While, two weeks ago, it was estimated that Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty might drop by 16%, it just went up 5.77 % today, as more miners turned their machines on in the past two weeks. (Updated at 09:10 UTC: the second paragraph has been updated.)
The mining difficulty (used as a measure for how hard it is to compete for mining rewards) now stands at 14.7 T, or almost at the level, it was in the second half of January, according to major Bitcoin mining pool BTC.com. In the next adjustment in two-weeks time, mining difficulty is expected to rise by 5.65% to 15.55 T. However, this forecast will change depending on changes in hashrate, the computational power of the Bitcoin network. Should it increase further, the mining difficulty will follow. Since March 26 it’s up by around 10%.
As a reminder, two weeks ago, the Cryptoverse saw the second-largest drop in Bitcoin mining difficulty of 15.95%, all the way down to 13.91 T.
In theory, three more difficulty adjustments left until the Bitcoin mining reward halving estimated on May 13.
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.
As Ryan Watkins, an analyst at crypto researcher Messari, noted in March, the key nuance skeptics fail to grasp when thinking about Bitcoin mining, is that the set of Bitcoin miners consists of numerous independent entities with their own cost structures and balance sheets: “Miners don’t rise and fall as one, they rise and fall as individuals. Mining is a competition, and the miners that are least competitive simply just lose.”
Meanwhile, BTC is currently (8:17 UTC) trading at USD 7,269. It’s down 1.3% in the past 24 hours, and it appreciated almost 15% in the past week.