Energy Demand Unawareness and the Popularity of Bitcoin: Evidence from Nigeria

Moritz Platt*, Stephen Ojeka, Andreea-Elena Drăgnoiu, Oserere Ejemen Ibelegbu, Francesco Pierangeli, Johannes Sedlmeir, Zixin Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Decentralized cryptocurrency networks, notably those with high energy demand, have faced significant criticism and subsequent regulatory scrutiny. Despite these concerns, policy interventions targeting cryptocurrency operations in the pursuit of sustainability have largely been ineffective. Some were abandoned for fear of jeopardizing innovation, whereas others failed due to the highly globalized nature of blockchain systems. In search of a more effective angle for energy policy measures, this study adopts a consumer-centric perspective, examining the sentiments of Nigerian cryptocurrency users (⁠n=158⁠) toward Bitcoin’s sustainability, a representative cryptocurrency known for its high electricity demand. Three main findings emerged: 1) Even among those self-identifying as highly knowledgeable, most considerably underestimated Bitcoin’s electricity consumption. 2) Participants with a more accurate understanding of Bitcoin’s energy demand were more inclined to support sustainability measures. 3) Most of this supportive cohort viewed private entities as the primary stakeholders for implementing such measures. Given these findings, we suggest that consumer education should be at the forefront of policy initiatives aimed at cryptocurrency sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberoiad012
Number of pages18
JournalOxford Open Energy
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2023

Keywords

  • Survey
  • Energy demand
  • Proof of work
  • Cryptocurrency mining
  • Electricity demand
  • Energy-efficiency label

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