Bitcoin Miners Need These Essential Conversions

Learn about hash rates, electricity units, and satoshi, to improve your mining.

Bitcoin miners use some key conversions in order to develop a deeper understanding of how machines perform and how much electricity they consume. Additionally, cryptocurrency networks are described in terms of hashes and watts/joules. If the Bitcoin network is over 100 exahash, what does this mean? How many watts does it consume? Furthermore, Bitcoin pros speak in terms of sats, not dollars. Find out what a Satoshi is, and why it will be an important concept for you to know in the future. Here, bitcoin miners can enrich their unit conversion skills and up their game.

Hashing Units

Hash rate, or hashing power, is the unit of measurement of the processing power of mining machines. The average hashing rate of a Bitcoin ASIC is between 30 to 100 terahash per second (TH/s). In other words, ASICs attempt to solve a SHA-256 algorithm thirty-trillion to one-hundred-trillion times each second.

Hash Rate Unit Table

See the SI-prefix hash unit table below:

UnitPrefixHashes per Second (H/s in words)H/s (in numbers)
kH/skilo-one kilohash equals one thousand hashes per second1 kH/s = 1,000 H/s
MH/smega-one megahash equals one million hashes per second1 MH/s = 1,000,000 H/s
GH/sgiga-one gigahash equals one billion hashes per second1 GH/s = 1,000,000,000 H/s
TH/stera-one terahash equals one trillion hashes per second1 TH/s = 1,000,000,000,000 H/s
PH/speta-one petahash equals one quadrillion hashes per second1 TH/s = 1,000,000,000,000,000 H/s
EH/sexa-one exahash equals one quintillion hashes per second1 EH/s = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 H/s
ZH/szeta-one zetahash equals one sextillion hashes per second1 ZH/s = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 H/s

Hash Rate Conversions

Bitcoin miners contribute hash to networks. A network is the total combined hashing power of all miners in a mining pool, or of all miners of an entire coin. A top BTC mining pool network, for example, is about 15 EH/s or 15,000 PH/s. This is equivalent to twenty-thousand 50 TH/s ASICs contributing their hash to the pool.

The Bitcoin network, on the other hand, is currently 130 EH/s. This means it makes over one-hundred-quintillion hashes, or calculations, per second. Thus, the BTC network is equivalent to two-hundred-sixty-thousand Bitcoin miners running at an average of 50 TH/s each.

This table shows hash rate conversions:

One UnitEquals a Thousand UnitsEquals a Million Units
1 MH/s= 1,000 kH/s
1 GH/s= 1,000 MH/s= 1,000,000 kH/s
1 TH/s= 1,000 GH/s= 1,000,000 MH/s
1 PH/s= 1,000 TH/s= 1,000,000 GH/s
1 EH/s= 1,000 PH/s= 1,000,000 TH/s

Electricity Units

A watt (W) is a unit of electrical power. ASICs are listed with the maximum expected W or kilowatt (kW) value. For example, an Antminer S-19 95 TH/s runs at 3250 W, or 3.25 kW.

Let’s put this into perspective. Bitcoin miners run on the kW scale. Power plants produce electricity on the megawatt (MW) scale. Whilst entire power grids run in gigawatts (GW). The Bitcoin network itself consumes power in the terawatts (TW).

This table shows watt conversions:

One Watt UnitEquals a Thousand Watt UnitsEquals a Million Watt Units
1 kilowatt (kW)= 1,000 watt (W)
1 megawatt (MW)= 1,000 kW= 1,000,000 W
1 gigawatt (GW)= 1,000 MW= 1,000,000 kW
1 terawatt (TW)= 1,000 GW= 1,000,000 MW

W to J

ASIC machine specs list maximum watt (W), or joule (J). This value is how much energy is expected to be drawn by the machine. W and J are of equivalent value, so 2,000 W is equal to 2,000 J. Confusingly, a Watt hour (Wh) is equal to 3,600 joules/second (J/s) and a kilowatt hour (kWh) is 3,600,000 J/s. But don’t worry, independent miners usually only need to know kilowatt hour (kWh) to work out power consumption costs.

kWh Consumption for Bitcoin Miners

Bitcoin miners are usually charged in kilowatt hours (kWh) for the energy they consume. kWh are calculated by multiplying the kW value of an ASIC by the hours running time.

Here is a practical example. Over one month an ASIC listed to have max. 2100 W would use 1512 electricity hours per month. We derived at this solution by doing the following simple computations:

2100 W to kW = 2100 W / 1000 = 2.1 kW 
2.1 kW * 24 hours = 50.4 kWh per day 
50.4 kWh * 30 days = 1512 kWh per month

Read more about electricity costs here.

Satoshi to Bitcoin

Bitcoin has denominations called satoshi or simply sats. Like one hundred dollars can be made up of tens and ones, BTC can become whole number sats from its decimal form. One BTC equals one-hundred-million sats. A decade ago, it took over four-hundred-million sats to make up one US dollar. Whereas today, $1 is about 12,000 sats, and 1¢ about 60 sats.

Are satoshi the unit of the future?

Sats to BTC Table

Satoshi (sats)Bitcoin (BTC)

Sats to BTC Equations

What if in the future BTC is discussed in sats and not dollars? Guess we’d better get used to these quick conversions:

To convert sats to BTC, use this equation: sats / 1,000,000,000

To transform BTC to sats, use this calculation: BTC * 100,000,000

Why don’t we try a couple of examples together? Let’s work out how many BTC one sat equals:

1 sat = 1 / 1,000,000,000 = 0.00000001 BTC  

And next, let’s see how many sats one BTC is:

1 BTC = 1 * 100,000,000 = 100,000,000 sats  

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