The Bitcoin hashrate has set a new historical record. It had never happened in its 10 years of life that the hashrate surpassed 100 quintillions reaching, yesterday, the 102.8 EH/s. The hashrate is the computational power generated by the network. The higher it is, the higher the competition to extract a block.
The hashrate of the Bitcoin network has been growing for several months, recording new records almost weekly. Growth started between March and May and has not stopped. In April the average hashrate was about 45 EH/s: in less than 5 months it has more than doubled. In December 2018 the hashrate was 31 quintillions, today it counts for a 230% growth.
The difficulty is also at an all-time high, as a result of four consecutive increases from the beginning of August. While in mid-August the difficulty was 9.98T, now it is 11.89T (+20%) and will soon reach a higher level.
The increase in difficulty, which occurs every two weeks, is due to the rather low average time per block, which is well below the standard time per block adopted by the Bitcoin protocol, set at 10 minutes.
Bitcoin, halving and 500 thousand new ASICs
According to some estimates, more than 500,000 new ASICs have been acquired and activated in the last 3 months. The new models that arrived on the market in the summer have an average hashing power of 55 TH/s, hence according to some estimates, about half a million of these machines have been activated in the past 3 months. Significant growth in revenues is expected for the main ASIC manufacturers.
Thanks to this growth it is highly probable that the halving of the network, until a few months ago estimated for May 20th, 2020, will occur well in advance. Today, the latest projections are that the halving will take place around mid-May 2020.
However, according to some tools that consider hashrate and the influence on average times per block, the date of halving may be further anticipated in the coming months, slipping to the beginning of May. According to the bitcoinclock website, in fact, halving will take place on May 2nd, 2020. If the hashrate continues to rise at this rate, the date of the halving may change.