Bitcoin’s hashrate has achieved a new record, hitting 440 exahash per second (EH/s) according to the seven-day simple moving average (SMA) on October 8, 2023. This surge in mining power comes amidst the countdown to the next Bitcoin halving, which is expected to occur in approximately 197 days, around April 25, 2024, though some projections indicate it could happen earlier.
With less than 200 days left and 28,468 blocks until the halving, miners are preparing for their rewards to be sliced in half from the current 6.25 bitcoins per block to 3.125 bitcoins. This reduction in rewards, resulting from the halving event designed to limit the cryptocurrency’s supply and curb inflation, will impact the miners’ earnings significantly, leading to a 50% decrease.
Despite this impending challenge, the Bitcoin network’s hashrate soared, demonstrating the persistent commitment and engagement of miners. This new peak occurred even as the network’s difficulty reached a record 57.32 trillion, following a 0.35% increase in difficulty at block height 810,432.
Variations in the projected date of the halving are attributed to the block interval occasionally falling below the standard ten-minute average. This variation has prompted two adjustments in difficulty already. The most recent block interval recorded was 8 minutes and 2 seconds, and predictions indicate another increase in difficulty of between 3.71% and 5.8% by October 16, 2023.
Miners currently face reduced earnings per petahash, with the rate slightly above $61 daily. This decline is partly attributed to the drop in Bitcoin’s spot market price, influenced by rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and corresponding declines in U.S. and European stock markets. Additionally, the Bitcoin network has experienced a consistent decrease in daily transactions since September 23, prompted by a reduction in daily inscriptions, leading to reduced fee earnings for miners.
Despite these challenges, miners have effectively cleared a previously congested mempool of over 500,000 unconfirmed transactions. However, the prioritized transactions often attracted fees lower than the daily median or average, indicating the ongoing challenges faced by miners amidst market volatility and ahead of the forthcoming halving event.