Bitcoin mining difficulty hits all-time high

Bitcoin ASIC Hardware

Don’t look now, but delayed ASIC shipments have just come online. And their arrival has paved the way for an adjustment that has resulted in Bitcoin mining difficulty increasing to an all-time high.

After today’s adjustment, the current mining difficulty of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency sits at an astonishing 23.1 trillion. This latest increase is a roughly 6% increase from its last level of 21.8 trillion, which makes it the second largest adjustment of the year.

As well as the fifth adjustment in the last six difficulty period.

This latest adjustment is a notable bump, and it is spurred forth by fleets of newly boosted mining rigs. Tens of thousands of new machines have just come online, and these were previously on backorder in the ASIC supply chain.

Compass mining CEO Whit Gibbs says that the current adjustment is just a sampler of the flood of hashrate that will come online in 2022, as more backordered shipments are fulfilled:

“Today’s moderately large difficulty increase is not surprising, and I expect it’s only a taste of what will come later in this year and into 2022, as delayed machine shipments start arriving and being deployed. The pending flood of hashrate about to enter the market will only continue pushing bitcoin’s mining difficulty higher, which should track with bitcoin’s price.”

The difficulty refers to the relative measure of the resources required to mine bitcoins. This amount measurement climbs or falls depending on the amount of power consumed — or hashrate produced — by the network at a given time.

Bitcoin is programmed to adjust its difficulty level every 2,016 blocks. This basically comes down to roughly every 2 weeks to ensure that new blocks are mined at a sable rate.

The difficulty adjustment is arguably one of the most important features of Bitcoin, as it ensures block times remain relatively stable while also preventing a large miner from eating up too much hashrate.

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