This isn't the first time that we have reported on the energy consumption of cryptocurrency mining, however this is the first time that a peer reviewed paper is looking into it. Financial economist Alex de Vries published a paper in Joule today that makes a solid prediction on the amount of power that Bitcoin is consuming. The paper states that currently, Bitcoin is using at least 2.55 gigawatts of electricity, for prospective, Ireland uses 3.1 GW annually, and looking at and estimating the number of chips that Bitmain is able to produce, that number could go up to 7.67 gigawatts by years end. Important to remember that these figures are for Bitcoin only, and not Cryptocurrencies as a whole.. I shudder to think of the amount of power being consumed combined. Crazy stuff, I honestly can't see how it's sustainable. This paper has outlined various methods that are currently used in determining the current and future electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network. These methods tell us that the Bitcoin network consumes at least 2.55 GW of electricity currently, and that it could reach a consumption of 7.67 GW in the future, making it comparable with countries such as Ireland (3.1 GW) and Austria (8.2 GW).15 Additionally, economic models tell us that Bitcoin's electricity consumption will gravitate toward the latter figure. A look at Bitcoin miner production estimates suggests that this figure could already be reached in 2018. With the Bitcoin network processing just 200,000 transactions per day, this means that the average electricity consumed per transaction equals at least 300 kWh, and could exceed 900 kWh per transaction by the end of 2018. The Bitcoin development community is experimenting with solutions such as the Lightning Network to improve the throughput of the network, which may alleviate the situation. For now, however, Bitcoin has a big problem, and it is growing fast.