On July 29 the bitcoin hashrate briefly crossed the notable milestone of 50 quintillion hashes before surging past it again on August 6.
It has since dropped again to just below 39 quintillion hashes, but no doubt will soon be maintaining a permanent position above 50 quintillions.
The last two months have seen increasingly large spikes and dips of hashing power, but overall the rate has increased by 60 percent in the past three months – as pointed out by trader Philippe M. Heilberg on Twitter.
The bitcoin hashrate is the amount of computing power the network requires to keep functioning. Every ten minutes a new block on the blockchain is mined using the level of computing power indicated by the hashrate. Every 2016 blocks the difficulty is adjusted based on the time that was required to solve the previous set of blocks.
Crypto mining developments
The crypto mining world has been going through several changes recently, with large corporations such as Sony looking into the sector. The Japanese electronics giant recently showed interest in patenting technology related to blockchain and distributed ledger maintenance.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) recently listed crypto mining company Argo Blockchain, a move that could see the crypto mining sector catapulted into the mainstream trading world. Argo Blockchain has raised USD 32 million for its mining operations since it began fundraising back in late 2017.
While increasing hashrate does indicate growing support for bitcoin, it also makes the activity less profitable for small operations, driving many to question whether cryptocurrency mining is still profitable.
As the hashrate increases, mining hardware becomes consistently more expensive to upgrade in order to keep up with the network. As a result, innovative technologies are constantly being explored in order to maintain a competitive edge over the market.
The increasing cost of electricity required to run large mining pools has also become a cause of concern lately, with environmental organizations raising questions over the sustainability of cryptocurrency mining. Investigations into the utilization of green energy projects such as mass windfarms in Morocco have sprung up, showing how crypto mining could be beneficial for furthering development in global energy solutions.
The continued growth of the bitcoin hashrate shows a very positive outlook for the cryptocurrency, despite a recent bear market that has seen it drop USD 1,500 over the past two weeks. In the past, an increase in hashrate has often correlated with an increase in price.
Mark Hartley is an IT specialist, freelance writer, keen traveler, and blockchain enthusiast. He has worked on the trading floors of the world’s biggest interdealer broker in London and helped integrate crypto-services into IT trading systems. When he’s not searching for the world’s most beautiful beach, he’s nose deep in any crypto and blockchain related news.