By Ian Ortega
It is now clear that there is no escaping the Bitcoin revolution. Bitcoin is here to stay, and so is Blockchain, the technology upon which Bitcoin runs. Yet even more scary is the power consumption that is used up in the Bitcoin mining process.
An individual bitcoin transaction is estimated to use up 300kwh of electricity, an equivalent of boiling over 30,000 kettles of water.
Current global Bitcoin energy usage is 0.13 percent of the world’s electricity consumption. According to Joel Bellenson, at Bitcoin’s current growth rate of 30% per month, Bitcoin mining energy consumption will exceed global solar energy production before the next Christmas. “It will take 25 months until Bitcoin mining completely eradicates human civilisation,” he notes. “25 months at current bitcoin mining energy growth rate of 30% per month before mining exceeds 100% of all the electricity on the planet.”
The bitcoin users are estimated to be peaking towards 18 million, as per those with a Bitcoin wallet. As per UETCL records, “Uganda’s peak power system demand currently stands at 500 MW against an installed generation capacity of 851.53MW.”
This implies, that if 1% of Uganda’s population were to start mining bitcoin, UEGCL would have to construct a new dam with the same capacity of Karuma every 2 months. And this should be a very scary thought for the Electricity bodies as Bitcoin could prove to be a bigger threat to energy usage than anything.
But is UEGCL prepared for such an eventuality? Would it cope if Bitcoin mining and transactions became the order of the day in the country? Probably this may not happen. And we could see a country coming to a total standstill. The country then may surely need to open up conversations about Bitcoin and Blockchain.