Bitcoin mining difficulty drops for the first time this year

The Bitcoin (BTC), mining difficulty adjustment has fallen for the first time since November 2021. This is a correction of 1.49%. This follows six consecutive positive difficulty adjustments that saw the mining difficulty and hashrate reach all-time highs.

Over the past two weeks, the average hash rate fell to 197.19 EH/s. This means that the block time exceeded the 10-minute target of 10 minutes 9 seconds. Due to the difficulty adjustment, miners who were competing to solve the next valid blocks found it marginally more difficult.

After an 8-month climb, Bitcoin mining difficulty is marginally declining. Glassnode

One of the most important features in Bitcoin protocol is the difficulty adjustment. Each two weeks, or 2,016 verified blocks, the difficulty of mining a new block “adjusts” according to the average of the previous 2,016 blocks. This makes it either easier or harder to mine blocks.

Satoshi Nakamoto stated in the Bitcoin whitepaper that “the proof of work difficulty is determined using a moving average targeting an approximate number of blocks per hours.” The difficulty will increase if they are generated too quickly.

Inference suggests that blocks generated over the past 2,016 block were created too slowly, at an average speed of 10 minutes 9 second. Therefore, miners will find it marginally more difficult to solve valid blocks in the next 2,016 blocks.

Denver Bitcoin, a well-known Bitcoin miner, claims that the -1.49% correction may be the only one of the year.

Bitcoin has just experienced its first down difficulty adjustment in 2022. It will be the first downward adjustment for the year. Experts are still calling for a 300eh+ average by December. Fun times.
— Adam O (@denverbitcoin) March 3, 2022

Related: New York Bitcoin mining moratorium bill gets more support

The correction of 1.49% is small compared to the mining darkness of May through July 2021, when the ban on Bitcoin mining from China led to a massive drop in hash rates. It climbed quickly over the course 2021, increasing by 31% thanks to countries like Canada and Kazakhstan, which proved the network’s resilience.

The Bitcoin mining market is becoming more competitive with tech companies like Intel looking to reduce the hash rate and introduce their own miners. Denver Bitcoin mentioned that the 300 Eh/s goal could be possible in 2022, especially as mining has shown growing resilience and geographical flexibility.