Is this increased hashrate a sign of more or less mining decentralization?
Looking at the Bitcoin hashrate chart, the growth is quite remarkable. At the time of writing, the network sits at over 5 exohash. That is a gigantic amount of computing resources pointed toward mining Bitcoin. What is even more remarkable is the growth over the past two weeks. The total hashrate increased by as much computing power as the entire Bitcoin network saw in December of 2015.
The growth of Bitcoin has been quite spectacular these past few years. The community is expanding on a global scale. Some countries are officially recognizing Bitcoin as a currency. More importantly, the mining landscape continues to expand exponentially as well. To be more specific, we have surpassed the five exohash threshold a few days ago. This growth is rated unprecedented and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
A Hashrate of over Five Exohash
What makes this growth so intriguing is how it was achieved. The network hashrate grew by as much as December of 2015\s entire mining power. It is evident someone is bringing a lot of mining hardware online as of late. For now, it is anybody’s guess as to why may be behind this unexpected growth, though. More importantly, is this increased hashrate a sign of more or less mining decentralization? Contrary to what most people think, BTC meaning is rather centralized. A few pools control the majority of hashpower, which is not a positive development.
At the same time, this increased hashrate is not influencing the scaling debate all that much. Support for SegWit and Bitcoin Unlimited is still within the same range as it was before. Several pools are still mining empty blocks as well, a situation hat will not change anytime soon either. There is no reason to mine empty blocks, but some pools do so just because they can. It is an interesting factor to take into account, though.
As is to be expected, an increase in hashrate leads to a higher mining difficulty. The estimated next difficulty is 14.26% higher compared to this current one. As more mining hardware is brought online, those increases will continue to grow accordingly. Some people may speculate we are seeing a new bitcoin mining frenzy. The recent price increase certainly makes mining appealing. That is, assuming you have access to cheap electricity and enough hardware to make an impact. It is an intriguing development, to say the least.
Published by JP Buntinx
JP is working hard to bring more credibility to the Bitcoin and blockchain news industry. Outside of being Europe Editor at Newsbtc, JP is also an active writer for the website, and does not shy away from letting his opinion be heard.
Dislaimer: This is not investing advice, this website is for educational purposes only.