At the time of writing, cryptocurrencies were collectively valued at $361.6 billion, according to the latest data from CoinMarketCap. The asset class peaked above $391 billion roughly 20 hours ago.
Trading volumes slipped to roughly $18.8 billion, with Hong Kong and South Korean exchanges accounting for the largest share of total activity.
Like previous declines, the bulk of the losses were concentrated in the altcoin class, allowing bitcoin to boost its market share to nearly 38%.
Bitcoin prices breached the $8,000 floor early Friday, with prices shedding 4.8% to $7,974.
In terms of percentage losses, IOTA was the worst performing cryptocurrency in the top-ten. The coin shed 13% to $1.67.
Bitcoin cash continued its post-fork decline, with prices shedding 9.1% to $1,183. BCH is currently trading near its lowest level in a month.
Ethereum prices declined 6.6% to $664. Ripple’s native XRP currency was down more than 7% at $0.658.
Cryptocurrencies are on track for their second consecutive weekly decline, with prices shedding nearly 14% from last Friday.
New Study Quantifies Bitcoin Mining Energy Consumption
The first peer-reviewed study examining bitcoin’s energy consumption was released Wednesday, and the results aren’t endearing.
Research that appeared in a monthly publication by Cell Press estimates that bitcoin mining consumes at least 2.6GW of power, which is equivalent to the entire electric power grid harnessed by the Republic of Ireland. The report, titled Bitcoin’s Growign Energy Problem, predicts that power consumption from mining could reach 7.7GW before the end of 2018. That’s roughly the same amount as electric that Austria currently requires.
Author Alex de Vries made it clear in his report that the numbers he is using are speculative given the decentralized and secretive nature of the mining industry. The paper shows that current energy consumption could be as low as 2.6GW if we factor in the latest and most efficient mining hardware from Bitmain.
The so-called energy problem associated with bitcoin is expected to become more cumbersome as the network’s size increases. Some have speculated that mining could account for 5% of global energy consumption in the future.
Globetrotting crypto miners are constantly on the look out for the best energy deals, especially in the wake of China’s ban on the practice. Interestingly, several countries have stepped forward to highlight their favorable energy policies toward miners.