• Bitcoin’s hashrate has increased from 170 to 300 EH/s due to a number of Texas miners temporarily going offline.
• Statistics from Dec. 29 show two mining pools, Foundry USA and Antpool, commanding more than 50% of the global hashrate.
• Bitcoin mining difficulty is expected to decrease significantly in the next five days.
The Bitcoin (BTC) network’s hashrate saw a significant surge this week, reaching a peak of 300 exahash per second (EH/s) on Dec. 28, 2022. This spike was largely due to a number of Texas-based miners temporarily going offline on Dec. 25, 2022. This shift in the network’s hashrate distribution has caused some controversy, as two mining pools now command more than 50% of the global hashrate.
The Bitcoin network relies on the computational processing power of miners to secure the network and process transactions. This power is measured in hashrate, which is expressed as exahash per second (EH/s). This week, the total hashrate of the network dropped to a low of 170 EH/s on Dec. 25, 2022, due to miners in Texas curtailing their hashpower. This was done to reduce the strain on the electricity grid and ensure the safety of the miners and their facilities. However, by 12:00 p.m. (ET) the same day, the hashrate had already recovered to 240 EH/s and continued to climb, eventually reaching the 300 EH/s mark late on Dec. 28.
Statistics from Dec. 29, 2022 show that two mining pools, Foundry USA and Antpool, are now controlling more than 50% of the global hashrate. Foundry USA currently commands 31.45% of the total hashrate, while Antpool controls 21.87%. Together, these two mining pools are responsible for 53.32% of the current 250.57 EH/s. F2pool and Viabtc have 14.25% and 9.34% of the hashrate respectively.
The jump in hashrate has caused some to accuse the network of becoming more centralized. This has led to some criticism of the network, which is counterintuitive to the decentralization that Bitcoin is meant to promote. However, the hashrate is expected to drop significantly in the next five days, as the mining difficulty is expected to decrease due to the current hashrate distribution. This decrease in difficulty should make it easier for smaller miners to compete and reduce the percentage of hashrate commanded by the two biggest mining pools.