Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Reaches All-Time High as Miners Face Second-Largest Increase This Year
Bitcoin’s mining difficulty reached an all-time high (ATH) on Feb. 24, 2023, at block height #778,176, reaching 43.05 trillion hashes and surpassing the 40 trillion mark for the first time ever. The network’s difficulty increased by 9.95%, which is the second-largest rise this year, as Bitcoin recorded a combined 24.89% increase during the last 60 days.
Network Participants Face Longer Block Times Following Recent Difficulty Change
It has never been harder to mine bitcoin (BTC) than it is today, as miners have experienced a 9.95% difficulty increase at block height #778,176. Now and for the next two weeks, or approximately 2,016 blocks, the difficulty will be 43.05 trillion. The network’s average hashrate over the last 2,016 blocks was roughly 305.8 exahash per second (EH/s).
The 9.95% increase on Friday was the second-largest jump in difficulty this year, as the largest was recorded on Jan. 15, 2023, at block height #772,128. At that time, the difficulty rose 10.26% higher than the previous difficulty metric. The next difficulty change is due on or around March 9, 2023, and presently, block times have been much longer than the 10-minute average.
The average block time before the difficulty change on Friday was around 9 minutes and 11 seconds, and today, block times are between 12 and 14 minutes in length. The lengthier block time shows that the recent difficulty change has slowed miners down. On Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, the network’s global hashrate is coasting along at values between 294.91 EH/s and 238.44 EH/s.
On Saturday, the largest mining pool in terms of hashrate is Foundry USA with 103.18 EH/s or 34.88% of the network’s total hashpower. Foundry is followed by Antpool, which commands 15.81% of the total or roughly 46.77 EH/s of hashpower. Foundry and Antpool are followed by F2pool, Binance Pool, and Viabtc, respectively. Over the last three days, 13 known pools and 15.13 EH/s of unknown hashpower collectively discovered 430 blocks in total.