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Mining bitcoin suddenly becomes (much) easier - Mining difficulty drops drastically

Get out your picks! - The difficulty of mining on Bitcoin's blockchain network had already dropped sharply this year, after the stock market crashes of last March. But a new, even more violent decrease in difficulty has just taken place at the beginning of November.


Drop of more than 16% in mining difficulty

The difficulty of mining on the Bitcoin network (BTC) adapts to the computing power, the hash, put by the miners in its consensus of validation of transactions by Proof of Work (PoW).

In simpler terms, the more miners and their computing machines compete to validate blocks (and get their BTC rewards), the more the difficulty automatically adjusts upwards.

So the opposite phenomenon has just occurred on the Bitcoin blockchain. Computing power has been greatly reduced because Chinese miners no longer benefit from the low-cost electricity generated by hydroelectric dams during the rainy season in China.

As shown in the graph of the crypto-media The Block below, this caused the second largest drop in mining difficulty in Bitcoin's history on November 3. Difficulty fell by 16.05%, even more than the drop that followed Black Thursday on BTC prices last March - which was 15.95%.


Good news: Transaction fees will decrease

Only on October 30, 2011 had seen a greater drop in difficulty (-18.03%), but bitcoin mining was not widespread at that time, and did not require specialized machines - the famous ASICs.

The current decrease in difficulty will lead to a decrease in network transaction costs, by also reducing the average block validation time.

That's right! As we reported a few days ago, the saturation of the mempools of the Bitcoin network nodes had two unfortunate consequences: on the one hand, it increased transaction costs and, on the other hand, it led to an increase in unconfirmed transactions.

Although a decrease in difficulty may result in an increased risk of a 51% attack on a PoW network, there is also nothing to worry about. Bitcoin's blockchain remains by far the most secure and difficult to attack. Moreover, miners will gradually come back and reactivate their machines, since their profitability (electricity costs/bitcoin produced) improves with this decrease in difficulty.

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