The crash of the crypto market cuts Bitcoin’s energy use by a third.

This month, the prices of cryptocurrencies dropped so much that the huge amount of electricity used by the blockchain also went down. Alex de Vries, a digital currency economist, has published estimates of Bitcoin’s annualised electricity use. These estimates show that Bitcoin’s energy use has dropped by more than a third in the last couple of weeks.

On June 11, Bitcoin used about 204 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy per year. On June 23, that number had dropped to about 132 TWh per year. Even with the big drop, the amount of energy being used now is still very high. It’s about how much energy a country like Argentina uses in a year.

BTC miners get new tokens by validating transactions, which requires a lot of energy and solving difficult puzzles. As BTC goes up in value, miners have more reason to buy new machines to speed up their work.

Since BTC peaked at $69,000 last year, the blockchain has used between 180 and 200 TWh of electricity each year.

But if the price of BTC drops too low, miners risk losing money because they have to pay for electricity. De Vries said:

Ethereum’s (ETH) blockchain is also protected by a process that uses a lot of energy. But the Ethereum community will soon switch to a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, which will validate new transactions in a way that uses less energy.

BTC and ETH have come back a lot since the last crash. As of today, they are making $21,449 and $1,229 instead of $17,588 and $880.

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