Bitcoin (BTC) mining is becoming more and more competitive, leading to the latest difficulty adjustment that saw the mining parameter jump by 15% overnight. The difficulty re-calculation is due to the significant inflows of new mining power, soon set to take Bitcoin hashrate to above 50 million TH/s.
In addition, cloud mining is getting less feasible but continues to be offered resembling a sort of pyramid scheme as most of the profitability relies on new referrals:
The one-day difficulty change is 14.88%, based on Coinwarz data. But what is more significant, the streak of increased mining power has led to a 47.92% difficulty growth over the past three months.
The effect of mining difficulty affects mostly cloud mining, which relies on preliminary contracts hinging on the expectation that the Bitcoin market price would offset the higher difficulty and lower rewards. Some analysts see the current break-even price at $8,900, to make cloud mining contracts profitable.
The predicted mining difficulty increase was at one point around 10%, lower than the actual increase. The growing number of ASIC machines on the Bitcoin network does not immediately translate into the same growth of electricity consumption. Some of the newer mining rigs are more economical, yielding a higher hashrate per lower electricity consumption.
Even at this high difficulty, the estimated cost of a one-hour 51% attack on the Bitcoin network is $591,502, based on current statistics. Bitcoin’s energy consumption has flattened out in the past months, but still Bitcoin’s total mining energy consumption matches that of Austria, and is close to that of the Philippines.
The BTC market price has stabilized at around $8,152.27 early on Monday (UTC), though on thinner trading volumes of $4.2 billion in 24 hours. The share of Tether (USDT) trading has expanded again to more than 39%, once again indicating that BTC trading is using the fixed-price token for support on days of decreased enthusiasm.