Bitcoin Mining Complexity Has Reached All-Time High

On October 10, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty reached an all-time high, making it harder than ever to mine the most valuable crypto asset. After the September 27 difficulty drop, the network’s mining difficulty rose by 13.55%, printing the largest difficulty spike of the year at block height 758,016.

At block height 757,214, five days ago, Bitcoin’s hashrate hit an all-time high (ATH) of 321.15 exahash per second (EH/s). The pace at which blocks are calculated has been less than ten minutes per interval, even though the hashrate has been significantly greater. After 2,016 blocks have been mined, the network’s difficulty adjustment retargets with severe difficulty when blocks are mined more quickly than usual. The complexity will increase if blocks are found too quickly throughout the 2,016-block timeframe (two weeks), but it will decrease if they are found too slowly.

Records show that the block timings continued to be quicker than the ten-minute average after the hashrate ATH was reached on October 5, and on October 9, block intervals were stretched out by 7.65 minutes. Even with the most recent difficulty adjustment, Bitcoin’s block production durations are currently 8.7 minutes or thereabouts. Additionally, the hashrate today is around 244.03 EH/s following the difficulty modification. The difficulty rose by 13.55%, which is a significant increase and the most so far in 2022. The second-highest complexity rose by 9.32% on January 20, 2022.

The most recent increase brought the network’s difficulty over the previous record high, 32.05 trillion, set on September 13. The difficulty is currently 35.61 trillion after the retargeting, and it will stay at that value for the coming two weeks. On Monday, October 10, Foundry USA is the top mining pool, controlling 29.22% of the network’s total hashrate. With around 75.87 EH/s devoted to the BTC blockchain, Foundry detected 149 of the 510 blocks that have been found in the previous three days.

With 52.95 EH/s or 20.39% of the worldwide hashrate, Antpool is the second-largest mining pool. Out of the 510 blocks found in the previous three days, 104 have been found by the Bitmain-managed mining pool Antpool. According to statistics, 12 mining pools are now known to dedicate their SHA256 hashrate to the Bitcoin chain. On Monday, the so-called unknown hashrate, sometimes referred to as stealth miners, commands 5.09 EH/s, or 1.96% of the overall hashrate that was measured. Unknown hashrate found ten of the block rewards out of the 510 blocks discovered in the preceding 72 hours.

Since bitcoin prices are so low, the network’s mining pools are losing money even while the difficulty level is at its highest point in more than 13 years. Mining income per petahash per second (PH/s), which was formerly around $80 per PH/s, is currently $70 per PH/s. Only three mining rig types are viable now at $0.12 per kilowatt hour (kWh), while about 35 mining rig models are profitable at $0.07 per kWh in electricity expenditures.

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