Bitcoin hash rate achieved a new all-time high (ATH) on Saturday, January 18. The startling jump moved the total hashes to 126 Eh/s. The figure represents 126 quintillion attempted solutions per second.
The growth in the Bitcoin network has been remarkable over the past two years. For perspective, the hash rate was just 13 Eh/s in December of 2017 when BTC reached its all-time high price. What’s more, the first-ever hash rate over 1 Eh/s occurred at the end of 2016.
Bitcoin Computing Power Intensifies
As Twitter user @APompliano pointed out, this amount of hashing horsepower makes Bitcoin the most powerful and secure computing network by a long shot. There is really no attack that could begin to surmount this level of hashing power.
This, of course, comes at a cost. A tenfold increase in the hash rate levels could represent a concurrent tenfold increase in mining costs as such exponential power consumption is massive.
However, the increase in technology also plays a role in the amount of hash power. While some miners certainly use legacy machines, mining technology has advanced dramatically, making the hash production per unit far greater.
Price Still Lagging Behind
The overall expansion of the network has been tremendous, with an order of magnitude of growth each year. This type of expansion, however, has little to do with price, since it deals only with mining on the network.
Nevertheless, Bitcoin’s faithful point out that the increase in hash rate reflects an increase in network activity. Activity is important in a system that achieves value through consensus.
As greater levels of miners and users enter the market, demand increases. With a supply fixed forever at 21 million BTC, increasing demand creates a necessary increase in value.
Whether this increase in hash rate hastens the coming halving depends on durability. Hash rate can easily change rapidly. For example, when the halving occurs, miners who can no longer compete will certainly capitulate. If this occurs, the hash rate could drop dramatically.