Bitcoin mining keeps signaling confidence in the network, as market prices promise profitability.
Bitcoin (BTC) mining reached another peak above 99 EH/s, based on Bitinfocharts data. Other data suggest mining rates may be more than 100 quintillion hashing operations each second.
The highly active mining is happening as BTC prices stand above $10,000 and are relatively stable and predictable. The upcoming halving of the reward in 2020 will decrease the daily BTC mined by 900 coins. Currently, miners produce 1,800 new BTC each day, which may pay directly if sold for market prices. Newly mined BTC could also be sold at a premium, for their lack of history and connections to dubious addresses.
The increased mining competition also means a shift in the balances between the leading mining pools. An up and coming Chinese pool, Poolin, has grown its weight in the past year, displacing the dominance of BTC.com, one of Bitmain’s pools.
Smaller and unknown mining pools are also raking in more rewards from bigger miners. But the share of block production is a changeable measurement, and for any given time period, a pool can get ahead in block discovery. In general, mining is becoming more diversified, though still a handful of pools make up more than 51% of the hashrate.
The current level of mining keeps increasing despite the growing difficulty. In the past months, some miners switched off equipment to avoid too much gains in difficulty. But now, pools compete while disregarding the growing indicator. With more powerful machines coming online, gains in difficulty are offset.
With breakeven prices for mining as low as $4,000 per BTC, the current levels of above $10,000 are extremely favorable. The rough estimations are that up to half a million ASIC came online during the past quarter, raising hashrates by 60%.
Currently, the BTC network is about 20 times more active in comparison to the 2017 levels, when BTC saw the most significant price action. The improved mining conditions may benefit Bitmain, both with more active ASIC sales of the latest models, and with still high block rewards.