The Bitcoin (BTC) difficulty will see a positive adjustment for the second time in a row. The positive adjustment underlines the recovery of the bitcoin mining hash rate we see right now. But as more miners are joining the network again, Bitcoin’s energy consumption concerns are also becoming louder again.
Starting with the current figures, last week, you could already read that the hash rate is recovering from China’s crypto mining ban. This ban caused a mining exodus, with many Chinese miners closing doors and moving their operations abroad. However, as a side product, the ban also created a great opportunity for miners outside of China.
The Bitcoin protocol autonomously regulates certain aspects of the network to ensure that the network stays safe and keeps processing transactions. As miners in China turned off their mining rigs, the hash rate fell. The protocol then automatically adjusted the difficulty downwards, making mining easier. Thus, the job miners outside China were doing became easier, leading to more profitable operations. Thanks to these developments, Fortune called crypto mining “the most profitable major industry on the planet.”
Difficulty increases again, and so does energy consumption
With the computing power now increasing again, the network has to do the opposite. The last difficulty adjustment was the first difficulty increase in a series of four decreases, which never happened before. But the coming adjustment, due in a couple of hours, is set to be again an increase. So mining bitcoin will again become a little bit more difficult. Almost 8% more difficult to be exact.
And while it seemed like the debate around Bitcoin’s energy consumption had faded a little, this discussion is likely to gain steam again. New figures provided by Digiconomist show that China’s ban only caused a dent in the upward trend of energy consumption. Digiconomist estimates that since January 2021, the energy consumption has increased from about 77 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year to currently 146 TWh per year. Thus, Bitcoin’s consumption almost doubled.
Bitcoin miners cannot ignore the problems and discussions that are developing today due to climate change. However, the hope exists that miners are moving to more sustainable energy sources. Thanks to new services, such as GRN Energy’s hosting service, mining bitcoin sustainably has become easier than ever before.
Special thanks to our editorial team.
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