The last two mining difficulty changes on the Bitcoin (BTC) network have driven difficulty to an record-breaking peak, causing a decrease in hashrate and block interval speed. Before the latest difficulty retarget increase of 4.68%, block intervals were quicker than the 10-minute average, at approximately 8 minutes 54 seconds to 9 minutes 31 seconds. Nonetheless, since the change, block times have slowed, with statistics showing durations of 10 minutes 44 seconds to 10 minutes 36 seconds.
Slower-Than-Average Block Intervals May Lead to Decrease in Bitcoin (BTC) Mining Difficulty
The following mining difficulty change is slated for Feb. 12, 2023. At the time of publication, metrics indicate the difficulty could fall as low as 5.6 percent below the present price. The decline in estimated mining difficulty for Bitcoin (BTC) is owing to slower-than-average block intervals. Prior to the last two difficulty increases, block times were quicker, leading to the increases. As of now, data shows that block times have slowed since the last difficulty change, with times ranging from 10 minutes 44 seconds to 10 minutes 36 seconds.
Bitcoin’s hashrate has been below average, with an average of 279 exahash per Second (EH/s) in the previous 2,016 blocks. As of 11:30 a.m. ET on Feb. 4, 2023, statistics show the hashrate at 258 EH/s. On Feb. 1, 2023, the total hashrate dropped to 217 EH/s after reaching a peak of 279 EH/s the last 24 hours. The hashrate then increased, reaching 309 EH/s on Feb. 2, before declining 16.50 percent to its current level of 258 EH/s.
As of Saturday, the top Bitcoin (BTC) mining pool is Foundry USA, with 90.61 exahash per Second (EH/s) or 33.4 percent of the total hashrate. Foundry is followed by Antpool (18.14%), F2pool (14.08%), Binance Crypto exchange Pool (13.13%), and Viabtc (9.07%). Thirteen known Bitcoin (BTC) mining pools are contributing hashrate to the blockchain tech, while unknown miners, known as stealth miners, control 1.67 percent of the hashrate, or 4.53 EH/s. If the slowdown in block intervals results in a difficulty decrease eight days from now, miners will receive a two-week reprieve from the record-breaking peak difficulty.
What impact will the decrease in Bitcoin’s mining difficulty have on the cryptocurrency’s overall network and hashrate? Please share your thoughts what you think in relation to this subject in the comments section below.