Bitcoin (BTC) mining difficultly is set to see a significant increase in less than a day, seeing it move a step closer to its May all-time high (ATH) at a time when competition among miners is growing while profitability is decreasing.
It is currently estimated by the mining pool BTC.com that Bitcoin mining difficulty, or the measure of how hard it is to compete for mining rewards, will rise 6.49% on Saturday. This would be the fourth-highest increase since the ATH.
Additionally, it would bring the difficulty up to the 23.78 T level – closer to the mid-May ATH of 25.05 T.
This rise follows a decrease that was relatively small, but significant, given that it broke the longest gain streak seen since 2018.
Meanwhile, hashrate, or the computational power of the network, has been on the rise as well since the previous difficulty adjustment. While sitting at 156.06 E on November 28, the 7-day moving average jumped to 180.98 E recorded on December 9 – a nearly 16% increase in less than two weeks.
Bitcoin mining profitability has taken the exact opposite direction. It dropped 9.4% in the same timeframe as the price of BTC dropped almost 20% in the past two weeks.
The mining difficulty of Bitcoin is adjusted around every two weeks (or more precisely, every 2016 blocks) to maintain the normal 10-minute block time. The 7-day moving average block time on December 9 was 8.8 minutes.
That said, according to ByteTree, in the past week, miners have held more of their newly generated BTC, compared to what they’ve spent.
At 17:47 UTC, BTC was trading at USD 47,460. It was down 2% in a day, over 19% in two weeks, and 29% in a month.
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