Nice question you bitcoin there Fred. Apart from being scarce, mining and highly divisible, it is important for bitcoin factor to maintain consistency. For difficulty, if the packed target mining the block is 0x1bcb, the hexadecimal target is. This occurred for Dash when the Antminer D3 came out. Factor could cause big difficulty in the long-term as it essentially makes it half bitcoin profitable overnight. Sister projects Essays Source. Don't rush into anything, do your own research.
These very solutions were the reason for Bitcoin to become one of the widely adopted digital currencies in the world till date. The main intention behind the creation of Bitcoin was to empower individuals by providing them with an alternative way to conduct peer to peer transaction over the internet without having to go through the middle men or a trusted third party like banking and financial institution.
Apart from being scarce, fungible and highly divisible, it is important for bitcoin network to maintain consistency. Consistency of the network takes a special place because of its distributed nature.
We all know that Bitcoin is an open source, decentralized digital currency where the miners, who are part of the Bitcoin community contribute processing power to discover new blocks and confirm transactions over the network. This is done by comparing the transaction ids with the existing record on the blockchain and inserting the new transaction records into fresh blocks. Technically, the time taken by a miner or a mining pool to discover a new block is directly proportional to the total processing power of the network, which in other words in known as hash rate.
Bitcoin mining is now carried out using specialized equipment called Application Specific Integrated Circuits ASICs which are custom-built for the purpose. They have specialized circuits that churn out a lot of processing power. These ASICs are far more efficient, both in terms of the hash rate and power consumption. With the new advanced mining ASICs replacing the older versions, the total hash rate on the Bitcoin network has skyrocketed. In an ideal situation, it would mean that the time required to create a new block drastically reduces too, leading to a proportional increase in the payouts.
In order to prevent such a situation, the difficulty level of the Bitcoin network is exploited to keep the time taken for block discovery constant. The network automatically changes the difficulty level for Bitcoin mining to ensure the discovery of a new block every 10 minutes seconds by miners.
The Bitcoin network varies its difficulty levels after the discovery of every blocks to ensure a constant output. If the network hash rate is high and the time taken to discover a new block is less than 10 minutes, then the network will increase the difficulty level proportionately to increase the block discovery time. If the block discovery time is more than 10 minutes, then the same protocol will reduce the difficulty level.
In recent days, the Bitcoin mining difficulty levels have been constantly increasing, thanks to increasing network hash rate. Last week, the difficulty levels went up by over 7 percent.
A risk is that if the people making these miners produce too many, the difficulty will rise so fast that Bitcoin mining profitability goes down massively. This occurred for Dash when the Antminer D3 came out. There are also scenarios that can cause Bitcoin's difficulty to decrease.
August is a good example of this, where a lot of miners moved their hashpower to mine Bitcoin Cash as it was more profitable at the time. This decreased hashpower mining Bitcoin, causing Bitcoin's difficulty to decrease for 2 weeks. If you stay up-to-date with these types of scenarios and mine the more profitable coins Bitcoin Cash in this scenario , you can get extra coins for 2 weeks and sell them immediately for a great return on investment or just HODL them!
Another argument suggesting Bitcoin mining will remain profitable long-term is to look at it from the perspective of large mining operations. If you were a miner running a large setup, and Bitcoin mining was to no longer be profitable, then you'd likely start mining something else that was. If there were no profitable coins for a long period of time, you'd likely have very high operating costs and be forced to shut down your operation eventually. For a smaller miner running just a few Antminers or some cloud mining, this would be less of an issue.
So in theory as long as Bitcoin stays popular and its price continues to increase, if you can get cheap electricity Bitcoin mining should always stay profitable.
This last argument in particular is very speculative, so be aware that for a worst-case scenario if Bitcoin's price was to fall for a long-period of time, even if you had cheap electricity, there's a risk that mining it would no longer be profitable. In June , the reward for Bitcoin mining will half. This could cause big issues in the long-term as it essentially makes it half as profitable overnight. So if miners are only making a small profit prior to this, they'll then be running at a loss just after it.
At this point open-ended contracts on sites like Genesis Mining will likely no longer be profitable although they might not even last that long. This site cannot substitute for professional investment or financial advice, or independent factual verification. This guide is provided for general informational purposes only.
The group of individuals writing these guides are cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors, not financial advisors. Trading or mining any form of cryptocurrency is very high risk, so never invest money you can't afford to lose - you should be prepared to sustain a total loss of all invested money. This website is monetised through affiliate links. Where used, we will disclose this and make no attempt to hide it. We don't endorse any affiliate services we use - and will not be liable for any damage, expense or other loss you may suffer from using any of these.
Don't rush into anything, do your own research. As we write new content, we will update this disclaimer to encompass it. We first discovered Bitcoin in late , and wanted to get everyone around us involved.
12 Apr What is "difficulty"? Difficulty is a measure of how difficult it is to find a hash below a given target. The Bitcoin network has a global block difficulty. Valid blocks must have a hash below this target. Mining pools also have a pool-specific share difficulty setting a lower limit for shares. A chart showing bitcoin mining difficulty changes over time. View the bitcoin difficulty history and more with CoinDesk data. Current difficulty: 2,,,, Next difficulty estimate: 3,,,, +%. Estimated change time: February 11, Estimated time left: 12 days.