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Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Hits Record 72 Trillion Amid Hashrate Surge and $600M Spent on ASICs in December


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Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Hits Record 72 Trillion Amid Hashrate Surge and $600M Spent on ASICs in December

On Dec. 23, 2023, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty soared to a record level at block height 822,528. The difficulty surged by 6.98%, marking the most substantial escalation in nine months, since March 23. This increment set a new precedent, making the discovery of block rewards more arduous than ever with a difficulty hitting an unprecedented 72.01 trillion.

Bitcoin’s Mining Difficulty Soars to Historic 72 Trillion

The ascent in mining difficulty signifies a considerable leap, climbing from 67.30 trillion to a strenuous 72.01 trillion. This metric of Bitcoin’s mining difficulty is defined by a specific target hash value that miners aspire to attain.

Essentially, with a difficulty level of 72 trillion, miners are tasked with generating a hash value beneath this threshold to successfully mine a new block. Post this 6.98% rise, it’s anticipated that the next difficulty adjustment will be around Jan. 5, 2024.

Coinciding with the spike in difficulty, the network’s hashrate has reached new zeniths, achieving an all-time high on Dec. 24, 2023. Data from Luxor’s hashrateindex.com reveals that the seven-day simple moving average (SMA) of BTC’s hashrate has hit 538 exahash per second (EH/s).

This record-breaking figure was achieved shortly after the network reported a historic 527 EH/s peak on December 20. As of December 24, around 50 mining pools are contributing SHA256 hashrate to the BTC network, with Foundry USA at the forefront, commanding 32.30% or 173.55 EH/s of the total hashrate.

Antpool is not far behind, contributing 26.95% or 144.81 EH/s. Collectively, these two pools dominate, holding 59.25% of Bitcoin’s aggregate hashrate over the preceding three days. Currently, just a hair over 17,000 blocks remain until the anticipated halving event, projected to occur around the end of March or the beginning of April 2024.

This surge in hashrate aligns with the significant expansion in bitcoin mining operations. Throughout 2023, the leading three application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) manufacturers unveiled their latest next-generation mining rigs. Mining entities have aggressively incorporated these new machines into their operations, substantially boosting efficiency, particularly in joules per terahash.

The Financial Times reports a notable investment surge with publicly listed mining companies expending $600 million on new machinery in December, and a total of $1.3 billion on ASIC acquisitions over the year, according to The Miner Mag.

What do you think about the network’s difficulty skyrocketing to a new peak? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.

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