Bitcoin mining difficulty surpasses 80 trillion ahead of halving

Bitcoin mining difficulty surpasses 80 trillion ahead of halving

Bitcoin mining difficulty, which measures how difficult it is to solve the complex cryptographic puzzles used in the mining process, passed 80 trillion on Friday, Feb. 16. 

The network’s hash rate, which measures the total computational power used by miners, reached 562.81 exahashes per second (EH/s), and the mining difficulty hit a record 81.73 trillion, according to BTC.com. Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty has steadily risen since January 2023 and is expected to reach 100 trillion in the next few months.

In Bitcoin’s proof-of-work consensus mechanism, a higher difficulty means miners require more computational power and energy to find the correct hash. In the last year, Bitcoin’s difficulty level has more than doubled.

Bitcoin mining difficulty as of Feb. 16. Source: BTC.com

At its automated readjustment on Feb. 15, Bitcoin mining difficulty was due to increase by an estimated 6%. According to data from monitoring resource BTC.com, if it comes to pass, it will take the difficulty to new all-time highs above 80 trillion for the first time.

Bitcoin stuck to $52,000 at the Feb. 16 Wall Street open as the latest United States macro data exceeded expectations. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed stagnant BTC price action into the week’s last TradFi trading session.

Related: Bitcoin’s market structure beneficial to price post-halving

Bitcoin’s mining rewards will be cut in half in April in what’s known as the Bitcoin Halving. To fight inflation, Bitcoin’s programmers baked the reduction into the token’s structure roughly every four years. The last time Bitcoin’s mining reward halved was in May 2020.

Bitcoin’s rewards will decrease from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC during the upcoming halving. This change might result in a lower hash rate, as less efficient miners could find it challenging to cover their costs and take their mining rigs offline. A reduced hash rate is likely to cause a decrease in Bitcoin mining difficulty as the network aims to keep a steady block production every 10 minutes.

According to Galaxy Digital analysts, as much as 20% of Bitcoin’s current hash rate could go offline after the Bitcoin halving and leave only the most efficient mining rigs standing.

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