The sharp increase in hashing power will lead to a significant difficulty hike in the next recalculation.
Bitcoin’s hashrate had a sudden overnight jump of as much as 35%. Depending on measures, some calculations see it reaching 62 million TH/s. According to Bitinfo chart calculations, the peak was at 57.5 million TH/s, though it later slid a bit. With the increased hashrate, a rough estimate of Bitcoin’s energy consumption sees it consume more electricity than Austria.
Reports of the exact hashrate vary, based on how many facilities are included:
The extreme mining activity shows that mining farms are not wrapping up and leaving, even at current BTC prices. Miners often benefit from predictable, stagnant BTC prices, and their economic decisions are based on a strictly calculated payout.
The next difficulty, to be recalculated on September 11, will rise by around 6.5%, based on current predictions. A change of the hashrate in the meantime may alter the calculation.
The increased level of mining may be coming from optimized ASIC rigs, as well as new farms coming online. This means that Bitcoin’s difficulty has also grown at a steeper rate since May, despite the drop in market prices. However, even the high hashrate does not guarantee the security of Bitcoin.
Since most of the hashrate is centered around a handful of large pools, there are fears of potential collusion and attacks on the network. Additionally, having the hashing power concentrated in the hands of a few players could make it easier to try to shut down the BTC network.
Competition is also expected, as Bitmain’s market dominance is also seen as a threat to Bitcoin’s independence:
Others see the constant increase in mining farms as a sign that miners believe BTC will appreciate in the future. However, it is hard to estimate whether miners are selling immediately to cover costs, or hoarding any coin they can get their hands on.
BTC market prices continue to move up, reaching $7,107.97 as of 12:50 UTC. The price spike happened on trading volumes of $4.3 billion.