Cost & Sustainability of Bitcoin (Dec 2018) — Executive Summary

August 2018 Study — In One Neat Playlist
  • Further to the above, the “GH/kg” Manufacturing metric comes in to play, as energy required for manufacturing & shipping ASICs is quite weight-centric. By the end of 2018, weight of material required to produce 1TH dropped 5%, from 300 grams (excl. PSU) to 285 (S9i was net 4.2kg, the T15 net 6.6kg). Using the S15 as a proxy, the ratio drops by 20%. It should be noted that this is the first model of this new generation of ASICs, and the kg/GH metric will improve as chips start getting optimised and overclocked.
  • It should be noted that the dramatic drop in price has caused negative hash rate growth over the past 6 months, however, as the price stabilises, so will hash rate growth due to constant improvements in $/GH and W/GH metrics. That said, I will be dropping my difficulty increase assumption from 7.2% to 5.3%, which is more in line with the growth witnessed since the “Age of ASICs” began in 2014/15 (See Table 2 in this linked article)
  • It was assumed that the Bitcoin Mining Industry was powered by the “World Average” Energy Grid. Analysis by The University of Cambridge[ii] showed that 28% of the power used to mine Bitcoin is renewable, of which the majority is Hydroelectric. This reduces the average CO2e per kWh from 0.6 tonne/MWh to 0.53 t/MWh
  • All other assumptions remain constant
Changes in Mining Metrics — July to December 2018


[i] McCook, H., 2018, “The Cost & Sustainability of Bitcoin (August 2018 Edition)”,



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