Mining is speeding up ahead of next year’s reward halving, and the past quarter saw increased hashrate and difficulty.
Bitcoin (BTC) saw another large jump in difficulty, extending the total difficulty gains to more than 22% in the past three months. The difficulty is an indicator of how competitive mining has become.
Theincrease in mining activity coincided with significant price gains, as BTC doubled in price from the $4,000 range and touched $9,000. The rise in prices compensated the competitive mining, as block rewards were worth more on the open markets. BTC prices remained above the breakeven levels for Chinese markets, and multiple other mining farms have the potential to break even.
The heightened mining levels match the predictions for a strong performance in May, as Chinese mining makes use of the wet season to gain cheap hydroelectric power. In the past few days, mining has risen to an all-time high above 60 EH/s, not hampered by the higher difficulty.