On February 24, 2023, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty reached an all-time high (ATH) of 43.05 trillion hashes, surpassing the 40 trillion mark for the first time. The network’s difficulty increased by 9.95%, the second-largest increase this year, following Bitcoin’s combined 24.89% increase over the last 60 days.
Following a recent difficulty change, network participants are facing longer block times.
Mining bitcoin (BTC) has never been more difficult than it is today, with miners experiencing a 9.95% difficulty increase at block height #778,176. The difficulty will be 43.05 trillion for the next two weeks, or approximately 2,016 blocks. Over the last 2,016 blocks, the network’s average hashrate was around 305.8 exahash per second (EH/s).
The 9.95% increase on Friday was the second-largest this year, with the largest occurring on January 15, 2023, at block height #772,128. At the time, the difficulty increased by 10.26% over the previous difficulty metric. The next difficulty change is scheduled for March 9, 2023, and block times are currently much longer than the 10-minute average.
Before the difficulty change on Friday, the average block time was around 9 minutes and 11 seconds; now, block times range between 12 and 14 minutes. The increased block time indicates that the recent difficulty change has slowed miners. On Saturday, February 25, 2023, the network’s global hashrate is hovering between 294.91 EH/s and 238.44 EH/s.
Foundry USA had the highest hashrate on Saturday, with 103.18 EH/s, or 34.88% of the network’s total hashpower. Antpool comes in second, with 15.81% of the total or roughly 46.77 EH/s of hashpower. Following Foundry and Antpool are F2pool, Binance Pool, and Viabtc. 13 known pools and 15.13 EH/s of unknown hashpower discovered 430 blocks in total over the last three days.
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