Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Adjustment

Mining difficulty reaches new all-time high as Bitcoin hashrate skyrockets

Analyzing Bitcoin’s difficulty adjustment and mining profitability

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The latest difficulty adjustment, effective at block height 758,016, increased mining difficulty by 13.55%. In this overview, we’ll analyze the effects on mining and profitability.

Bitcoin’s total hashrate

The slight relief that came with last week’s downward adjustment was short lived. Miners — those who could, at least — wasted no time and acquired new mining capacity, taking hashrate to a new all-time high.

This sharp increase in Bitcoin mining capacity responds to several factors, including:

  • Previously acquired hardware being delivered and connected to the network.
  • Bitmain reducing ASIC prices by 41%.
  • Ethereum miners selling their GPUs and switching to Bitcoin after the merge.

As a result, hashrate at the time of the adjustment averaged 254.80 EH/s, reaching an unprecedented milestone in Bitcoin’s history.

Bitcoin’s mining difficulty

Following hashrate, difficulty skyrocketed 13.55% to 35.61T.

Besides setting a new maximum for mining difficulty, this was also the largest adjustment since May 2021. Then, Bitcoin hashrate reached 179.25 EH/s for the first time ever, with difficulty touching 25.05T.

A curious fact to point out is that hashrate’s increase was so significant that the average block time on the Bitcoin network dropped to 8:49 minutes before the adjustment. Remember, Bitcoin is programmed to keep block times around 10 minutes.

Hashprice, or mining revenue per TH/s

After two weeks of relative stability and slightly better revenue, the latest adjustment was a tough blow to take for Bitcoin miners.

Revenue per TH/s plummeted 12.82% after the difficulty increase, from $0.078 to $0.068, setting new yearly lows. Hashprice hasn’t been this low since July 2020.

Bitcoin mining profitability overview

There’s no question the next few months will put many Bitcoin miners between a rock and a hard place.

Not only Bitcoin is failing to break out and hashrate growing relentlessly, but the macro context is also pointing to tough conditions. Increasing energy costs, decreasing mining hardware prices, and non-stopping rate hikes are only some of the factors that could aggravate the situation, especially for miners with thinner margins.

For them, treasury and risk management and business strategy will become a critical priority for survival.

The difficulty adjustment in numbers

  • Difficulty adjustment block height: 758,016
  • Date of the adjustment: 10/10/2022
  • Average hashrate at the time of the adjustment: 254.80 EH/s
  • Previous difficulty: 31.36T
  • Current difficulty: 35.61T
  • Difficulty change: +13.55%
  • Miner revenue per TH/s (hashprice) after adjustment: $0.068

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