Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Which is The Most Powerful?

Bitcoin and Ethereum are popular cryptocurrencies where huge energy consumption is a major concern. Find out who is the worst of you.

Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Which is The Most Powerful?
Bitcoin vs Ethereum: Which is The Most Powerful?

The amount of energy used by cryptocurrencies has long been a subject of debate amongst enthusiasts and critics. From mining coins to conducting transactions, it is no secret that blockchain activities are not environmentally friendly. Some cryptocurrencies now consume more power than entire cities or countries. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest players in the cryptocurrency game, are responsible for this. But which one requires more energy and what are you doing to improve?

Bitcoin Energy Requirements

Bitcoin (BTC) has been criticized for its huge energy demand. Cryptocurrency is not inherently a green industry. Bitcoin's overwhelming popularity  has led to increased demand for electricity from many other parties. Before we get to the heart of Bitcoin's energy problem, let's start with one of its most basic functions: buying and selling. 

As of October 2021, the statistical website Statista conducted a study on the amount of power consumed by a single Bitcoin transaction. Compared to Visa, another popular digital payment method. The results were very shocking and very confusing.

Studies have found that a single Bitcoin transaction consumes about 12 times more power than Visa's 100,000  transactions. There are around 400,000 Bitcoin transactions happening every day, so every 24 hours, only 7,000 MWh of electricity is consumed. 

To understand this, consider the energy consumption of an electric vehicle. A typical electric vehicle uses about 0.20 kWh per kilometer. So an electric car would have to travel 35 million kilometers (22 million miles) to use as much electricity as every Bitcoin transaction in a day. Yes, you read correctly. But it doesn't end with a transaction. Simply discovering and distributing bitcoins incurs significant electricity bills.

Bitcoin Mining Energy Demand

Mining is the process of finding and distributing new cryptocurrency coins. If you're interested in cryptocurrency or have seen it in the headlines, you've probably heard of this. The mining industry requires huge amounts of energy and contributes to climate change. 

Let's  look at the data here. Users are currently mining about 144 Bitcoin blocks per day, which is a little over 50,000 per year. This mining process consumes 91 TWh of electricity per year. This may sound like a small amount, but one terawatt hour contains one million megawatt hours. In short, Bitcoin mining consumes significantly more energy than the total number of transactions performed in a year. This is undoubtedly the most energy-intensive part of the cryptocurrency industry. To better understand the general energy use of Bitcoin.

Ethereum Energy Requirements

Ethereum (ETH) is currently a very popular cryptocurrency with a  market cap of nearly $530 billion. Its popularity and value have skyrocketed, but rising demand means increasing energy demand. First, let’s take a look at Ethereum transactions.

Statista`s records suggests that, like Bitcoin, one Ethereum transaction makes use of greater strength than 100,000 Visa transactions. This remains a surprising fact, however the strength distinction among the 2 isn't always as drastic as what we see with Bitcoin.

Ethereum makes use of 1.2 instances the strength wished for 100,000 Visa transactions. But remember that Bitcoin calls for over 12 instances the strength for simply one transaction. So, there may be a drastic distinction in strength utilization here. 

But this does not deal with the center environmental hassle with cryptocurrency: mining. So, let's have a look at how Ethereum compares to Bitcoin on this case.

Energy Requirements for Ethereum Mining

Currently, Ethereum mining uses about 44.5 TWh of energy per year, which is half that of Bitcoin. Of course, this is still a huge amount of energy. However, when discussing these figures, it is important to consider how much BTC and ETH have been mined so far. 
 There are currently less than 19 million BTC in circulation and nearly 120 million ETH. Thus, about six times more Ethereum was mined than Bitcoin, but consumed much less power. 

Now let's go back to the original question. Which cryptocurrency uses more energy, Bitcoin or Ethereum? Looking at the numbers, the  obvious answer is Bitcoin with a high probability. Both the transaction and the mining process use much more power than Ethereum. Statista's report on the total amount of energy used by both cryptocurrencies confirms this. 

As previously discussed, Bitcoin  currently uses about 177.43 TWh of electricity per year. Ethereum uses about 79.69 TWh per year. Again, you can see that Bitcoin's energy requirements are higher than Ethereum's. In short, Bitcoin is definitely a more energy-intensive cryptocurrency. 

Moreover, Ethereum has  updated its blockchain to consume less energy. This new blockchain is ETH 2.0.