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Bitcoin Outshines Electric Cars as Driver of Global Power Use

Jan. 10, 2018, 7:46 PM

The global power needed to create cryptocurrencies this year could rival the entire electricity consumption of Argentina and be a growth driver for renewable energy producers from the U.S. to China.

Miners of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could require up to 140 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2018, about 0.6 percent of the global total, Morgan Stanley analysts led by Nicholas Ashworth wrote in a note Jan. 10. That’s more than expected power demand from electric vehicles in 2025.

“If cryptocurrencies continue to appreciate we expect global mining power consumption to increase,” Ashworth wrote in the note.

While the figure is ...