For my own calibration, approximate current energy use for a single transaction in various cryptocurrencies, compared with using Visa:
|Bitcoin||BTC||1,000,000||Hot tub, 150 hours|
|Ethereum||ETH||62,000||Nissan Leaf, 1.5 charges|
|Litecoin||LTC||19,000||Clothes washer, 8 loads|
|Chia||XCH||2,000||Dishwasher, 1 hour|
|Cardano||ADA||500||Computer & monitor, 1 hour|
|Dogecoin||DOGE||120||Humidifier, 1 hour|
|Ripple||XRP||79||Amazon echo telling 2 jokes|
|Visa||1||One Visa card purchase|
- I got most crypto energy use from this roundup.
- For Visa, I used the figures from this breakdown.
- For Bitcoin, I took a rounded figure roughly between those quoted on the above two sources (710kWh and 1,123kWh). A single figure precision is probably most appropriate anyhow.
- For Chia, I did my own hacky calculation. Chia Power estimates 6MW in total is used by the Chia network, at current size of 4EiB. Meanwhile, Chia Explorer shows a hard-to-read graph which I'm eyeballing to get a rough average of 3,000 transactions per hour. 6 Megawatts divided by 3k per hour gives an energy use per transaction of 2kW.
- For equivalent household energy uses, I used this and this.
Something's not quite right here though. The Chia whitepaper estimates 10,000 times better energy efficiency than Bitcoin, by my figures above only show 1,000.
They probably know how to calculate this better than I do. So perhaps my figure for Chia is high? I understand the value per transaction will come down as Chia starts handling more transactions, which seems reasonable. Perhaps the white paper refers to that future hypothetical efficiency?
On the other hand, many of the other cryptocurrencies listed above will become more efficient in the future too (e.g. Bitcoin is in the process of deploying its lightning network, which will reduce per transaction energy use.) So I think it's fair to leave the above figures as they are, as a snapshot of current reality.