The hashrate of the bitcoin network continues to break new records, updating its value on a weekly basis, possibly thanks to 100,000 new ASICs.
Today, in fact, bitcoin has concluded the previous mining period started 2016 blocks ago (about 13-14 days), correcting the difficulty and arriving at a new value estimated on the basis of the hashrate and the average time per block recorded in the previous period.
The last correction led to an increase of 10.78% in the difficulty of extraction, which now stands at 9.99 trillion.
Needless to say, this is a new record value never reached before and superior to the peak recorded at the end of June 2019. This value is due to the hashrate record achieved during the last 14 days, settling around an average value of about 72 Exahash/s.
This increase in difficulty is certainly due to the rather low average time per block recorded, equal to an average value close to 9 minutes and 2 seconds, well below the ideal time per block chosen by the Bitcoin protocol.
In fact, the average time per block of Bitcoin is set to be around 10 minutes. To keep this average time per block as constant as possible, the difficulty of Bitcoin regulates the extraction process, allowing the balancing of an increasingly higher hashrate that would otherwise significantly shorten the average time per block, as happened in this case.
100k new bitcoin ASICs running on the network
Analysing the data of BTC.com it is possible to notice how in the last days the hashrate has undergone a substantial jump of more than 7 Exahash/s, going from the previous 67 Exahash/s to the current almost 75, close to the previous peak of 80 Exahash/s, which will probably be beaten shortly.
Although an 11% leap may seem contained, 7 Exahash/s are comparable to an impressive number of new high-performance bitcoin mining ASICs activated on the network.
In particular, considering the current top of the range devices, namely the 56 TH/s Bitmain Antminer S17 Pro and the 55 TH/s Whatsminer M20s, it is easy to make some simple calculations to find that in order to obtain these 7 Exahash/s at least 100 thousand new ASICs of this type have been switched on (to be precise almost 125 thousand).
Considering that these devices are sold at an average price of 1800 dollars, it is a very substantial investment, probably made by some large company that has decided to open a competitive new mining farm. It is also important to clarify that wholesale prices are often much lower.
As always, most of the hashrate comes from the Asian continent, where the electricity available is often at very low prices, allowing the opening of mining farms that can guarantee very high profits and therefore a rather low ROI time.
It is well known that about 80% of the bitcoin hashrate generated by China comes from the Sichuan region, which is known for its dozens of hydroelectric dams that are currently at their peak due to the rainy season.
However, many other mining farms are based in Iceland, Norway, Quebec, Georgia and Colombia, all countries known to have a high rate of electricity produced from renewable sources and therefore at low cost.