Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Up 3.45% in 4th Upward Revision in a Row as Miners Struggle
The difficulty of mining Bitcoin (BTC) rose by 3.45% on Tuesday, marking the fourth consecutive increase in difficulty for the network.
Per data from BTC.com, the latest upwards adjustment brought the difficulty level of mining Bitcoin to 32.05 T – the highest level ever for the Bitcoin network. Still, Tuesday’s adjustment was smaller than the large 9.26% increase in difficulty seen two weeks earlier.
The difficulty increase comes after the total hashrate – or computing power dedicated to mining Bitcoin – reached an all-time high of 264.8 Ehash/s in early September.
On a 7-day moving average basis, the all-time high was reached as recently as on Monday this week, when the closely followed metric reached 233.3 Ehash/s.
Notably, the four consecutive upwards adjustments in difficulty have come despite low Bitcoin prices and – at least in Europe – high energy prices. Consequently, European miners are being squeezed from two sides simultaneously, which has led to tough times for the mining industry.
In Norway, the situation has already forced Bitcoin miners to relocate to the more remote northern parts of the country, which remains one of just a few places in Europe where electricity is cheap enough to profitably mine Bitcoin.
“This is not just something we do to save costs, it is a precondition for our continued operation. Our profitability is under water with the [electricity] prices we have now,” Bitcoin miner Kryptovault’s CEO Kjetil Hove Pettersen told local outlet TU.no last month.
As of press time at 13:25 UTC, BTC traded at $20,349, down nearly 5% for the past 24 hours, but up 8% for the past 7 days.