Bitcoin mining industry flourishes as difficulty skyrockets


The difficulty in bitcoin mining has reached an all-time high as per data from BTC.com, a Chinese mining pool.

As of July 9, the difficulty spiked by over 14% to reach 9.06 trillion with an average hash rate of 64.85 EH/s — a fresh all-time high in the network’s history.

The previous instance where the network recorded such a drastic increase in block production difficulty was back in July 2018, when it skyrocketed to as much as 15% over a 2,016 block interval.

However, back then, the average hash rate was at 42.59 EH/s with difficulty being notably lower at 5.95 T.

Bitcoin mining difficulty algorithm

The bitcoin network’s hashing difficulty algorithm is designed to improve every 2,016 blocks. This takes around two weeks in order to maintain consistent 10-minute block verification times.

Generally, if the network experiences a low level of participating mining output, the difficulty will drop. However, during periods of heightened network activity, it rises, thus acting as a counterbalancing mechanism.

Due to the recent bull market, data from BTC.com shows that the following increase in difficulty will see the uptrend strengthening even more. Mining difficulty is expected to spike yet again in 11 days by a further 10%, hitting 9.9T.

Block production time for the current 2,106 period was recorded at 8 minutes, 10% lower than the desired 10 minutes.

As per historical data gleaned from BTC.com, bitcoin’s earlier years saw spikes of as much as 20% during block intervals. However, it’s worth noting that the absolute difficulty was at 144.12 G, with an average hash rate of 1.03 EH/s.

Back in 2010, during the early days of the network, the bitcoin blockchain was subject to spikes of almost 56%. The network had an absolute difficulty of 2,149 – 2.15 K and a 15.37 GH/s average hash rate.

During 2018’s “crypto winter” the network recorded its second-largest difficulty plummet in history, baring a 15% adjustment in December 2018.

Earlier this year in June, as bitcoin’s bull run gathered strength, mining difficulty hit another all-time high of 7.86 T as reported at the time.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading hands at $11,658, up by nearly 1.33% during the past 24 hours, as per data from CoinMarketCap.

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