The hash rate is the number of nodes on a network. Higher hash rates signify more decentralization and higher computing power available for the network. With more decentralization, a network is more resistant to possible cybersecurity attacks.
Before the recent jump, the hash rate was around 188.40%. With this massive spike, the Bitcoin network further shows its resilience. Following China’s ban on cryptocurrency and mining in June 2021, there were concerns that Bitcoin’s network security would drop – as China-based miners provided 34.2% of the total hash rate on the network at that time.
However, the network quickly recovered as miners moved to other countries. In the past year, the hash rate has increased by 54.33 percent. Miners based in the United States currently account for most of the hash rate on the network at 35.4%, with the state of Georgia emerging as a hub for crypto mining.
January’s ATH hash rate
This isn’t the first time bitcoin’s hash rate reached an all time high (ATH), however. Back in January, the network has an average rate of 190.71 EH/s, despite Kazakhstan shutting down its internet, preventing miners from operating.
Back in January, the network had an average hash rate of 190.71 EH/s despite the issues with miners in Kazakhstan. During a period of social unrest, the Kazakh government shut down the internet, causing Bitcoin’s hash rate to drop around 13 percent. With the country serving as the world’s second-largest center for mining, it was a major concern as miners are debating whether or not to migrate to other countries to continue their operations.
The rising hash rate shows that despite the cryptocurrency dropping in value, there is still significant community support.
Bitcoin mining draws different reactions
Bitcoin mining has been the subject of various criticisms due to its high energy consumption, which many believe harms the environment.
In Europe, the Governor of Hungary Central Bank, György Matolcsy, recently called on the EU to ban crypto mining, which came only weeks after Swedish authorities also called for a ban of the activity.
The global energy shortage and the effect of climate change have further put crypto mining into the spotlight, yet not everyone agrees that crypto mining should be banned.
While agreeing that there’s a need for regulations, some stakeholders disagree on banning crypto mining.
European Union (EU) parliament member Stefan Berger recently started a crypto ban that would be a death sentence for Bitcoin in the EU.
Norway’s largest Bitcoin miner, Kryptovault also expressed its desire to change the narrative surrounding mining’s energy usage and contribution to pollution. Currently, the country uses 100% clean energy, with 95% hydropower and 5% windpower. Its CEO, Kjetil Hove Pettersen says that there are other ways to mine beyond just coal.
“If you are running coal to run mining then that’s another story, that’s what you don’t want. Mining can be done in more places like Norway – and it can be a way to save trapped energy,” he shared.
Many in the crypto community are also pointing at the possibility of crypto mining encouraging renewable energy development.
In the United States, renewables have been proposed to Congress previously, with Texas senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaking to the abundance of natural gas – which if flared on-site, the energy from it could use used with generators to mine bitcoin. The problem, however, with Senator Cruz’ rationale, is that this process still released a by-product into the air.
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