Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Drops More Than Estimated

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Starting today, mining Bitcoin (BTC) has become easier than in the end of April.

Source: Adobe/stasstepanov

On Wednesday morning (UTC time), BTC mining difficulty, a measure showing how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, dropped by 6%, to 15.14 T, while a week ago, some analysts estimated a c. 2% drop. In April, difficulty increased from 13.91 T to 14.72 T and then to 15.96 T.

The last time this measure went down was on March 26, when it decreased by historic 16%, as more miners turned their machines off following the market crash on March 12.

This time, BTC hashrate, or the computational power of the network, dropped following the third Bitcoin halving that cut miners’ revenues. However, it seems that, after the initial drop, hashrate is bottoming out. In either case, based on the current status of the network, major Bitcoin mining pool now estimates that mining difficulty will drop by more than 6% in 15 days again.

Bitcoin hashrate chart


Also, as reported, the recent difficulty adjustment might help decrease BTC fees, as they jumped after the halving.

At pixel time (05:30 UTC), BTC trades at c. USD 9,746 and is up by 2% in a day and 9% in a week. The price increased by 35% in a month and 24% in a year.

The mining difficulty of Bitcoin is adjusted every two weeks (every 2016 blocks, to be precise) to maintain the normal 10-minute block time. This means that if there are many miners competing among themselves and propagating blocks in less than ten minutes, the difficulty of the next puzzle will be increased; if there are few miners and it takes them much longer to find a solution, the difficulty is decreased – both times just enough to keep block times at around 10 minutes.