Bitcoin Difficulty Increases for Third Time in Six Weeks, Miners Remain Undeterred With High Hashrate
On March 23, 2023, bitcoin experienced another difficulty increase, following two previous rises in the last month, jumping 7.56% higher. Currently, bitcoin miners have not been deterred by the increases, as the network hashrate has been coasting along at 346 exahash per second (EH/s).
Bitcoin Hashrate Remains High Despite Recent 7.56% Difficulty Rise
As of writing, there are more than 1,700 blocks left until the next difficulty retarget on April 5, 2023. Despite the difficulty increase on March 23 at block height 782,208, the hashrate remains high, and block intervals are still faster than the 10-minute average. The April 5 change is expected to be about 6.9% higher, as block times have been between nine minutes and 21 seconds and nine minutes and 14 seconds.
The increase at block height 782,208 was 7.56% higher than the difficulty over the previous two weeks. Prior to that, on Feb. 24, 2023, at block height 778,176, the difficulty rose 9.95%, and on March 10, 2023, at block height 780,192, the difficulty jumped by 1.16%. This means that over the last six weeks, bitcoin miners have dealt with three consecutive difficulty increases that amount to a total of 18.67%.
Currently, the difficulty is 46.84 trillion and is only 3.16 trillion hashes away from reaching the 50 trillion mark for the first time. If the current estimated 6.9% increase comes to fruition, by April 5, 2023, the difficulty could reach 53.74 trillion. Statistics show that March bitcoin mining revenue may end up slightly lower than February’s $613 million. Incomplete monthly data shows that miners have collected $561 million since March 1.
In the last three days, 488 BTC blocks were mined into existence, with Foundry USA discovering 149 of them. Foundry’s hashrate across the three-day span is around 105.71 EH/s or 30.53% of Bitcoin’s total network hashrate. Foundry is followed by Antpool (73.78 EH/s), F2pool (51.79 EH/s), Binance Pool (34.76 EH/s), and Viabtc (31.93 EH/s). Together, Foundry and Antpool command 51.84% of Bitcoin’s global hashrate.