Energy researcher: We should not recklessly extrapolate recent growth rates for Bitcoin into the future

Energy researcher and author, Jonathan Koomey, published a response to recent articles around the concerns of Bitcoin's energy consumption. According to Koomey, there is a tendency for many to assume that "because information technology is economically important that it also must use a lot of electricity, but that’s just not the case."

Koomey cites some historical examples during the early age of the Internet. In the early 2000s, major news publications published claims that the Internet "used 8% of US electricity in 2000, that all computers (including the Internet) used 13%, and that the total would grow to 50% of US electricity in 10 years." These claims turn out false as years of peer review research found that the Internet "used only 1% of US electricity in 2000, all computers used 3%, the total would never grow to half of all electricity use."

Koomey goes on to cite Marc Bevand's critique of Bitcoin energy consumption estimates and states that assuming Bevand's data is correct, as of January 11, 2018, Bitcoin accounted for ~0.1% of global electricity. Koomey concludes his post, stating that "One thing we should NOT do is recklessly extrapolate recent growth rates for Bitcoin into the future" and that "It’s still early days for cryptocurrency and the data on its electricity use are still too poor to derive firm conclusions. " (Source: Jonathan Koomey)