On November 5, the Bitcoin hashrate broke through 600 EH/s (exahash/sec). The record was set at 600.1899 EH/s. This means that the amount of computing power involved in Bitcoin mining at that point in time was the highest in history.
Yes, Bitcoin is now growing in price, but it is not close to the latest maximum values, and it is not yet entirely clear how soon the halving planned for April 2024 will affect the price of the coin and how much it will change it. However, Bitcoin’s hashrate is growing at a serious pace. Let’s take a closer look at the history of changes in this indicator.
If we look at the graph of the total Bitcoin mining hashrate, we can state that it has been growing confidently and steadily for a long time.
We can highlight only three cases since 2021 when this dynamic changed at least briefly:
- the first – from May to July 2021 due to the ban on cryptocurrencies by the Chinese authorities;
the second – from May 2022 due to turbulence in the cryptocurrency markets amid the collapse of Terra LUNA and UST;
the third – in November 2022 immediately after the collapse of FTX
But after each of these events, the hashrate quickly recovered and again set new records. Even after the most serious one – the ban on mining in the PRC – the total computing power took only a few months to fully recover.
In 2023, a clear upward trend has emerged. Already in January, the indicator exceeded 300 EH/s and set off to conquer new heights: 400 EH/s in May, about 500 EH/s in September (although it was not possible to reach this height then). And so, in November, the hashrate reached the 600 EH/s mark. Please note: 2023 started with 300 EH/s, and now we are talking about twice that value. And the year isn’t even over yet.
What could this mean?
Firstly, Bitcoin, contrary to many forecasts, has not lost its popularity. On the contrary, the first cryptocurrency has become more in demand among miners.
Secondly, it is obvious that Bitcoin mining is profitable and has proper investment attractiveness. Miners rarely mine at a loss, and since the indicator has been growing for a long time, it means that miners see prospects in BTC.
Thirdly, it is important to note: records are updated in anticipation of the next Bitcoin halving.
Reduction of the reward by half is a serious event that requires a more detailed analysis.
Waiting for the halving
Now the reward for the mined block = 6.25 BTC. In April 2024 it will become = 3.125 BTC. Miners are excellent at math and understand that outdated equipment that generated income may become ineffective after the halving. And this, perhaps, should partially explain the current hashrate records – on the eve of the halving, everyone is trying to squeeze the most out of their ASICs.
When the reward inevitably halves, miners will be forced to permanently unplug the least efficient devices, that is, those that consume more resources with the lowest performance compared to other machines. This is supported by mining profitability indicators: despite the recent increase in the market value of bitcoins, mining profitability remains relatively low.
Please note: the estimated estimated profitability of devices (the indicator does not guarantee exact values) shows an almost twofold decrease in profitability by next year, from 0.0060733 to 0.0035510 BTC with standard specified values.
Of course, when assessing profitability, it is worth taking into account the exchange rate, the level of energy consumption of a particular device, its power, overclocking potential and much more. But if we compare typical profitability values, the minimum level was reached at the end of 2022. Current mining profitability is not far from these record lows, reached after another collapse in the cryptocurrency markets amid the collapse of FTX.
Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that miners who are currently pushing their machines to the limit are doing this simply to accumulate as much BTC as possible. In the hope that the value of coins will increase next year. Accordingly, after halving many machines will be disabled, so
according to some estimates the hashrate may even decrease slightly in 2024.
What happens after halving
Further forecast of the situation depends on the picture that will emerge after the halving. If everything is the same as during previous halvings, when the reduction in the block reward was more than compensated by the increase in the price of the coin, then the hashrate will most likely continue to break records. Yes, some machines that now seem to be wearing out will have to be turned off, but at a good price, new, more productive devices will take their place.
If, against the backdrop of a reduction in rewards, the BTC rate itself sharply decreases, this will go against the historical trend. Therefore, predicting the situation will become even more difficult.
Many miners are actively trying to use their computing power in anticipation of halving or other positive news events (which could be, for example, the massive approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States). This, in turn, could become a catalyst for growth in the BTC price and income for cryptocurrency mining enthusiasts. At the same time, although there is a profitability of mining, it is now relatively low. At the same time, a high level of hashrate generally benefits the operation of the Bitcoin network and indicates the relatively high investment attractiveness of the coin for miners.
This material and the information contained herein do not constitute individual or other investment advice. The opinion of the editors may not coincide with the opinions of the author, analytical portals and experts.
I am an experienced journalist, writer, and editor with a passion for finance and business news. I have been working in the journalism field for over 6 years, covering a variety of topics from finance to technology. As an author at World Stock Market, I specialize in finance business-related topics.