A crypto exchange Crypto.com confirmed that hackers stole nearly $34 million during Monday's hack. In a Tuesday update, the exchange revealed that hackers stole 443.93 bitcoin ($18.7 million), 4835.25 ether ($15.2 million) and approximately $66,200 in USD. The company faced criticism over its communication after the incident. The company's CEO only confirmed the hack on Wednesday, three days after it took place. In total, the hack affected 483 users. However, Crypto.com said that they fully reimbursed all of them. The…
Bitcoin has seen a significant strengthening of its mining network in recent months. The network’s hash rate has almost completely recovered from China’s crackdown on mining.
The hash rate is a measure of the total computational power that contributes to mining Bitcoin. A hash is a fixed-length alphanumeric code that miners have to solve to process BTC transactions. We measure the hash rate in exahashes (1 quintillion hashes) per second (EH/s).
The hash rate is also a rough measure of the size of the Bitcoin mining industry. The more miners there are, the more equipment they use, the higher the hash rate will be. A high hash rate means that the network has high processing power, which is good for security. This is because powerful validators make any sort of attack less likely.
Although the exact hashing power is unknown, there are good estimates of it. Experts estimate it by combining the speed of mining and the block difficulty at the time of mining. Currently, the hash rate is at 175 EH/s, just below 3% of the all-time high of 180 EH/s, according to Blockchain.com. The networks have seen those levels back in early 2021, just before the Chinese crackdown on mining. It has recovered 108% since the crackdown.
Bitcoin’s network hash rate suffered from China’s ban on crypto mining. The hash rate fell by more than 50% in May, after the Chinese crackdown on mining in the Inner Mongolia region. The poor Chinese province powered 8% of Bitcoin mining alone, due to cheap energy. In June, the hash rate fell again to a low of 87 EH/s as the crackdown spread to the Sichuan region.
Mining Moves Out Of China
China cited environmental concerns and an energy shortage for its ban. Blockchain networks that work on a proof of work (PoW) model need a lot of energy to validate transactions. That is what Bitcoin and Ethereum miners do.
In China, authorities were concerned with the possible power shortages, concerns which later proved to be justified. Up until it started to crack down, China powered about 70% of global crypto mining.
However, since the crackdown, mining operations expanded to many other countries. Most notably, those with cheap electricity, such as Sweden, Norway or Canada. Much of the mining has shifted to the U.S. This includes one New York power plant that shifted to crypto mining in July. The plant said that mining is more profitable than supplying electricity.
In fact, the U.S. is now the single largest crypto country for crypto mining. The U.S. now accounts for the majority of BTC hash rate, at about 42%, according to Cambridge University BTC energy consumption index.
However, even in the U.S., Bitcoin is under fire for its substantial energy usage. That is why more and more people are calling for using sustainable energy use in mining.