As bitcoin moves below the $20K region, the network hash rate remains high at 250.04 exahash per second (EH/s) following the all-time high (ATH) which the hash rate reached on 5th october. At the time of this writing, the current rate at which blocks are processed is faster than the typical ten minute average block interval between the current block height (757,531) and the last difficulty setting. Statistics show that because block times have been so much faster, the network could see the biggest increase in difficulty this year, with estimates showing a possible jump of between 9% and 13.2% more.
Block times and hashrate suggest noticeable increase in Bitcoin mining difficulty on cards
Bitcoin mining seems to become much more difficult on the next retargeting date which will take place on October 10, 2022. Two days ago, on October 5, the total network hashrate reached an ATH of 321 EH/s at a height block size of 757,214. While the price of BTC is lower and the difficulty is close to the latest ATH, miners relentlessly dedicate computational power to the BTC chain. At the moment, the hashrate is advancing at 250 EH/s after the ATH was reached on Wednesday.
Currently, block times (the interval between each block mined) are faster than the ten-minute average, data from bitinfocharts.com shows. Currently at 9:00 am ET, the metrics show block times to be around 9:05 minutes, but other dashboards show a much faster rate of 8:49 minutes. With the average bitcoin block interval between the current height (757,471) and the last difficulty epoch (756,000) at 8:49 minutes, it means that the difficulty of the BTC network should increase noticeably. There’s a chance that the October 10 difficulty jump could be the highest difficulty jump on the network this year.
Data from btc.com shows an increase of around 9.34%, which would exceed the second largest increase of the network in 2022. If the estimate of btc.com is correct, the difficulty of the BTC network will increase from 31 .36 billion to 34.29 billion. Clark Moody’s Bitcoin dashboard metrics show that the change in difficulty could be much larger and at the time of writing, the Moody’s dashboard indicates that it could be around 13.2% higher than today. . The Bitcoin network has approximately 400+ blocks to go until the next retarget.
It is quite possible that the hashrate will drop and the block times will increase back to the ten minute range. If so, the percentage increase in difficulty could be much lower than even Btc.com’s 9% increase estimate. Every two weeks or when 2016 blocks are discovered, the network difficulty adjusts to make it harder or easier to find a BTC block depending on how quickly all 2016 blocks are discovered.
If the 2016 blocks are found too fast, the network algorithm adjusts the difficulty higher and if the blocks are found at a much slower rate, the difficulty rating may drop. The last significantly large difficulty reduction took place on July 3, 2021, when the difficulty was reduced by 27.94% at block height 689,472. That means it was 27% easier to find a BTC block subsidy than before block 689,472.
What do you think about the possibility of Bitcoin mining difficulty experiencing the biggest jump this year? Let us know what you think about this topic in the comments section below.
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