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Bitcoin: decreasing hashrate reduces consumption
Bitcoin: decreasing hashrate reduces consumption
Bitcoin

Bitcoin: decreasing hashrate reduces consumption

By Marco Cavicchioli - 25 Jun 2020

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After the Bitcoin halving on May 11th, the network hashrate decreased

The absolute maximum peak occurred on the very day of the halving, but it has since dropped. 

In particular, it fell significantly until about mid-May, after which it rose slightly, especially after the drops in difficulty on May 20th, and then on June 4th.

This dynamic didn’t bring any major problems from the point of view of mining, with block time peaking on May 17th at over 14 minutes, but then returning to the standard figure of 10 minutes at the end of May. 

In other words, it was permanently above 11 minutes only from May 13th to 26th, for less than two weeks, and in these two weeks it exceeded 13 minutes only one day. 

However, there were some additional problems in terms of transaction costs, partly due to congestion in the vicinity of the halving. 

On May 20th, the median fee reached almost $4, and remained steadily above $1 from April 30th to June 4th. The hottest period, however, lasted only nine days, from June 13th to June 22nd, when the median fee was permanently above $2. 

However, halving also brought with it a positive consequence: a reduction in energy consumption

In fact, according to the most recent estimates, the projection of total annual consumption has gone from 77 TWh per year on May 10th to about 60 TWh per year, with a sudden reduction of 22% as a result of the halving. 

In the same period, the profitability of bitcoin mining went from 0.161 USD per day for THash/s on May 9th, to the current 0.0734, a reduction of 54%. 

Therefore, the reason why the halving of the miners’ reward has reduced energy consumption by only 22% is probably due to the fact that the miners have simply accepted a lower profit, i.e. they have lowered their costs, and thus their consumption. 

At the moment, the profitability of Bitcoin’s mining is at an all-time low, and this may result in a further drop in consumption. 

Nevertheless, the miners have proved to be well prepared, presumably for some time, to make up for the halving of the reward, to the point that not only were there no real shocks, but the period of adjustment was also relatively short, with even positive consequences. 

After all, it had been known for a long time that in May 2020 the reward would be halved, and lately, much more efficient and less energy-intensive mining machines have been put on the market. 

This trend is likely to last over the long term, although it is very likely that from now until the next halving, scheduled for early 2024, the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining will increase further, especially if the value of BTC increases. 

Marco Cavicchioli
Marco Cavicchioli

Class 1975, Marco teaches web-technologies and is an online writer specializing in cryptocurrencies. He founded ilBitcoin.news, and his YouTube channel has more than 25 thousand subscribers.

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