- The mining difficulty of Bitcoin has lowered for the first time this year.
- The -1.49% adjustment breaks away from Bitcoin’s 6-adjustment streak.
- This saw the network hash rate and mining difficulty reach new all-time highs.
The mining difficulty of Bitcoin has dropped for the first time since November 2021, correcting approximately 1.49%.
This drop follows a series of six consecutive increases in the mining difficulty, which saw the mining difficulty and hash rate of the network hit new all-time highs.
As can be seen from the chart above, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty dropped slightly after an 8-month climb.
The average hash rate for the network fell to 197 exahashes per second, which resulted in the average block time exceeding the 10-minute target at 10 minutes and 9 seconds. Due to the adjustment in difficulty, miners competing to solve the chain’s next block were able to do so significantly easier.
The ability for the network to self-adjust its difficulty is one of its most prominent features, and occurs every 2,016 blocks – roughly every 2 weeks. The adjustment to the mining difficulty is based on the average number of blocks created per hour, according to Bitcoin’s whitepaper, which states, “If they’re generated too fast, the difficulty increases.” The opposite is true as well.
This is of course not the first time that Bitcoin’s mining difficulty has decreased. The last drop in difficulty occurred between May and July last year, following China’s ban on Bitcoin mining, and was a significantly bigger drop than the one currently taking place.
The Bitcoin mining industry is extremely competitive, with tech industry giants such as Intel looking to make an impact in the network’s hash rate. Other miners will also take advantage of the opportunity, leaving many miners to believe that the mining difficulty will return to its upward trend.