During the last 90 days, Bitcoin’s hashrate has been climbing higher and has been slowly nearing the all-time high (ATH) the network captured six months ago in May. The accelerated hashrate has caused the network difficulty to rise, as Bitcoin’s mining difficulty has adjusted upward nine times in a row to date and it’s closing in on the network difficulty ATH recorded six months ago.
Bitcoin’s Mining Difficulty Approaches Lifetime High
Bitcoin’s mining difficulty is approaching the all-time high recorded on May 13, 2021. The network’s difficulty is basically a mechanism Satoshi Nakamoto added to maintain a steady rate of close to ten-minute blocks. Additionally, security is strengthened by the difficulties. A 51% attack would be much more costly and difficult.
The hashrate is updated every two weeks. This means that the difficulty of mining bitcoin (BTC), increases when it changes. If the hashrate suffers a drastic drop, such as it did in June, and July, due to the crackdown in China on bitcoin mining, then the difficulty of mining BTC will decrease. When BTC’s hashrate plummeted this year, the network’s mining difficulty slid by 39.8% in different intervals.
To capture a new record high, the difficulty must increase by more than 10%
The difficulty’s ATH on May 13, 2021, was roughly 25.05 trillion, and two weeks later it adjusted down to 21.05 trillion. Following July 3, BTC’s mining difficulty slid to a low of 13.6 trillion after it experienced the largest downward difficulty adjustment in the network’s lifetime. At block height 689.472, that massive decline was 27.94%. Today, BTC’s mining difficulty is 22.67 trillion and getting awfully close to nearing its 25.05 trillion ATH.
Bitcoin (BTC), in the end, will prove more challenging to mine than six months ago. This is because it takes a shorter time period. In order to exceed the May 13 record, bitcoin’s mining difficulty needs to rise by 10.27%. At current SHA256 profitability rates, the odds of BTC’s mining difficulty increasing enough to surpass the difficulty ATH recorded six months ago is far greater. ASIC bitcoin mining rigs such as the Microbt Whatsminer M30S++, Ipollo’s B2, and the Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro still make over $25 per day paying $0.12 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in electricity costs.
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