The Bitcoin mining industry used nearly 15 TWh of electricity in the period between November 23, 2023 (Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.) and January 1, 2024 compared to the 17.5 TWh of electricity use attributed to Christmas lights and decorations during the same period. The 2023 holiday season marks the first time Bitcoin mining was within the margin of error for measuring energy use relative to JollyMaxers and Christmas enthusiasts.
Industry analysts predict that Bitcoin mining will comfortably surpass Christmas lights in 2024 despite the much anticipated Bitcoin block reward halving in April which will see the Bitcoin block reward drop to 3.125 BTC. Their prediction is based on a myriad of factors including the anticipation of rising Bitcoin prices, rising trends in transaction fees, and the newly launched Bitcoin ETFs.
One major consequence, if Bitcoin mining finally eclipses Christmas light energy use in 2024, will be that users on X will no longer be able to make snarky replies to critics of Bitcoin mining's energy use pointing out that Christmas lights use more energy than Bitcoin.
The response to the energy usage report from the Bitcoin community was broadly positive. "When I first got into Bitcoin you could mine using your Alienware gaming computer with a GPU. Now you need Chinese spy computers and nuclear energy to do it at scale" one Bitcoiner told The Bugle. He went on to add "It's humbling but exciting that this little open source money project we've adopted has a computer network almost as strong, in terms of energy use, as Christmas lights around the holidays."