Computers that are mining Bitcoin now have the hardest time ever to find mining rewards. Mining difficulty reached a new all-time high as it’s now above 7.93 trillion. It’s a trend that’s been moving upwards since early January this year. That comes from statistical data gathered by BTC.com. The next difficulty change is expected on July 10th or 11th.
When cryptocurrencies lost their value in 2018, it became difficult for mining operations to keep their business going. The coins that they were mining, were not enough to pay for rent, equipment, employees and electricity. Many mining businesses closed their doors, and developers of mining hardware had a hard time.
Mining difficulty is a number that indicates how hard it is to find the solution and win the rewards of a block. Only one will reap the rewards, and that’s why people setup mining pools. That way they work together and share the earned BTC together.
At the moment the hash rate, or computer power, of the entire Bitcoin network is 57.11 EH/s. That’s 57.11 quintillion hashes per second, that’s 57.110.000.000.000.000.000 calculations per second! Chinese mining businesses expect this number to increase and hit a new all-time high of 70 EH/s later this year.
In each block miners find 12.5 BTC, which equals roughly 159 thousand dollars. This amount is shared among hundreds of not thousands of pool members. Millions of specialized computers worldwide are mining bitcoin, and millions more are mining others coins.
Cryptocurrency mining has always been notorious for its level of pollution. It’s presumed to leave a massive carbon footprint. Earlier this month a research report from Joule suggested that the bitcoin network has 22.9 million metric tons of annual carbon dioxide emissions. That’s 0.2 percent of the global electricity use.
However, a research from CoinShares suggests that bitcoin mining isn’t that polluting after all. The majority of the electricity comes from clean sources like wind, solar and hydro power. CoinShares research shows that the bitcoin network gets 74.1 percent of its power from renewables.
Yet, not all agree. While the local government in Quebec wants to attract mining facilities to boost its economy, China is thinking of banning mining operations. Other countries like Mongolia, is still an interesting location for miners because of its low electricity costs and cool weather. While Chinese mining farmers are waiting for the rain season or order to benefit from the cheap hydro power that will boost their business.
Also published on Medium.