Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty is getting closer to the 17 T zone, as it went up again – meaning, Bitcoin miners’ job just got slightly more difficult, while they’re spending more of their coins.
Bitcoin mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, went up by 0.59%, but that was not enough to push it over the 17 T level, raising the difficulty to 16.95 T.
Though an accomplishment, this is not another all-time high, as that honor belongs to 17.35 T which the Cryptoverse saw two adjustments, or almost a month ago. It means that today’s is still the second-largest BTC mining difficulty in its history.
It comes after a small drop seen during the previous adjustment, in late July, that knocked the difficulty back a bit, to the 16 T level.
At the same time, the hashrate (the computational power of the network) has been rising as well. Looking at the 7-day moving average, we notice a slight drop since the previous adjustment, of 0.43%, meaning that the hashrate is almost unchanged in that past two weeks.
The mining difficulty of Bitcoin is adjusted every two weeks (or more precisely, every 2016 blocks) to maintain the normal 10-minute block time. According to BitInfoCharts.com, it has been moving between 9 and 11 minutes since the previous adjustment, surpassing 10 minutes yesterday.
Meanwhile, miners have been spending more of their BTC than it was generated, particularly a week ago, when 755 coins more were spent than generated, while the price of bitcoin increased by 4% in the past week and hit USD 12,000 on Monday before correcting lower again.
Also, as reported, amidst the inner turmoil and a long-standing fight between its co-founders, major hardware maker Bitmain recently delayed shipment of its popular AntMiner mining machines, citing “external interference over the company’s management.” The customers (who had to preorder their machines) were originally supposed to get their equipment in June and July, but have to wait until September and October.
In related news, Jameson Lopp, Chief Technology Officer of US-based crypto security specialist Casa, theorized that should Beijing decide to attack the Bitcoin network, it would be “nearly impossible” for the government to start taking control of numerous scattered mining farms, without the rest of the world hearing about it. It would be easier to attack the few mining pools within their borders adding, Lopp said, adding that “at the time of writing it appears that over 70% of hashpower is being coordinated through fewer than 10 mining pools that are located in China.” However, miners can very easily just switch off the mining pools, so “again it becomes a question of being able to perform an attack covertly,” and this is, as said, practically impossible.
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