Following last week’s record-high Bitcoin hash rate, the latest difficulty adjustment saw a change of +9.89%, bringing the level to a new all-time high of over 17.3 trillion on July 13.
Despite a lack of recent significant Bitcoin (BTC) price action, the fundamentals securing the network are as healthy as they’ve ever been. This is more positive news for investors concerned about a previous drop in hash rate and difficulty after May’s third reward halving event.
Concerns over halving unsubstantiated
Some analysts predicted that the reward halving earlier this year would lead to mass capitulation from unprofitable miners.
There was a significant drop in hash rate immediately after the halving, followed by two reductions in the mining difficulty. But an upwards difficulty adjustment of 14.95% last month almost reversed the previous two falls on its own.
With both hash rate and difficulty now at historic highs, any concerns around the impact of the halving now seem to have been proven unfounded.
Keeping Bitcoin ticking along at 1 block per 10 minutes
The mining difficulty gets automatically adjusted every 2016 blocks (or approximately 14 days), in order to ensure that new blocks are produced every 10 minutes on average.
It generally fluctuates with the hash rate (increasing hash power means quicker blocks so difficulty must also be increased), although the overarching trend tends to be upwards.
Higher difficulty can also have an impact on mining profitability, which causes some miners to sell up. When this happens, it can potentially force the hash rate back down again.