After several months of being available in a beta release, the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index (BECI) has finally been moved to the next phase today. Today’s release is the first stable release of the Index, including much of the feedback that was collected from the general public (thank you!) over the past few months (a list of changes is included at the bottom section).
As a result of these changes the Index is now capable of providing an economically credible day-to-day estimate for the total electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network, which is more accurate and robust than an estimate based on the efficiency of a selection of mining machines.
The resulting estimate might be a shock to many, but this is in line with the purpose of the Index to raise awareness on the unsustainability on the proof-of-work algorithm embedded in Bitcoin. It is hoped that this will encourage work on/acceptance of more sustainable alternatives (like proof-of-stake for example). In the long run, these alternatives could be embedded into Bitcoin as well, taking it one step closer to truly being the future of money.
The following changes were made in comparison with the beta version:
- The average price per KWh has been lowered slightly from USD 6 cents per KWh to 5 cents per KWh.
- Energy efficiency is no longer calculated by solving for the break-even electricity costs, but by using a reduced cost percentage of 65 percent.
- Price increases are no longer immediately reflected in the total estimated energy consumption, but now take several weeks to be fully incorporated (resulting in an even lower effective cost percentage under an increasing price).
- Miner income is now based on the actual number of blocks mined rather than the default assumption of 1 block every 10 minutes (due to Bitcoin’s slow difficulty adjustments blocks are typically mined faster).
- The included documentation has had a significant upgrade, making it more extensive than before.
- Last but not least the visuals have received an upgrade as well.