“His estimates, based in economics, put the minimum current usage of the Bitcoin network at 2.55 gigawatts, which means it uses almost as much electricity as Ireland,” according to Science Daily. “A single transaction uses as much electricity as an average household in the Netherlands uses in a month.”

Mining costs are pivotal for bitcoin miners. The higher the break-even point, the more likely some smaller miners give up or temporarily get out of the game. Estimates vary on the break-even point for bitcoin mining, ranging from $6,000 to $8,000 and higher. With bitcoin currently trading just under $8,300, a break-even point of $8,000 may not be enough for some miners to take on the expense of higher energy bills.

“The huge costs associated with Bitcoin mining – a process that ‘timestamps’ transactions and performs extensive calculations – has been a subject of criticism since years. And with the increase in the network’s size, the costs are further poised to grow, possibly consuming 5 percent of the world’s total electricity in the future,” reports CCN.

For more information on the cryptocurrency market, visit our Bitcoin category.