The Bitcoin network is set to record another meaningful difficulty increase on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, as current estimates expect it to rise 3.82% higher. The change follows the last difficulty retarget, which advanced by 10.26% to the current all-time high of 37.59 trillion.
Block Time Breakdown: How Faster Discovery is Impacting Bitcoin Difficulty
In just over a day, the Bitcoin network will see a difficulty increase of around 3.82%, according to current estimates. Right now, the mining difficulty is already at an all-time high (ATH) at 37.59 trillion, and with a 3.82% jump, it’s expected to be around 39.03 trillion. The number of hashes needed to mine a block is directly proportional to the difficulty level, which means each participating miner needs to perform 39.03 trillion hashes in order to mine a block at that level.
The average Bitcoin block time has been around 8:54 minutes to 9:31 minutes, which has been lower than the 10-minute average. This too is linearly related to the estimated increase expected on Jan. 29.
This is because when blocks are discovered faster than the 10-minute average, the 2,016 blocks in between difficulty retargets are also found faster than the two-week average. As a result, the Bitcoin protocol’s mining difficulty rises. With BTC’s price higher, a lot more hashrate has been dedicated to the blockchain.
Bitcoin’s hashrate is running high with an average of 278.2 exahash per second (EH/s) during the last 2,016 blocks. Foundry USA commands the top position in terms of mining pools with the most amount of dedicated SHA256 hashrate. Foundry has around 93.82 EH/s, over a three-day period, which accounts for 32.99% of the network’s computational power. The Bitcoin mining pool Antpool has dedicated 49.57 EH/s to the Bitcoin network over a three-day span, accounting for 17.43% of the hashpower.
What impact do you think this difficulty increase will have on the overall Bitcoin network and its miners? Share your thoughts in the comments below.