Bitcoin mining difficulty hits lowest level since March as price tops $57K

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The drop in mining difficulty should spell relief for the largest mining firms.

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Bitcoin mining difficulty hits lowest level since March as price tops $57K

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Bitcoin mining difficulty dropped by more than 5% on July 5 to a quarterly low of 79.50 terahashes (79.5T). This marked the largest reduction since March when the difficulty briefly dipped below 80T. 

Difficulty spiked between March and May, when it reached an all-time high of 88.10T before beginning a slow settling to where it currently stands as of the time of this article’s publication.

Mining difficulty

Bitcoin mining difficulty is a measure in hashrate which, basically, is a measure of how many guesses a mining machine should be expected to make before it solves the cryptographic puzzle necessary to unlock one of the remaining bitcoins.

Hashrates are updated every 2,016 blocks — which takes approximately two weeks. Over Bitcoin’s lifetime, hashrates have typically grown month over month with few exceptions.

Source: CoinWarz.

Back in 2014, for example, hashrates measured about 1.1 gigahashes. This was low enough that most desktop PCs could mine Bitcoin (the higher the hashrate, the more powerful and energy efficient a rig needs to be in order to be profitable).

Related: Post-halving profitability challenges to the mining industry

Towards the end of 2017, as adoption began picking up, hashrates reached the terahash mark for the first time. And as of July 6, 2024, they remain at 79.5T until the next difficulty update.

Under the current difficulty measure of 79.5T, mining pool F2Pool estimates that an ASIC rig with a watts per terahash efficiency rate of 26 or better (lower) would be profitable as long as Bitcoin’s price doesn’t dip below the $54,000 threshold.

Source: F2Pool.

“With a $BTC price of $54k, ASICs with Unit Power of 26 W/T or less can make a profit. We estimate this at $0.07 per kWh.”

If Bitcoin’s price dips lower, it’ll take more efficient rigs to keep miners profitable. If it remains the same, conditions should be acceptable for the largest miners, especially those in places where energy subsidies exist for mining facilities.

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