Why mining bitcoin is getting harder again

For the first time in weeks, the difficulty of mining bitcoin has been revised upwards. This shows that cryptocurrency miners, who have become unwanted in China, are starting to find new drop points and rekindle their machines.

Mining bitcoin is getting a little more complex again. As revealed by, the difficulty of mining the famous cryptocurrency has just been increased by 6% on July 31. The first increase in weeks. The difficulty of mining bitcoin had indeed been significantly reduced, following the drastic restrictions put in place by China.

It is linked to the functioning of the bitcoin blockchain which is based on the “proof of work” protocol and requires performing complex calculations to validate a block. The mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto designed this blockchain in such a way that the rate of validation of the blocks remains stable. For this reason, when the mining capacity increases, the difficulty of the calculations to be carried out is increased. Conversely, when the computing power dedicated to mining decreases, the difficulty is reduced.

Mining bitcoin had become easier after the shutdown of the majority of mines located in China. // Source: Viktor Forgacs / Unsplash

China has stopped bitcoin mining

When China, which was home to over 65% of the world’s mining, shut down almost all of the farms on its soil, it had a huge impact on the cryptocurrency industry. The bitcoin blockchain has proven to be solid, however, and the difficulty of mining has been significantly reduced as expected. The fact that the difficulty is increasing again for the first time in weeks is therefore very revealing: it means that some of the miners have found new drop points and are starting to turn their machines back on. the hashrate global bitcoin – the computing power assigned to mining around the world – fell from 90 exahash / s (EH / s) on July 21 to 108 EH / s on July 31.

Some of the companies have relocated their activities to neighboring Kazakhstan. This is the case, for example, with BIT Mining. In a press release, the company explains that it has already deployed more than 3,800 dedicated bitcoin mining machines on site and that it has sent some 4,000 more, which are just waiting to be turned on. . A movement that does not go without posing certain problems, because Kazakhstan mainly uses coal-fired power stations to produce its electricity. From an ecological point of view, it is therefore problematic to install very energy-intensive activities such as bitcoin mining there.

The computing power allocated to bitcoin climbs

Kazakhstan is not the only country to attract minors, however. The United States also has its favors. Some states, notably Texas, have openly displayed their sympathy for cryptocurrency. As revealed by The Block, the American company BIT Digital has also planned to transfer to the United States 14,500 machines dedicated to bitcoin mining which have been located in China until now.

The computing power dedicated to bitcoin mining in the world is, however, far from having returned to its former level. If the hashrate has climbed to 108 exahash / s in recent days, it is still far from the level it had in mid-May (180 EH / s). The difficulty of mining bitcoin will therefore probably continue to increase in the coming months, as other entities turn their machines back on.

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