The numbers are baffling. This is not the first time it's come up though.
Going back over the numbers, based on actual transactions per second and using annualized energy consumption from this page, I got 274 kW/h per Bitcoin transaction. They got 285. The math checks out.
From the Vice article:
Unfortunately, it's more likely that things are getting worse. A new index has recently modeled potential energy costs per transaction as high as 94 kWh, or enough electricity to power 3.17 households for a day. To put it another way, that's almost enough energy to fully charge the battery of a Tesla Model S P100D, the world's quickest production car, and drive it over 300 miles.
We're now three times that.
I pay 9 cents per kilowatt hour. That's $25.65 per transaction. That's $5.65 more than a wire transfer.
EDIT - Ethereum is 58 kWh That's pretty goddamn unsustainable, too. Proof-of-stake can't come soon enough.