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

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