Bitcoin mining difficulty surpasses 80 trillion amid halving anticipation

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The Bitcoin BTC mining difficulty, which indicates how challenging it is to solve the mathematical problem associated with a block, passed 80 trillion on Friday, Feb. 16. 

The network’s hash rate, which measures miners’ total computational power, reached 562.81 exahashes per second (EH/s), and the mining difficulty hit a record 81.73 trillion, according to BTC.com. The Bitcoin mining difficulty has been steadily rising since January 2023 and is expected to reach 100 trillion in the next few months.

In Bitcoin’s proof-of-work system, mining difficulty measures how hard it is to add a new block to the blockchain. A higher difficulty means miners require more computational power and energy to find the correct hash. In the last year, Bitcoin’s difficulty level has more than doubled.

Bitcoin mining difficulty as of Feb. 16.            Source: BTC.com

At its automated readjustment on Feb. 15, Bitcoin mining difficulty was due to increase by an estimated 6%. According to data from monitoring resource BTC.com, if it comes to pass, it will take the difficulty to new all-time highs and above 80 trillion for the first time.

Bitcoin stuck to $52,000 at the Feb. 16 Wall Street open as the latest United States macro data ran above expectations. Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed stagnant BTC price action into the week’s last TradFi trading session.

Related: Bitcoin’s market structure beneficial to price post-halving

Bitcoin’s mining rewards will be cut in half in late April in what’s known as the ‘Bitcoin Halving.’ To fight inflation, Bitcoin’s programmers baked the reduction into the token’s structure roughly every four years. The last time Bitcoin’s mining reward halved was in May 2020.

Bitcoin’s rewards will decrease from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC during the upcoming halving. This change might result in a lower hash rate as less efficient miners find it challenging to cover their costs and exit. A reduced hash rate is likely to cause a decrease in Bitcoin mining difficulty as the network aims to keep a steady block production every 10 minutes.

According to Galaxy’s mining analysts, as much as 20% of Bitcoin’s current hash rate could go offline after the Bitcoin halving, which will see block rewards slashed in half and leave only the most efficient mining rigs standing.

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