Bitcoin (BTC) Miners Bring Down Difficulty Before Going on Another Spree

The Bitcoin mining difficulty readjusted significantly for the first time since the 2018 bear market, as miners chose to push the brakes.

Miners pushed the brakes for Bitcoin (BTC) hashing activity, but just enough to see difficulty readjust downward by 7%, the biggest readjustment since December 2018. But this time, the factors behind the difficulty drop are different.

Back in 2018, mining reached lows around 30 TH/s, and the difficulty adjusted downward several times in a row. Inversely, mining only grew in 2019, reaching a peak based on some reports at above 120 EH/s.

As difficulty grew, so did the competition for block rewards. Now, miners seem to have taken a break, shrinking the hashrate to a temporary low around 86 EH/s. But right after the difficulty adjusted to a more favorable level, miners returned with a vengeance. The hashrate shot up again, to above 104 EH/s.

The rise in mining activity comes from F2Pool and Poolin, which collectively produced more than 36% of blocks in the past days. The share of Antpool in the past day fell to 5.6%, and Bitmain’s pool is now out of the top 4 block producers. BTC.com is still highly active, in fact discovering more blocks in the past week.

The mining landscape can also change as miners start putting the new S17 machines to use. Based on previous reports, the 2019 spike in mining may be due to highly active S9 usage.

Despite the spike in mining, the BTC market price stepped back, to $8,730.59, pressured by increased selling. BTC is shrinking its dominance to 66%, while altcoins surprisingly keep their positions.

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