Bitcoin difficulty reaches all-time high, hash rate up 45% in 6 months


The Bitcoin network has hit yet another all-time high in mining difficulty after a steady climb since last July’s lows.

On-chain analysis tool CoinWarz indicated on Friday that mining difficulty reached a new high of 27.97 trillion hashes. This is now the second time in three weeks that Bitcoin has hit a new all-time high (ATH) in terms of difficulty. On Jan. 23, difficulty reached 26.7 trillion when hash rates were at 190.71 exahashes per second (EH/s).

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Higher difficulty means there is more competition among miners to confirm a block and extract a block reward. As a result, miners have recently begun selling off coins or their company’s stock in order to keep their cash reserves intact. Most notably, Marathon Digital Holdings filed on Saturday to sell $750 million worth of company shares. 

The hash rate for the network has also hit a new ATH, according to data from Blockchain.com, which indicates a hash rate of 211.9 EH/s. Different measurement tools have recorded different hash rate highs over the last few weeks. YCharts tools displayed a hash rate ATH of 248.11 EH/s on Sunday.

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Of the known global mining pools, AntPool and F2Pool have contributed the most hash power. Antpool accounts for 96 blocks mined over the last four days, while F2Pool accounts for 93, according to data from Blockchain.com.

Regardless of the measuring tools used, both the hash rate and mining difficulty have been on the upswing since hitting deep troughs last July. At the time, the hash rate bottomed out at about 69 EH/s, according to CoinWarz, while mining difficulty reached a low of 13.6 trillion hashes.

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A greater hash rate, however, means greater security for the network. The more hash power the network uses, the more distributed the work is for each transaction that takes place on-chain. This dilemma between miners and securing the network and deriving enough profits is likely to continue to play out as they determine the feasibility of their current operations.