Bitcoin’s network went through another negative mining adjustment in the past 24 hours, with a decrease of nearly 5%. With this one, the world’s largest blockchain has registered its worst streak of four consecutive difficulty declines for the first time in roughly ten years.
Four in a Row for Bitcoin
The BTC blockchain has the ability to readjust itself depending on the number of miners currently putting their computational devices to work. Essentially, the network either makes it harder or easier for them at every 2,016 blocks (approx. two weeks).
With the latest crackdown from China – the country responsible for the vast majority of the BTC hash rate – miners had to abdicated their business ventures. While they are looking for new places to settle in, the network suffered, and the hash rate plummeted by more than 50% in weeks.
Bitcoin’s self-adjusting mechanism reacted on a few occasions and reduced the difficulty. In fact, the latest one, which occurred on July 3rd, was the largest negative adjustment in BTC’s history.
This weekend saw another one decreasing the difficulty – this time by 4.81%, according to btc.com. However, this one turned out to be the fourth consecutive negative adjustment. This is something Bitcoin’s blockchain is not accustomed to.
In fact, the last time there were four or more (eight) negative readjustments in a row was nearly ten years ago – between August and November 2011.
In contrast, there have been 56 consecutive positive adjustments from early 2013 to late 2014.
With the latest decline in the difficulty, the metric has dropped to its lowest level in over a year of around 14T.
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Chart. Source: Bitinfocharts
Bitcoin Hash Rate Update
As mentioned above, BTC’s hash rate – the total combined computational power put to work on the network by miners – went to a two-year low when China went after miners. At the time, the metric went as low as 68Ehash/s.
The situation has improved since then with the difficulty adjustments and miners transitioning to other countries, mostly heading west. As of writing these lines, the Bitcoin hash rate has increased by nearly 50% since the late June low and stands at around 100Ehash/s.