Bitcoin’s hashrate has jumped from the low 170 exahash per second (EH/s) recorded this week, to above the 300 exahash range after a number of bitcoin mining operations from Texas temporarily went offline on Dec. 25, 2022. Furthermore, three-day hashrate distribution statistics recorded on Dec. 29, 2022 indicate that two mining pools command more than 50% of the global hashrate.
2 Mining Entities Currently Produce More Than 50% of the Global Hashrate, Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Expected to Decline Significantly in 5 Days
The computational processing power behind the Bitcoin (BTC) network ramped up to the 300 EH/s range on the evening of Dec. 28, 2022. Three days before the rise, BTC’s hashrate slid to a low of 170 EH/s on Dec. 28, 2022, when bitcoin miners from Texas curtailed their hashpower to relieve the grid from any excess load.
Most of the SHA256 hashpower returned the same day, as Bitcoin.com News reported on it climbing back to 240 EH/s by 12:00 p.m. (ET). Following Wednesday’s jump above 300 EH/s, statistics on Thursday show the total network hashrate is coasting along at 250.57 EH/s. Moreover, during the past three days, two mining pools have captured more than 50% of the network’s total hashrate.
Bitcoin Pool Distribution records on Dec. 29, 2022. (3-day stats)
Of course, this has caused criticism toward the network, and accusations of centralization this week. On Dec. 29, the mining pool Foundry USA controls 31.45% of the total hashrate, and Antpool commands 21.87% of the current 250.57 EH/s on Thursday morning (ET). Between both mining pools, Antpool and Foundry command 53.32% of BTC’s total hashrate.
F2pool has around 14.25% of the hashrate, and Viabtc has around 9.34% of the total on Dec. 29. Between all three top pools, Foundry, Antpool, and F2pool have around 67.57% of the total, and all four mining pools with Viabtc command around 76.91% of the total hashrate during the past three days. Only 12 known mining pools are dedicating SHA256 hashrate toward the BTC chain, and 5.64 EH/s or 2.46% of the global network is associated with unknown miners.
After the Bitcoin network’s mining difficulty retarget on Dec. 19, 2022, at block height 768,096, increased by 3.27%, the network’s difficulty change is expected to see a notable decline on Jan. 3, 2023. Current estimates show that the difficulty reduction could be between 7.39% to 8.1% lower than today’s difficulty metric.
Block generation times have been faster than the 10-minute average on a few occasions at 9:33 minutes, but a great majority of recent block intervals have been above the 10-minute average at around 10:54 minutes. At the time of writing, the most profitable SHA256 bitcoin mining machine is the Bitmain Antminer S19 XP Hyd. with 255 terahash per second (TH/s) of hashpower.
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