Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Surges to All-Time High, Putting Additional Squeeze on Miners
Part of the Bitcoin code includes a so-called difficulty adjustment every 2,016 blocks (about every two weeks). The size and direction of the adjustment depends on the total computing power mining bitcoin, and its purpose is to keep block confirmations coming about every 10 minutes.
The current network hash rate is 257 million terra hashes per second (TH/s), according to blockchain.com, a significant rise from this time last year when it was at around 140 million TH/s.
Rising difficulty paints an even drearier picture for bitcoin miners who are already feeling the squeeze of weak bitcoin prices and higher energy costs.
To name two recent examples, London-based miner Argo Blockchain (ARBK) was forced to raise $27 million last week to ease liquidity pressures, and mining data center provider Compute North filed for bankruptcy.
"Our profitability has been squeezed from both sides from higher energy prices to lower bitcoin price, that's resulted in a cash crunch for Argo," said Argo Blockchain CEO Peter Wall.
Bitcoin continues to hover in a very tight trading range around the low-$19,000 area. The price at press time was $19,333.