Bitcoin’s mining difficulty hit a record high on January 15, 2023, increasing by 10.26% to reach 37.73 trillion at a height of 772,128 blocks. The difficulty of the network is now at its peak. This means that it takes an average of 37.73 trillion hashes or attempts to find a valid bitcoin block reward and add it to the blockchain.
The First Difficulty Increase of 2023 surpassed all but one of the 2022 Difficulty Increases
As of 8:15 PM ET on Sunday, January 15, 2023, approximately 286.36 exahashes per second (EH/s) of hashrate were dedicated to the Bitcoin (BTC) blockchain. The Bitcoin network barely retargeted at 4:11 PM ET at a block height of 772,128, resulting in a 10.26% gain.
The difficulty was around 34.09 trillion last week and reached an all-time high (ATH) of 37.73 trillion on Sunday, making it extremely difficult to find a BTC block. Before the January 15, 2023 difficulty increase, the highest difficulty rate on the Bitcoin blockchain was November 6, 2022, at 36.76 trillion.
The current difficulty is 2.63% higher than the previous high. The January 15th difficulty increase also tops all but one of last year’s difficulty increases. The largest difficulty increase in 2022 occurred on October 10, 2022, with a 13.55% increase in block height to 758,016. Bitcoin price has increased by 22.7% in the last 7 days, which is beneficial for Bitcoin miners. However, the 10.26% difficulty increase will make the profit much tighter.
The new year started off with a bang for Bitcoin as the network’s hashrate hit an all-time high of 361.20 exahashes per second (EH/s) on January 6, 2023, at a height of 770,709 blocks. This surpassed the previous record of 347.16 EH/s set on November 12, 2022. The high hashrate has led to faster block intervals and a difficulty spike recorded on Sunday afternoon.
With two records set in the first month of the new year, 2023 will be noteworthy for miners. At press time, according to macromicro.me, the cost of Bitcoin production is estimated at $17,377 per unit, and BTC at $20,876 per coin.
In addition, mining pool concentration has increased significantly, with two mining pools controlling more than 56.68% of the global hashrate in the last three days. Statistics show that the best mining pool, Foundry USA, has a hashrate of 97.03 exahash per second (EH/s), while Antpool has about 55.92 EH/s.
The next difficulty change is expected to occur on or around January 28, 2023, and the current block interval time is approximately 8 minutes and 26 seconds. Despite hitting an all-time high on January 6, the average hashrate over the last 2016 blocks was 268.9 exahashes per second (EH/s). At the time of writing, there are 67,846 blocks mined and 1,736,531.23 Bitcoin (BTC) issuance waiting to be discovered until the next reward halving.
What are your thoughts on the impact of the all-time high difficulty level on Bitcoin mining? Share your perspective in the comment section below.
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