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Parliamentary questions
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31 January 2018
Question for written answer P-000559-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D)

 Subject:  Bitcoin energy consumption
 Answer in writing 

The process of bitcoin mining is known to be very energy consuming. The energy consumption of bitcoin mining companies in particular is growing at an alarmingly rate, giving cause for concerns around the world. Credit Suisse estimates that electricity costs account for 80% of the expenses incurred by bitcoin miners. In the course of a year, these bitcoin mining networks use more electricity than the whole of Ireland. According to Digiconomist, an online platform reporting on cryptocurrencies, the estimated power consumption of the bitcoin networks is 30.14 TWh a year, which exceeds the consumption of 19 European countries.(1)

As the demand of bitcoins continues to grow rapidly, the already enormous energy consumption will keep rising along with it, with further negative effects on the climate and environment.

1. Is the Commission aware of this issue, and does it intend to take any action to halt this growing consumption of energy?

2. Does the Commission currently have any means of tracking these highly energy consuming bitcoin ‘mining’ companies in the EU?


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