The Implications of Explosive Cryptocurrency Growth for Data Centers and Electricity Use

By Earthnet Inc. April 25, 2018

If you’ve been following the news, it’s hard to ignore the explosive growth of cryptocurrency. If you’ve never heard of it, cryptocurrency is a new currency exchange that uses digital assets and cryptography as a medium of exchange and for making secure transactions. Probably the most well-known example of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, the first digital form of currency that operates without a centralized bank.

Bitcoins are created through a process known as mining and can be exchanged for other goods, services, and products. The growth of Bitcoin has been quite substantial as the company was founded in 2009, and in 2017, Cambridge University estimated that there were somewhere between 3 million and 6 million unique users. Additionally, it is estimated that there are over 100,000 merchants currently accepting Bitcoin and that number seems to be growing at an increasing rate.

While there exist both mass supporters and skeptics of Bitcoin as well as the overall cryptocurrency industry, the rapid growth of this space is undeniable. As an example, BitCoin has seen the value of its currency grow from $0 in 2009 to over $6200 today. Additionally, the company has an estimated market capitalization of nearly $150 billion. Bearing this growth in mind, it’s important to note the there are both data center and electricity implications to support cryptocurrency’s growth.  As mentioned above, cryptocurrency is created through mining, which is a very data center and electricity-intensive function, eating up an estimated 20,000 gigawatts per year according to Forbes magazine.

At Earthnet, we wanted to share the article from Forbes with our audience as we think it accurately describes both the impact and the needs around cryptocurrency, specifically with respect to data centers and electricity. If your company is in the cryptocurrency space or you’d like to learn more about data center requirements for cryptocurrency, feel free to reach out to us. 

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