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Bitcoin’s mining difficulty rate hit an all-time high as April neared its end — its second within the month. The network’s increasing difficulty is a testament to its growing adoption and an increasing pool of miners.
Bitcoin Marks a Milestone
Barely three weeks after Bitcoin broke the record for its highest network difficulty rate yet, it set another.
On Wednesday, April 6, Bitcoin first made history when its difficulty mining rate jumped a notable 5.56%. This put it at the highest it has been since its inception in 2009.
The Bitcoin difficulty mining rate refers to how difficult it is to mine a specific amount of Bitcoin, called a block. An algorithm is responsible for setting the mining rate, depending on the number of miners attempting to mine the currency at a particular time. More miners means a higher difficulty mining rate, and vice versa. This helps keep the volume of Bitcoin at a steady rate and prevent inflation, and devaluation of the currency.
Recovery from China’s Ban
While Bitcoin’s hashrate (a good correlation with its mining difficulty) has climbed consistently over the years, it saw a sharp drop last July. The steep decline correlated with China’s ban and expulsion of crypto mining pools. The mining rate labored at an unimpressive 13.67 trillion at this time. Almost a year after, the mining industry has found its footing. What is more, those figures have more than doubled.
At present, Bitcoin’s current difficulty mining rate stands at a metric of 29.79 trillion, a value it achieved at a block height of 733,824. Block height is a term that describes the location of a block in a blockchain.
The algorithm adjusts the mining difficulty rate every two weeks, which roughly equates to every 2,016 blocks. BTC.com projects the rate to increase a further 0.42% in May.
While Bitcoin is currently harder to mine than it has ever been, its new high difficulty rate spells good news. A high difficulty rate means a more secure blockchain. Since interacting with the network requires more computation power, hackers cannot easily manipulate transaction records. This helps keep the blockchain safe.
More Milestones for Bitcoin
Beyond its difficulty rate, Bitcoin has hit several notable milestones in the month of April alone. On April 1, the 19 millionth Bitcoin was mined, leaving only about 2 million coins left to be minted. The anonymous creator of the currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, fixed its supply at 21 million coins. This means that the currency is quickly nearing full supply, and soon, no new Bitcoin will ever be mined again.
Notably, experts estimate that mining the remnant coins will take over a hundred years. As expected, the currency also saw new highs in hash rates this month.
Hash rates hit a record-breaking 258 EH/S, emphasizing a good year despite bans and crackdowns.