With 93% of Bitcoin’s Supply Mined, Network’s Hashrate and Difficulty Surge in Synchrony
On Sunday, November 19, 2023, Bitcoin’s hashrate maintained a steady pace at 468 exahash per second (EH/s), surpassing the intended ten-minute block interval average. The most recent block was processed in just 7 minutes and 37 seconds. Present observations suggest that if this trend in block intervals persists, the network could anticipate a 3% increase in difficulty, marking the seventh consecutive rise since September 19.
Efficient Mining Tech and Higher Prices Fuel Bitcoin’s Rapid Hashrate Growth in 2023
As of block height 817,532, a significant 93.08% of all bitcoins destined to be in circulation have already been mined, amounting to roughly 19,546,861.78 BTC at the time of writing. Block times have been consistently shorter than the target average of ten minutes, ranging between 9 minutes and 43 seconds to 7 minutes and 37 seconds, with a median average of 9 minutes and 40 seconds over the last day.
Despite the previous difficulty adjustment, Bitcoin’s hashrate continues to climb, with its seven-day simple moving average (SMA) hovering around 468 EH/s. This figure is slightly below the seven-day SMA peak of 475 EH/s, achieved on November 5, 2023. Given the sustained rising hashrate and faster block intervals, an increase in mining difficulty appears likely. Current predictions indicate a potential 3% increase during the next difficulty period, scheduled for November 26, 2023.
With just over 22,000 blocks remaining until the next halving, the accelerated block production rate suggests the milestone event might occur as early as February 2024, or in March. However, calculations based on a steady ten-minute block average point to April 20, 2024, as the more likely date. An anticipated 3% jump in difficulty would raise it to 67.68 trillion from the present 64.68 trillion, significantly challenging miners in their quest for block rewards. Over the past two months, difficulty has increased bi-weekly, and this trend will eventually impact bitcoin (BTC) miners when it gets to a certain point.
The increase in Bitcoin’s hashrate can be linked to several elements, including the introduction of more efficient mining machines delivering higher terahash per second (TH/s) output, coupled with a BTC price surge of 120% since January 2023. During this period, Bitcoin’s hashrate experienced a substantial growth of 207 EH/s, while the difficulty escalated from 34.09 trillion to the present 64.68 trillion. This reflects a remarkable 79% rise in hashrate and an even more significant increase in difficulty, exceeding 89%.
What do you think about Bitcoin’s hashrate and difficulty peaking in unison? Share your thoughts and opinions about this subject in the comments section below.