Bitcoin Gears Up For Record Difficulty As Miners Push Network To New Heights

Bitcoin Gears Up For Record Difficulty As Miners Push Network To New Heights

The Bitcoin difficulty retarget is scheduled to take place on February 15th, 2024, and is expected to lead to a notable upswing in the network.

According to the latest projections, the difficulty surge is estimated to happen between 8.45% and 9.2%, which would mark the steepest increase in 2024 so far.

Difficulty increase

It is expected that bitcoin mining will experience a significant increase in difficulty this week, with projections showing that it is likely going to be the largest increase in difficulty this year.

There have already been three difficulty epochs in 2024 so far, which comprises one decrease and two increases.

The previous increase had been recorded on February 2nd at a block height of 828,576 and had been a 7.33% increase.

According to forecasts, the upcoming difficulty increase could be between 8.45% and 9.2%, which could eclipse any prior adjustment.

The difficulty adjustment mechanism of the network is aimed at maintaining block production times around an average of ten minutes per block.

This adjustment happens after every 2,016 blocks, depending on the time required for mining the preceding epoch.

An increase usually happens if the 2,016 blocks are mined in less than two weeks.

The block time

But, if the mining epoch takes longer than two weeks, which shows that block times have gone beyond the 10-minute norm, then difficulty is expected to decrease.

The block intervals for every block discovered are hovering between eight minutes and 45 seconds and nine minutes and seven seconds at a block height of 830,287.

As far as Bitcoin’s hashrate is concerned, it has managed to maintain a 7-day simple moving average of about 597 exahash per second (EH/s).

During the recent mining of 2,016 blocks, a hash rate of 586.3 EH/s was recorded. There are 9,715 blocks that remain before the widely anticipated Bitcoin halving.

This would be the fourth halving that is scheduled to take place on April 19th, 2024 and it has driven miners to increase the computational strength and difficulty to new levels every couple of weeks.

The hashrate reached an all-time high last week and network difficulty also hit its peak, as it stands at 75.50 trillion.

If the minimum anticipated increase goes into effect, the difficulty could go past the 80 trillion mark.

Mining companies

With the broader crypto market and bitcoin recording a surge, there has also been substantial growth recorded in the shares of publicly traded mining companies.

According to the data, stocks of several companies have recorded double-digit increases in the last five weeks in their values.

This includes Coinbase Global, which has recorded a 3.75% uptick in the last 24 hours and an 11% increase was recorded by Michael Saylor’s.

In the preceding five days, there had been 24% gains recorded by Coinbase, while 45.45% gains were recorded by MicroStrategy in the same period.

There was higher growth seen in mining companies like Marathon Digital Holdings and Bitfarms Limited, which recorded gains of 63% and 44% in the same period.