Crypto mining uses a staggering 2% of U.S. electricity.

How much power does bitcoin mining use? According to an Energy Information Administration estimate, it might account for over 2% of US electricity. Annual bitcoin mining power utilization probably comprises 0.6% to 2.3% of U.S. electrical consumption.

Based on data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance on Bitcoin, the EIA estimated that, at least as of January 2022, almost 38% of all Bitcoin mining was occurring in the U.S., allowing it to estimate Bitcoin mining's electricity usage at 25 to 91 terawatt-hours, or the equivalent of 3 million to 6 million homes.

The measures are imperfect since they depend on Bitcoin's price and other factors to determine how busy a cryptocurrency mining operation is. The EIA stated these figures showed global electricity use was “about the same as total electricity consumption in Greece or Australia.”

Bitcoin is just energy. Proof of work systems prove that a computer (or several computers) have done a lot of computation to create new Bitcoins. Bitcoins are a compensation for decentralized system upkeep, which requires computing labor

Ethereum shifted to a less energy-intensive “proof of stake” approach last year, while many other cryptocurrencies still create new coins using a proof of work system. Ethereum leadership stated this makes the blockchain “green.”

Crypto miners want inexpensive electricity since computing is energy-intensive. Bitcoin miners in Texas are part of ERCOT's demand management program, which pays them well to shut down when electricity demand is high.

The EIA said this week that it will begin collecting bitcoin mining data. Skeptical advocates, activists, and politicians often criticize this energy use.

So far, the EIA has detected 137 bitcoin mining operations, with many significant ones in Texas. But this was done by scanning public data. This week, the EIA announced a “mandatory survey” to assess crypto's energy needs.

Keep an eye out for more updates!