Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Hashrate Flies to New Highs Amidst Price Recovery

Mining is back in fashion, with the hashrate breaking out to new ranges.

Bitcoin (BTC) is unstoppable when it comes to mining, as the hashrate breaks out to new highs. Bitcoin’s network saw a surge over the weekend, to above 72 EH/s, breaking the previous peaks around 68 EH/s.

BTC mining has grown continuously, coinciding with the price growth. During the December lows in late 2018, mining also reached a temporary bottom, but has picked up ever since. At prices as low as $3,200, mining profitability was questionable. Now, new machines, abundant hydroelectric power and a price above $11,000 mean ideal conditions for miners to continue gaining block rewards.

Transaction fees are also a source of revenues for miners, and the price has crept up, to around $1.91 per transaction, with additional daily anomalies. On days of highly active trading, fees also go through temporary peaks.

The improved mining conditions also mean that cloud mining is back. Cloud mining is rarely profitable, and has gone through stagnations at times of low prices. But now, offers are coming back. Unfortunately, some of the offers sound downright fraudulent:

With the increased attractiveness of mining, there are more investment proposals and possibly scams promising mining contracts, but in fact relying on a pyramid scheme of referrals.

High profitability also means that small-scale miners using more expensive electricity can still make a profit. But mining on the consumer electric grid can be easily discovered - as in the recent case where a farm with 1,000 machines was dismantled in Iran. The farm was discovered after a surge in consumption, relying on government-subsidized electricity, reported Reuters.

Mining is also highly active in Venezuela, where despite the unrest, state-subsidized electricity makes for some of the lowest breakeven prices.

The Bitcoin network consumes more than 60 TW/h on an annualized basis, shows the recent tracking tool by Cambridge University. While miners mostly use renewable resources, the cases of power-hungry mining farms causing trouble on consumer networks are also not rare.

BTC prices reached $11,430.79 as of 8:35 UTC on Monday, promising annual profitability of thousands of dollars for the owners of the new Bitmain Antminer S17 rigs.

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