2 months ago 2 min read

Highest Ever Bitcoin Hashrate Could Lead to Record Setting Difficulty Increase


On January 6, 2023, at block height 770,709, Bitcoin's hashrate hit an all-time high (ATH) during the first week of the year. On Friday, the network hit a milestone of about 361.20 exahashes per second (EH/s), breaking the previous record of 347.16 EH/s set on November 12, 2022, by more than 4%.

Hashpower on the Network Increases, Difficulty Change Expected in Eight Days

The first week of the year has seen a spike in the computing power of Bitcoin as it surpassed its first record since 2023. As of January 7, statistics show that Bitcoin's hashrate has stabilized around 290 EH/s after hitting its all-time high (ATH) the day before. The ATH took place at 3:42 on January 6. ET when the network's overall hashrate reached 361.20 EH/s at block height 770,709. This record is equivalent to 361.2 quintillion hashes per second, or 0.3611999 zettahashes per second (ZH/s).

The Nov. 12, 2022 record of approximately 347.16 EH/s, printed at block height 762,845, was surpassed by the record set on Jan. 6 by more than 4%. Block generation times have been substantially quicker than the 10-minute norm because of the strong hashrate. The intervals between mined blocks have typically ranged from 8:51 to 7:31 minutes. Data also indicates a decrease in the cost of producing Bitcoin. Each bitcoin costs $16,568 to produce, whereas the current spot price is $16,920.

Statistics from theminermag.com indicate that the cost of producing bitcoin may really be significantly lower, with the average cost there being roughly $13.6K per unit. The network's difficulty is expected to increase on or around January 16, 2023, following a 3.59% decrease on the first day of the year due to the faster block intervals. The range of current estimates for the change in difficulty in the past eight days is between 7.04% and a record-breaking 13.2% rise. The biggest gain of the year occurred on October 10, 2022, with a 13.55% increase.

Foundry USA is the leading mining pool as of January 7, 2023, with 29.34% of the global hashrate, or around 78.85 EH/s of hashpower. Antpool (20.04%), F2pool (16.74%), Viabtc (9.71%), and Binance Pool (7.85%) are the next four pools in order, after Foundry. The fact that the network's processing power has reached all-time highs means that Bitcoin's blockchain is growing stronger, which is viewed as good news for the network as a whole. But as was already noted, after the difficulty increases on January 16 in eight days, it may also affect how difficult it is to mine new blocks.

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