Last night's PBS Newshour had a bitcoin segment


where it says, in part (search that web page for "Austria" to find the quote and its fuller context),

Worldwide, the energy footprint of Bitcoin alone is expected to double by year’s end, devouring an incredible half-a-percent or more of the world’s electricity, as much as all of Austria.

I'd imagine that electricity cost must eventually get passed through via transaction fees. But, although I haven't "done the math", half-a-percent of the entire world's electricity must correspond to an incredible fortune in any currency. At first blush (i.e., without "doing the math"), the cost-per-transaction would seem enormous. So, how do you "amortize" the cost of half-a-percent of the entire world's electricity among bitcoin transactions?

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    Miners collect newly created coins in addition to the transaction fees, which may be what you're missing from your analysis. This is in some sense paid by all Bitcoin users, since an increase in supply tends to devalue the currency. So far this has been offset by increasing demand. – Nate Eldredge Jun 8 '18 at 18:29
  • @NateEldredge Thanks. I'd thought of that, but if you follow the chain (of events), ultimately the miners pay real money to the electric companies (most of which I'd guess don't accept bitcoin payments). And that "real money" must be from miners cashing out their earned bitcoins -- otherwise they'd be losing money and soon go out of business. And exactly like you said, this ultimately devalues/inflates the currency. But that's gotta be billions and billions of dollars for half a percent of the entire world's electricity. Hard to conjecture increasing demand will absorb that indefinitely. – John Forkosh Jun 10 '18 at 2:57

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