As the hashrate of the BTC network recovers rapidly from miners around the world accumulating ever-increasing capacity, cryptocurrency mining is much more difficult. On Tuesday, the network saw another adjustment to the mining difficulty, which, according to blockchain explorer BTC.com, increased by 3.2% and reached a difficulty rate of almost 19 trillion.
The difficulty of BTC mining is growing
The latest adjustment is the fifth consecutive increase in BTC mining difficulty since mid-July, with the difficulty rate increasing by more than 31% from around 13.7 trillion, the lowest level of difficulty since June 2020. But if the trend continues, we could see unprecedented values, which will mean higher computing costs for miners.
The new positive adjustments follow a series of four consecutive declines in difficulty, which began with a decline of almost 16% at the end of May due to global concerns about BTC mining and its environmental impact caused by Tesla’s Elon Musk CEO and of course China’s intervention against cryptocurrency mining.
Despite seeing five positive adjustments in a row, the current level of difficulty in BTC mining is still far from its all-time high of over 25 trillion recorded in May 2021.
BTC mining difficulty is a metric designed to reflect how difficult it is to extract a BTC block, with a higher level of difficulty requiring more computing power to verify transactions and mine new coins. Difficulty adjustments occur every 2016 blocks, or approximately every two weeks, because BTC is programmed to adjust itself to maintain a target time of 10 minutes between extracted blocks.
The continuing increase in the difficulty of BTC mining comes in parallel with a significant increase in network hashrate, the total combined computing power used to mine and process BTC transactions. BTC’s Hashrate rose sharply to 150 exahash per second (EH / s) at the end of August, after falling to just 52 EH / s in June.
The Chinese miners were offline in June and July, after which the hahrate recovered and returned to the levels of early June, indicating that the miners are returning to work after the exodus from China. And if the trend continues, it could reach a new all-time high in the next few months.
The average hashrate reached an all-time high on May 13, at 197.6 EH / s.