Structure Source has seen a huge increase in demand for its Power Distribution Units particularly in the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland as well as Estonia powering the Bitcoin Data centres. This upsurge of bitcoin mining has inevitably led to warnings in the media about the environmental impact this activity is having.
Due to the large power required several large mining operations have relocated or set up in these countries to take advantage of inexpensive and highly efficient hydroelectric and geothermal energy. Our PDUs have been instrumental in powering, managing and protecting against power problems in the bitcoin mining data centres.
What is Bitcoin Mining?
Bitcoin is digital currency. ‘Miners’ (low-cost, high power servers) use special software to solve mathematical problems. If they get the problem right, they are issued with bitcoins in exchange. The transaction is recorded on Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions. This is known as blockchain, so called because it is a chain of blocks which confirms all transactions to the rest of the network as having taken place.
Electricity and Bitcoins
Put simply, all the computers trying to mine tokens are in a race to find a specific random answer to a mathematical algorithm which is so complicated that the only way to find the answer is to make lots of guesses. Clearly the more guesses made will increase any chance of winning but each time the computers try new guesses, they use more computer power and electricity.
So, Bitcoin’s growth in electricity usage is colossal. According to the Digiconomist the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index reports the entire Bitcoin network consumes over 50 Terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity per year. This is a massive milestone as it outstrips the electrical consumption of Singapore (49.5 TWh per year) and Portugal (49.8 TWh per year).
Bitcoin Price Rise = Increase in Electricity Usage
The dramatic Bitcoin price rise has driven up the number of Miners and therefore the power usage of the Bitcoin network. Back in November 2017, the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimated that the total electricity consumption of the Bitcoin network was half what it is today!
At the start of November, the average electricity used per unique transaction was around 200 kilowatt-hours (KWh). Today, the average is more like 700 KWh per transaction. This is more than 400,000 times the electricity required for an average VISA transaction.
One thing is certain, the current model of mining is not a sustainable use of power and the race to ever increasing processing power cannot be continued. Awareness is growing and concerns are being raised over energy consumption. Just in January, The Peoples Bank of China expressed alarm over Bitcoin energy consumption and announced plans to investigate regulation. The likelihood is that China won’t be alone in regulating, as miners around the world could also face Government intervention to ensure responsible mining.
However, large growth in costs, focusses the mind on how to reduce the costs involved and the companies are constantly trying to invent/improve efficiency and reduce operating costs. We have seen that some mining computers have become more power-efficient, with the latest machines able to do around 20% more calculations per MWh of electricity.
Also, Structure Source has have been designing power systems to minimise costs for maximum current usage, reducing any stranded power on a PDU. In addition, we have been taking our environmental impact responsibly, using reduced packaging, recycled packaging materials and even staged deliveries schedules, so we can remove any packing from site, to be reused.
So, there are many reasons to remain optimistic in terms of solutions to the environmental impact of mining and we are at the forefront to better efficiency.
How Power Distribution Units can help in Bitcoin Mining
Bitcoin Data centres face the challenge of powering the thousands of servers they use. Our unique designs provide solutions that maximise the power availability, intelligence to measure the power usage trends and mounting options that make speed of deployment simple.
As a PDU manufacturer our solutions are powering this growing demand in mining but minimal, simple designs and our ethical environmental policies, mean we are working hard reduce that impact as much as possible.
Structure Source offer over 3000 PDU designs and can build bespoke power solutions to cover most requirements for Bitcoin or other data centres, server rooms or offices. Our products and services are cost effective, reliable, efficient and intelligent.
For more information click here or contact us today to discuss your data centre infrastructure management requirements and place your power distribution into our safe hands.