The most popular cryptocurrency may have lost a lot of value in recent months and remain below the symbolic bar of 20,000 euros, but its difficulty has just increased to a record level.
Bitcoin has never been harder to mine. Since October 23, 2022, the difficulty of bitcoin has been recalculated, and it has just reached a new record: it is now 36.835 trillion hashes. This is far from being anecdotal: it means that to mine a bitcoin, computers must have an extremely high hashrate to be able to answer the equations necessary for the production of cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin difficulty and hashrate are very important indices to consider in the cryptocurrency industry. The fact that the difficulty has reached a new record is very good news for the whole industry, as it shows that miners are still present. While bitcoin is at a very low level and is still in danger of going down again, it is even relief for a whole part of the industry.
Why Bitcoin Difficulty Matters
In order to better understand the importance of the news, it is necessary to remember that the level of difficulty of bitcoin changes. The latter is updated every 2,016 blocks or roughly every two weeks. At this time, the equations are adapted to the computing power of the network: the more computers working, the higher the power (or hashrate), and the more the difficulty must be increased.
A new block on the bitcoin blockchain can only be created every ten minutes, according to cryptocurrency rules. In order to be able to respect this rule, the difficulty of the equations must adapt to the power available on the network: the more miners there are, the harder the equations must be. Conversely, the fewer there are, the lower the difficulty should be. This is what happened in June 2021 when China banned mining when the country represented a large part of the global hashrate: the difficulty of mining has dropped.
We thus observe since the beginning of the history of bitcoin that the difficulty of the latter has gradually increased. According to data from BTC.com, the difficulty of bitcoin was 1 hash when it was launched in 2009. In 2013 it had already reached 4,367,876 hashes, and in January 2019 it was 1 trillion hashes.
The fact that the difficulty of bitcoin is increasing is therefore good news: it shows that there are even more miners on the bitcoin network than before. And, the more miners there are, the more it means that the bitcoin blockchain is secure.
This shows above all that the mining industry still attracts information that may seem surprising. Bitcoin’s price has been falling for almost a year: after hitting its all-time high of over $64,000, it’s now selling for less than $20,000 — a level it hasn’t seen since 2020.
This impressive fall in the price of bitcoin has disgusted many: the number of scams has also dropped dramatically. It seems that this is not the case for minors.