Bitcoin starts off 2020 more secure than ever
The Bitcoin hash rate reached a new all-time high. The hash rate refers to the number of mathematical calculations being done on the blockchain network; in other terms, it represents the combined computing power of the miners on the network. The higher the hash rate, the more secure the network will be.
Based on a seven-day average the rate was around 93 exahashes or 93.000 terahashes per second on the 30th of December, 2019. The record, however, was set this Sunday when the hash rate reached 106 EH's per second on average.
2019 overall was a good year for the Bitcoin hash rate. The rate increased from around 40 EH's in January to 110 EH's in October. This increase corresponds with the price of Bitcoin moving from €3.200 to approximately €9.000 during the same period.
The difficulty level at which miners will generate new blocks automatically adjusts so that blocks will keep being added at a rate of one per 10 minutes, regardless of the number of miners. This adjustment is made once every two weeks.
In 2018, many miners had been forced to close due to crashing cryptocurrency prices. Only the largest and most efficient miners were able to stay afloat. In 2019 the market was looking better, it is estimated that in Q3 alone, 500.000 ASIC miners have started operating.
2020 is set to be a pivotal year for many miners looking to increase their capacity. The Bitcoin halving, which is estimated to happen in May, will reduce block rewards to 6.25 BTC. Mining firm Argo Blockchain has anticipated the cut and has expanded its operation with 3.600 ASIC's. This, in contrast to Bitmain, which is reported to have laid off employees in anticipation of the halving.