Another Blow To Bitcoin Miners Comes This Sunday
Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficulty is expected to rise again in two days, the most since September, cutting into the profit margins of BTC miners right after a strong market correction this week.
Major mining pool BTC.com estimates that the mining difficulty, which is the measure that shows how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, will rise this Sunday during the next difficulty adjustment by 7.82%. This would push it up from 17.6 T recorded two weeks ago to 18.97 T.
This level is still relatively far from the all-time high of 20 T reached in mid-October. That said, the change itself would be the largest percentage since mid-September. This is also the second adjustment after the difficulty's second largest drop in history on November 3.
The hashrate (the computational power of the network), though falling before this major difficulty drop, has seen another increase since November 2, as the difficulty went up nearly 5% two weeks ago as well. Per BitInfoCharts.com, the hashrate (7-day simple moving average) went up 27.3% from then until today.
The mining difficulty of Bitcoin is adjusted around every two weeks (that is, every 2016 blocks) to maintain the normal 10-minute block time. BitInfoCharts currently shows this average time between blocks to be 9 minutes, whereas it was well over 10 minutes in late October and early November.
Meanwhile, according to ByteTree, miners held onto their coins rather than selling them in the past seven days, though the situation is opposite in the last five and twelve weeks.
All this is happening during a general market correction this week, following a major November rally that had pushed bitcoin over USD 19,000, and close to its all-time high. That said, at the time of writing (10:54 UTC), bitcoin fell nearly 2.65% in a day and more than 8% in a week to USD 16,779.