The SHA256 hashrate that secures the Bitcoin network has grown massively during the last few years, as Bitcoin’s processing power has touched all-time highs in 2020. Moreover, the gigawatts of electrical consumption powering industrial bitcoin mining today consumes as much as seven nuclear power plants.
Bitcoin mining is a process where groups of miners compete in order to capture as many block rewards as they can. Bitcoin miners essentially plug machines into the wall that consume electricity in order to hash away at the Bitcoin network’s consensus algorithm so they can outpace competitors. Hashrate is how analysts measure the amount of computing power dedicated to the blockchain network.
Basically, ASIC mining machines that produce higher hashrate values than others, will obtain more BTC via mining. In 2020, there are now extremely large facilities and warehouses filled with thousands of ASIC mining rigs. Additionally, solo miners working in remote areas in the world typically join a mining pool so they can pool their hashrate together in order to gather more bitcoins.
Collectively the aggregate total of all the bitcoin miners combined makes up the total amount of hashrate dedicated to the blockchain. Today the Bitcoin (BTC) network hashrate is around 120 exahash per second (EH/s).
Analysts don’t know exactly how much electricity is consumed to power the entire network. But researchers have been able to come up with a very close estimate on how much electricity is consumed and the average price miners pay per kilowatt-hour (kWh).