Despite bitcoin miners earning minimal profits per petahash per second (PH/s) and the myriad headlines showing specific mining operations retreating from the crypto winter, the network’s total hashrate continues to surge nearly of 300 exahash per second (EH/s). With bitcoin prices falling and mining difficulty at an all-time high, current trends haven’t set bitcoin miners back at all. Meanwhile, the next difficulty retarget scheduled for October 23 or around this time shows that another increase will take place.
Bitcoin’s Hashrate Remains High Despite Current Hurdles
With less than two days left, it looks like bitcoin (BTC) miners will get another bump in network difficulty. Currently, Bitcoin difficulty is at an all-time high (ATH) at 35.61 trillion and the next change is expected to take place in less than two days on or around October 23, 2022.
While the ATH difficulty makes it much harder for bitcoin miners to find a block grant, miners still have plenty of hashrate dedicated to the security of the main crypto asset’s network. Today, statistics from coinwarz.com show that the total hashrate of BTC in the last hour has been between 290 and 315 EH/s.
The metric is just below October 11, the total ATH hashrate recorded at block height 758,138. At that time, the total network hashrate reached a lifetime high of 325.11 EH/s.
Current block times on Friday are also below the ten-minute average, as a few data points show current block times today between 8:30 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. Usually, when the 2,016 blocks are found faster than the ten-minute average, the retargeting date is less than two weeks away.
When this trend occurs, the mining difficulty of the blockchain network will increase in order to make it harder for miners to find a BTC block. Satoshi created the system this way, so that block times stay within a constant average of ten minutes.
At the time of writing, the difficulty is estimated at 4.03% to 4.6% higher than the current 35.61 trillion. The predicted percentage increase would increase BTC’s mining difficulties up to $37 trillion.
Currently, the largest mining pool today, Foundry USA, has an average of 63.34 PE/s dedicated to the BTC chain over the past three days. Foundry’s hashrate represents approximately 23.86% of the network’s total computing power.
Below the top BTC mining pool, Foundry includes miners like Antpool (48.37 EH/s), F2pool (39.73 EH/s), Binance Pool (35.13 EH/s) and Viabtc (23.03 EH /s) in terms of top five hashers. There are currently 13 known mining pools dedicating hashrate to the BTC chain, and 12.09 PE/s, or 4.56% of the total network, is controlled by unknown miners.
The record hashrate comes at a time when a few large mining operations are struggling with financial difficulties and bankruptcies. This week, DA Davison investment bank market analyst Chris Brendler downgraded shares of Argo Blockchain (Nasdaq:ARBK) and Core Scientific (Nasdaq:CORZ) to neutral.
With such a high hashrate, someone simply observing Bitcoin’s computing power wouldn’t be able to tell that some BTC miners are struggling. It may be that while a handful of BTC mining operations have failed, larger operations are simply taking over their slack, ASICs, and facilities at discounted prices.
What do you think of Bitcoin’s hashrate remaining high despite the hurdles it faces like the ATH of difficulty and falling bitcoin prices? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.
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