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Bitcoin Difficulty Set for Upturn Amid Escalating Hashrate and Soaring Miner Fees


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Bitcoin Difficulty Set for Upturn Amid Escalating Hashrate and Soaring Miner Fees

After the last adjustment that resulted in a slight 0.96% reduction, the upcoming difficulty retarget on Dec. 23, 2023 is anticipated to bring about an increase, eclipsing the previous decline, as the hashrate regains its upward trajectory. The seven-day average hashrate reached a low of 473 exahash per second (EH/s) on December 11, and has since ascended to 487 EH/s.

Bitcoin’s Total Hashrate Regains Upward Momentum Alongside Hash Price Rise

Barring any major shifts in the coming week, Bitcoin’s difficulty is poised for an upswing. Projections based on current data suggest an increase ranging from 1.64% to 4.5% on Dec. 23. According to data from Luxor’s hashrateindex.com, the hashrate is currently coasting along at 487 EH/s following a temporary dip last week. Presently, block generation times are fluctuating between 8 minutes and 6.6 seconds to 9 minutes and 35 seconds.

Despite a decrease in BTC’s price per unit compared to its levels from Dec. 5-10, the network’s hash price has reached a peak of $112 per petahash per second (PH/s) per day. This spike is attributed to a significant rise in onchain transfer fees. On Dec. 6, the average transaction cost exceeded $27, and on Dec. 14, it soared to around $25 per transaction. Data from mempool.space reveals an accumulation of 230,000 to 265,000 unconfirmed transactions in the backlog from December 14-16, 2023.

While Foundry USA initially led 2023 as the dominant mining pool, Antpool has since emerged as the frontrunner. As of Dec. 16, 2023, 46 identified entities are mining BTC, with Antpool dominating 27.31% of the total hashrate, contributing 138.80 EH/s to the Bitcoin blockchain. Foundry USA remains strong with 124.59 EH/s, accounting for 24.52% of the overall hashrate. Other notable competitors over the last three days include Viabtc, Mara Pool, and Binance Pool.

In light of the escalating hashrate and the predicted rise in difficulty, bitcoin (BTC) miners are also preparing for the impending halving, which is now less than 19,000 blocks away. The current block reward stands at 6.25 coins, which will halve to 3.125 coins per block following the event. This significant change is expected to occur within the next 104 to 129 days, or from the end of March to sometime in April 2024.

What do you think about the hashrate rising and the estimated difficulty increase? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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