Finance & Insurance

Bitcoin Vs. Financial Sector Energy Use

In my very first foray into publishing an analysis on this topic in 2014, and as recently as my last piece for Bitcoin Magazine, I set out to contextualize Bitcoin’s energy use in comparison to that of the banking system. Since it is impossible to objectively define what the banking system (BS) is, I stuck to the mere impact of bank branches and ATMs — and the results were horrifying. This is despite the following areas of impact being ignored by my first analysis:

  • All global government facilities, as the BS cannot exist without the government
  • All of the world’s combined militaries, as The BS is technically backed and enforced by the world’s policing and military agencies, and not necessarily by economic fundamentals
  • All other industries that support the finance sector (transport, professional services and consulting, cleaning and catering, etc.)

For my most recent piece for Bitcoin Magazine, I will admit to getting quite lazy, and merely indexing my original 2014 figures for banking by 2% per year to get to a new figure. I believe the BS, Bitcoin and the dear readers of this and earlier pieces of mine deserve better. What follows is a point-by-point update of my 2014 work on the impact of “financial and insurance activities,” as defined by The International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC, revision four), here, on pages 216 to 221 (“Section K”). A summary table can be seen below.