mining difficulty

Bitcoin mining difficulty drops 0.2% in the latest adjustment

The latest data shows that the Bitcoin mining difficulty dropped 0.2% after the last adjustment. However, it’s crucial to note that the adjustment from October 24 increased the difficulty to the highest level so far. 

Suppose you’re familiar with the crypto sector; you know that the Bitcoin mining difficulty changes every two weeks as a measure to allow miners to join the process. The mining difficulty determines the miners’ effort in verifying transactions in a block. The amount of computing power required in the mining process and the mining hash rate directly impact the mining difficulty. The hash rate changes every two weeks, so the mining difficulty also suffers. This measure is paramount for the system’s stability and directly impacts the Bitcoin blockchain ecosystem. The difficulty level adjusts twice a month because blocks require processing every ten minutes. 

The high number of miners on the protocol increases the difficulty rate and impacts the periodic adjustment. 

Let’s learn more about the mining difficulty

The number of investors who learn how to buy crypto is growing daily, and most of them are joining the sector due to Bitcoin’s popularity and its promise to allow them to make a return on their investment. When a digital asset like Bitcoin gains greater popularity, the number of traders interested in purchasing it increases. Therefore, the network requires a higher number of computers participating in the peer-to-peer networks to produce more blocks. Miners compete against each other to create blocks and get rewards. When the computing power and number of participants in the network increase, the hash power of the ecosystem also upsurges. Specialists refer to this phenomenon as the mining difficulty. You’ll find it easier to understand how it functions once you learn more about Bitcoin mining. All Bitcoin transactions are stored in blocks, which the Bitcoin blockchain integrates every 10 minutes. The difficulty requires periodic adjustments to maintain the time the blockchain needs to process a block at 600 seconds. 

The Bitcoin network adjusts the mining difficulty automatically at every 2,016 blocks mined. Depending on the number of network participants and the hash power, the difficulty can move downward or upward. 

The mining equipment registered upgrades

At first, miners used the CPUs from PCs to mine cryptocurrency, but as the sector evolved, they understood that graphics cards were more effective at mining Bitcoin. However, graphic cards require higher amounts of energy, which turned Bitcoin mining into an expensive and environmentally pollutive task. Over the last couple of years, developers created special application-specific integrated circuit chips for mining Bitcoin. Currently, mining pools where several miners combine their hash rates and forces enable the mining of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Miners must solve complex mathematical puzzles to validate blocks, a process requiring huge amounts of computational power. Due to the increasing difficulty of mathematical puzzles over the years, miners were forced to join their forces and create mining pools to validate blocks efficiently. The first mining pool or miner that identifies the right hash gets rewarded for verifying the block. 

The network rewards miners with new native tokens or new coins when they successfully solve mathematical puzzles. When a mining pool finds the right hash, the participants split the reward in proportion to their share of computing power. Crypto specialists state that mining is similar to searching for a needle in a haystack because the Bitcoin code creates several hashes, but a single one is correct. And let’s not forget that Bitcoin has a limited number of 21 million units. At present, over 85% of all coins have been mined, and experts believe that the last bitcoin will be mined by 2140. 

What happens when the last bitcoin is mined?

Many people wonder if the difficulty will disappear once the last bitcoin is mined. Specialists state that miners will still be needed even after the last bitcoin is mined to keep the network running. They will still enable the creation of blocks but most likely receive another kind of reward. Instead of receiving new tokens, they’ll get a share of transaction fees spent by traders. 

Is Bitcoin mining profitable?

Aside from the money miners spend to purchase the hardware required for mining new bitcoins, their profit and revenue depends on how many miners are present on the market and the market conditions. During bull markets, Bitcoin’s price could skyrocket, making mining new tokens profitable. However, bull markets are often followed by bear markets, and miners must decide if the task is lucrative enough for them. The bull market encourages miners to use the profit to purchase more decides and tap into the revenue stream to increase their long-term revenue. However, the revenue is subjected to an adjustment where less efficient miners start earning less than their electricity bills and are forced to shut off their devices. This trend usually allows other, more efficient miners to earn more tokens because they verify more blocks. However, this trend doesn’t happen overnight because the market is subjected to a particular lag and ASICs aren’t produced quickly enough to make up for the currency’s increase in value. 

During crypto winters, like the one the market is dealing with at the moment, the opposite principle holds, miners have such a small revenue they prefer to turn off their devices. The secret to transforming bitcoin mining into a lucrative job in bear markets is to find a winning combination of hardware and a location with affordable energy. The crypto winter allows only a couple of miners to maintain their edge because the task requires them to reinvest the capital to continually maintain and change hardware. 

Final words

At the moment, Bitcoin cannot move above its market’s status quo and maintains a tricky trading range. However, the end of the year might change the inflation rate and allow Bitcoin to move slightly away from the present market influence. Besides the market factors, experts believe that unemployment claims worldwide could also impact the asset’s volatility and mining difficulty. 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

Articles: 15885

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