Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Spikes to Astronomical Heights

The network marked hashrates above 89 EH/s, showing unprecedented miner confidence in the network.

The Bitcoin (BTC) network keeps setting new records, as mining rose to above 89 EH/s, based on Bitinfo calculations. The exact hashrate may be even higher, as new ASIC came online in the past months, and new mining farms in China joined the fray.

Currently, the Bitcoin network is still secured by four leading pools, BTC.com, F2Pool, SlushPool, and Bitmain’s Antpool. Smaller pools also show increased activity, as mining is once again highly profitable as BTC prices manage to keep above $10,000.

What is curious about the recent mining peak is that miners continue to compete, seemingly undeterred by the constantly rising difficulty. In the past quarter, which saw a dramatic rise in mining, the difficulty has grown by 44%, in a constant series of upgrades. Bitcoin’s difficulty is recalculated every two weeks, and in the past, miners would shut down machines to achieve a lower difficulty. Now, the network hashrate grows without stopping.

But the mining equation of Bitcoin is becoming more precarious. While only a few months ago utilizing an Antminer S17 brought upward of $6,000 per year, now, the profitability has fallen toward $2,000 per year. The S17 miner produces 56 TH/s, a significant improvement on previous models which yielded around 15 TH/s.

Another reason for the highly competitive mining may be the removal of built-in mining locks, which Bitmain used in the past to hamper the productivity of some of the ASIC.

Looking back over the years, the Bitcoin hashrate has grown about 10 times since September 2017, when the price also set out for its record all-time rally. The renewed interest in mining is one of the hopeful factors for an increase in market prices. Mining is also highly active ahead of the upcoming reward halving in early 2020.

The heightened hashrate means the cost of attacking the Bitcoin network is now above $887,000. A recent “whale” transaction worth around $1 billion re-sparked talks of potentially reversing transactions to double-spend the coins. However, so far, the network has not been attacked and mining pools are working in an honest fashion.

Reading now