Following the last two difficulty increases on the Bitcoin network, another rise in difficulty is expected to take place on March 24, 2023. Statistics show that Bitcoin’s hashrate has remained high despite the last two adjustments, and block times have been faster than the ten-minute average.
Bitcoin Difficulty Expected to Rise Following the Past Two Consecutive Increases
At the time of writing, Bitcoin’s difficulty is at an all-time high of 43.55 trillion, and the network’s hashrate remains above the 300 exahash per second (EH/s) range at 319.86 EH/s. Bitcoin has risen 26.2% over the last two weeks against the U.S. dollar, which has greatly helped bitcoin miners, and BTC’s spot value is now above the cost to mine it.
Bitcoin miners dealt with two consecutive difficulty increases over the last month, with the first jumping 9.95% higher on Feb. 24, 2023, and the second increasing by 1.16% on March 10. The rise hasn’t seemed to affect bitcoin miners, as block interval times (times between each block mined) are still less than the ten-minute average. Currently, block times range between nine minutes and 28 seconds and nine minutes and 31 seconds.
At present, the estimated difficulty change for Friday, March 24, is expected to be between 2.51% and 5.7% higher than the current 43.55 trillion. If miners maintain or even accelerate their pace, the difficulty after the next adjustment could potentially rise above the 50 trillion hashes mark. Current estimates suggest the target range will be between 44.64 trillion and 49.25 trillion.
Mining distribution statistics show that Foundry USA is currently the top bitcoin mining pool, with 97.22 EH/s or 30.31% of the global hashrate. Foundry is followed by Antpool with 61.03 EH/s, and F2pool with 46.13 EH/s. The top five bitcoin mining pools, including Foundry, Antpool, F2pool, Binance Pool, and Viabtc, command 84.52% of the global hashrate as of March 21, 2023, according to three-day metrics.