Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Sees its 8th Biggest Drop in History
Bitcoin mining difficulty, a measure showing how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, has dropped 9.29% today. This is its second drop in a row, following the 6% one in the second half of May – both occurring after the third Bitcoin halving.
Per the major Bitcoin mining pool BTC.com, today’s is the 8th largest difficulty drop ever for BTC. The highest one, of 18.03% was seen on Halloween 2011. We saw the second-largest drop in its history, of 15.95%, just two months ago, which itself followed the Black Thursday in March. Today’s fall is the closest to December 2018’s 9.56 % and March 2011’s 9.47%.
However, their landing points are very much different. In March 2011, for example, a nearly 10% drop had resulted in the difficulty of 68.98 K. Today, a similar percentage has meant a drop in difficulty to 13.57 T. Though the change is enormous over the years, the latter is still the lowest level seen since the beginning of this year.
As reported, crypto mining publication Miner Update argued recently that this adjustment is entirely based on the computing power which miners deploy at the current difficulty level and block subsidy of BTC 6.25. “The next difficulty adjustment will alter the network to the hashrate deployed over the next ~2 weeks and it will afterward become clear whether users are paying higher transaction fees post halving,” they said in May.
While the median BTC transaction fee dropped more than 50% since mid-May, it is still around five times higher than it was in April.
The mining difficulty of Bitcoin is adjusted every two weeks (every 2016 blocks, to be precise) to maintain the normal 10-minute block time. This means that if there are many miners competing among themselves and propagating blocks in less than ten minutes, the difficulty of the next puzzle will be increased; if there are few miners and it takes them much longer to find a solution, the difficulty is decreased – both times just enough to keep block times at around 10 minutes.
At pixel time (13:31 UTC), BTC trades at USD 9,743 and is up by 1.4% in a day and 3.5% in a week.