Bitcoin miners row against the current: difficulty on the rise and profitability on the downside

Bitcoin hashrate.

Key facts:
  • Bitcoin mining difficulty and hashrate hit all-time highs.

  • The current hashprice of $0.12 TH/s/d is the lowest in the last 12 months.

Bitcoin miners have not been overwhelmed by the low profitability of this activity currently and continue to increase their mining power, to the point of causing a new record in the difficulty of BTC mining.

The difficulty of mining Bitcoin broke record again after reaching 31.2 trillion (T) a few hours ago. Its previous value was 29.7 T, which implies an increase of 5% from its previous adjustment.

It should be noted that the Bitcoin mining difficulty adjustment is a mechanism that seeks to stabilize the production of blocks in the network. This adjustment is done automatically every 2016 mined blocks, a job that takes about two weeks.

If the average hashrate on the network is too high, raise the difficulty; whereas, if the average hashrate is low, the mining difficulty will decrease. In this way, the Bitcoin network tries to maintain the average of 1 mined block every 10 minutes.

Like the difficulty of mining, as expected, the hashrate of the Bitcoin network is also on the rise. According to the statistics shown by Braiins, the Bitcoin hash rate has returned to its record high of 228 exahashes per second (EH/s).

Bitcoin hashrate.
Despite the drop in Bitcoin price, its hashrate and mining difficulty are on the rise. Source: brains.

This shows a rapid recovery after the slight decline it showed days ago, as reported by CriptoNoticias.

The lower hashprice, the higher hashrate

Bitcoin mining profitability, contrary to hashrate and mining difficulty, is down. Bitcoin hashprice today is $0.12 per terahash per second per day (TH/s/d). This means that an Antminer S19 model ASIC miner should average daily gross earnings of about $11.40, although this varies with the cost of electricity.

The fluctuations in the hashprice are mainly influenced by variations in the difficulty of mining, commissions per transaction and the price of Bitcoin in the market.

Bitcoin hashprice.
The hashprice has seen a continuous drop since March of this year, as has the price of BTC in the cryptocurrency market. Source: Hashrate Index.

The increase in difficulty in the network, coupled with the fall in the price of BTC, have led to a decline of more than 50% of the hashprice from its highest point in the year, at the end of March. In fact, the current hashprice is the lowest recorded in the last 12 months.

The most interesting thing about this hashprice drop is the reaction of Bitcoin miners, who have been gradually increasing their hash rateinstead of reducing its participation in mining to save on operational expenses.

Taking a look at the first graph of this article, it can be seen that since July 2021 the rise in the Bitcoin hashrate has been constant, ignoring the small oscillations it may have experienced.

LThe tendency to increase mining power when profitability is low is not a new thing among Bitcoin miners.. On other occasions in which the network has experienced similar contexts, the response of the workers of the mother of cryptocurrencies has been the same.

A close example can be seen in the statistics of September 2021, when the Bitcoin hashrate was sustaining its increase while the profitability of mining had fallen by more than 25% in a month.

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