Bitcoin (BTC) miners have been crushed in 2022. What seemed like a year of enough capital to expand, high energy prices, increased competition and a bear market has brought many mining giants down.
But the mining activity continued at full steam, as evidenced by the processing power (hash rate) of BTC. According to BTC.com Group, the cryptocurrency mining difficulty has grown by 10.26% and reached 37.59 trillion hashes.
As a result, BTC has once again reached an all-time high in terms of mining difficulty. The current value broke the previous record of 36.95 trillion, which was reached on November 20. Moreover, this was the highest percentage increase in difficulty the network had recorded in three months, with a difficulty increase of 13.55%.
Difficulty adjustment regulates the growth of the network as new miners join or leave. In this sense, the more miners enter, the greater the modification, which increases the difficulty of mining new bitcoins.
This increase occurs every 2,016 blocks mined, or about two weeks. Indeed, the latest increase coincides with a rally in the Bitcoin price, which has gained 24.81% in the last 14 days.
According to the F2Pool Group, the mining difficulty may continue to grow if the BTC price continues in an upward trend.
Bitcoin mining difficulty increased by 10.26% to an all-time high! In this two-week cycle, if BTC can rise above $23,000, machines more efficient than 40W/T can run at a profit on electricity of $0.08/kWh,” the pool said.
When the difficulty increases, less efficient machines often stop working, especially when the price is low. But if the price of BTC goes up, the mining profit goes up, which tends to attract more players.
According to CoinGecko, BTC is worth $21,175 at the time of writing. If the price breaks $23,000, mining can become profitable. But the estimate for the next revision, which should take place on January 29, points to a decline of 0.21% so far.
Difficulty going up, down in firms
The BTC hash rate also broke records, reaching 272.58 exahashes per second (EH/s), despite the difficulties in the mining sector. For example, the bankrupt mining company Core Scientific, which shut down 9,000 miners in December, went bankrupt.
This trend can show that the hash rate is moving from weak hands to strong hands. That is, in order to control the most solid corporations and even individual miners.
In terms of mining pool distribution, Foundry USA holds the largest share with 36.16%, followed by AntPool with 20.81% and F2Pool with 11.72%.