The Cost of Mining: 2.7 Billion Spent on Mining Bitcoin in the US
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By Mattia Mezzetti profile image Mattia Mezzetti
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The Cost of Mining: 2.7 Billion Spent on Mining Bitcoin in the US

How much does mining cost in energy terms? A recent calculation shows how energy-intensive this activity is.

We seldom reflect on how much it costs, in terms of electricity, the uninterrupted mining required to mine new Bitcoins. This operation, essential to keep the BTC ecosystem active, has indeed considerable energy costs. It has been estimated that the amount of bills for miners has reached $2.7 billion from the beginning of 2024 to date. The figure refers to the United States alone, the country where the most Bitcoin is produced in the world.

The Energy That Supports Bitcoin

The estimate on the amount of electricity consumed was calculated by Paul Hoffman, an analyst at Best Brokers. To arrive at the result of 2.7 billion, Hoffman and his colleagues took into account the average price of electricity for businesses, in the States, which is $0.1281 per kilowatt per hour, according to the market value for the month of February, when this figure was calculated.

Based on that price, Best Brokers took into account the data published by mining companies and, adding them together, got the total energy consumed by the sector during the first four months of the year. The electricity used by these factories amounts to 20,822.62 gigawatt hours. Multiplying the power consumed by the amount of the utility, the total expenditure was obtained: $2,667,378,196.47.

Possible Alternative Use of Electricity for Mining

In order to help us understand how much energy we are talking about, let's try to see what could be done with all the electricity that the mining industry has consumed in 5 months. Hoffman himself explained, with concrete examples, how much power we are talking about:

"That amount of power could recharge every electric vehicle in the United States 87.52 times. Or meet the energy needs of 1,983,107 American households for an entire year. We are talking about 1.51% of all US households."

In this first half of 2024, which has not yet reached the halfway mark, 116,550 BTC have already been mined. Despite the halving in April. The total value of these tokens amounts to $8.2 billion. 44,102 of these Bitcoins were mined by US miners. In fact, 37.84% of the worldwide production of this cryptocurrency takes place on US soil.

Before the halving of the rewards, which occurred as we know on 24 April, it took 407,059 kWh to mine one BTC and the transaction cost was about $52,144. Today, the two values have roughly doubled: the energy needed amounts to 862,635 kWh and the cost is $110,503. The data refer to estimates calculated by Best Brokers on average commercial rates.

An Activity Dispensable and yet quite Ecological

In light of this data, it is evident that mining operations are indeed energy-intensive. The calculations and tasks that computers and ASIC devices have to carry out drink a lot of energy, and there is nothing to be done about that. Nevertheless, however, this industry is one of the few, if not the only one, that is trulypowered primarily by renewable sources. According to data from Bitcoin ESG Forecast, theuse of sustainable energy for BTC mining rose to an all-time high of 54.5% in 2024, an increase of 3.6% over the 2023 figure.

The grids exploited by miners in North America are greener than those in China or Kazakhstan, two countries where a lot of mining was going on before the introduction of the recent government restrictions that have severely restricted this activity. Many professionals who used to operate in those latitudes have chosen to bring their expertise to the US and are now taking advantage of a more sustainable infrastructure than where they came from.

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By Mattia Mezzetti profile image Mattia Mezzetti
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