Mining

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Breaks the 2nd-Longest Drop Streak

After four consecutive drops, Bitcoin (BTC) difficultly increased on July 31, cutting into the growing profit margins of BTC miners. (Updated on July 31, 05:54 UTC with the adjustment results and market data.)

Bitcoin difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, went up by 6%.

This brought it back up from the 13 T level, where it had dropped during the previous adjustment, to almost 14.5 T – still far from the all-time high of 25.05 T. Also, this is the first adjustment up since China cracked down on crypto in May.

Nonetheless, this increase comes after four drops in a row, two of which were quite substantial: the historic drop of nearly 28%, and a drop of nearly 16%.

Notably, having more than two consecutive drops is not that common at all. Prior to this, there were only two such cases: three drops in late 2018, and eight in late 2011.

Per BitInfoCharts.com, hashrate, or the computational power of the network, has seen a smaller increase since the previous adjustment two weeks ago, going up from 101.15E to 104.39E (7-day simple moving average). This is nearly 43% lower than the all-time high recorded on May 14, and 24% higher that the yearly low hit on July 3.

Bitcoin profitability has also seen a jump since the last difficulty adjustment, going up 19% in two weeks.

The mining difficulty of Bitcoin is adjusted around every two weeks (or more precisely, every 2016 blocks) to maintain the normal 10-minute block time. The 7-day simple moving average block time on July 29 was 9.38 minutes.

Meanwhile, according to ByteTree, in the past weeks, miners have continued holding more of their newly generated BTC, instead of spending it.

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