Bitcoin difficulty and hashrate record: halving is approaching

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Potential issues for the halving: mining difficulty and hashrate on the Bitcoin network have reached an all-time high, with an increase of 3.92% to reach 86.39 trillion at block 838,656. 

This significant increase in difficulty will result in a greater challenge in mining blocks, especially considering the approaching of the fourth halving event, with less than 1,250 blocks remaining before reaching block 840,000.

Let’s see all the details below. 

The impact of hashrate and more on Bitcoin’s halving

As anticipated, on April 10th, the complexity of Bitcoin block extraction increased by 3.92% following the latest adjustment. 

At the same time, the hashrate of the Bitcoin network has reached a new all-time high, reaching a peak of 641 exahashes per second (EH/s) according to the metric of the seven-day simple moving average (SMA).

This increase was triggered by the reduction of block intervals to less than 9 minutes on April 9, a faster pace compared to the traditional average of 10 minutes.

Despite the latest adjustment of complexity, block extraction times continue to be fast, with the most recent block extracted in just 9 minutes and 17 seconds. 

Currently, at block 838,751, there are about 1,249 blocks left until the halving. The next complexity retarget is expected after the halving, on April 24, about 1,921 blocks away.

In April, miners accumulated $686.87 million from mining activities, of which $22.9 million came from transfer fees. 

Hashrate race: competitive strategies in Bitcoin mining

Currently, 57 entities contribute with SHA256 hashrate to the Bitcoin blockchain. Foundry USA and Antpool are the main contributors of hashrate, with Foundry at 176.74 EH/s and Antpool at 150.3 EH/s in the last three days. 

As a result, 27.73% of all mined blocks are attributed to Foundry, while Antpool represents 23.58%. Viabtc, F2pool, Binance Pool, and SBI Crypto closely follow, actively participating in the mining landscape.

As the fourth Bitcoin halving approaches, the mining landscape is highly competitive, as indicated by the increase in complexity and the strong hashrate contributions from the major pools. 

This increase highlights the ongoing attractiveness and competitive nature of BTC mining, even as participants prepare for the implications of the upcoming halving. 

The evolving dynamics within the network suggest a phase of change for the blockchain, which could influence miners’ strategies and market sentiments ahead of the crucial block 840,000.

On-chain analysis: fees and rewards for Bitcoin miners

Recent on-chain data analysis has highlighted a trend of transaction fees per block approaching cyclical lows on the Bitcoin network. 

This metric, which reflects the fee users have to attach to their transfers on the Bitcoin blockchain as an incentive for the miners, is closely related to the network traffic volume.

During periods of intense activity, transactions can remain pending in the mempool for long periods, as the network’s capacity to handle movements is limited.

In periods of low traffic on the blockchain, users are less likely to pay high fees, resulting in a generally low average network fee. 

Recent data shows that the average fee paid per block has been relatively low, suggesting a period where miners have received limited transaction fees.

However, the combination of subsidies and transaction fees constitutes the entire income of Bitcoin miners, with a historical trend in which block subsidies represent the main source of income. 

However, with the limited supply of BTC and the prospect of periodic halving of block rewards, miners may face significant challenges in the near future.