Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index updated to reflect hardware distribution and hash rate increases


Researchers behind the well-known Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) have formally revised its methodology to improve the accuracy and reliability of the Index’s estimates for the primary time since its inception in 2019.

The CBECI was launched in July 2019 in an effort to present dependable data-driven insights to questions on Bitcoin mining’s energy-intensive nature and related environmental affect. 

Speaking solely to Cointelegraph forward of announcement of the revision, head researcher Alexander Neumueller unpacked the Index’s position in offering a comparatively correct estimate of the Bitcoin (BTC) community’s electrical energy consumption and contextualizing the information in a manner that’s digestible for the layman on the road.

Key takeaways from the revised methodology included a concentrate on latest developments in Bitcoin mining hardware and hash rate and whether or not the CBECI was precisely reflecting the altering panorama. The researchers honed in on questions on what had pushed substantial increases in hash rate in recent times as newer mining tools eclipsed older fashions in computing energy.

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Neumueller and his fellow researchers famous that the shortage of hardware-related information posed a major problem because it restricted the CBECI’s skill to precisely assess the varieties of hardware that miners use in addition to their ubiquity.

This led the researchers to create a technique that simulates a every day hardware distribution based mostly on efficiency and energy utilization information of actual hardware. Neumeuller notes that the spine of the earlier CBECI methodology assumed that each worthwhile hardware mannequin launched lower than 5 years in the past equally fuelled the overall community hashrate.

This in flip led to a “disproportionally large number” of older mining hardware in contrast to newer fashions within the methodology’s assumed hardware distribution throughout exceptionally worthwhile mining durations.

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The researchers subsequently found that extra lately launched tools appeared to be underrepresented whereas tools nearing the top of its life cycle was overrepresented. This prompted the change within the CBECI methodology.

Neumeller then defined how his staff started evaluating hashrate increases with United States import information reflecting latest Bitcoin mining hardware deliveries. This was mixed with an examination of publicly out there gross sales information from mining hardware producer Canaan.

CBECI checked out U.S. import data on Bitcoin mining tools (left) and estimated computing energy derived from import information (proper). Researchers used the hash rate (in TH/s) and gross weight said by the producer and utilized an equally weighted mixture of the next fashions from Canaan’s Avalon A1246, Avalon A1266, Avalon A1346 and Avalon A1366.

The evaluation, which thought of quite a lot of in-depth elements, was used to check the speculation that increases in community hash rate may be attributed to extra lately launched mining hardware.

“This hypothesis was based on U.S. import data, and we sought additional evidence to validate it. If Canaan’s sales data is representative of the industry, it corroborates this claim.”

Neumueller highlighted a divide in opinion, with critics suggesting that Bitcoin “jeopardizes environmental advancements and could exacerbate climate change,” whereas supporters argue that the mining business might fight local weather change and present different societal advantages.

“However, the intricate nature of the industry and the lack of information are often under-recognised, making room for cherry-picked data points and biased perspectives.”

The CBECI consists of a variety of wealthy information factors and visualizations, together with the index’s Bitcoin community energy demand, a mining map reflecting the geographic distribution of Bitcoin’s mining hash rate, and a greenhouse gasoline emissions index.

The CBECI and greenhouse gasoline emissions indexes present three totally different estimates for each sectors, offering a hypothetical vary for these particular metrics.

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