The Bitcoin ecosystem is thriving as the decentralized network continues to break new records in 2017. This month the Bitcoin network’s hashrate surpassed over four exahash per second adding one more milestone to the record books.
Bitcoin’s Hashrate Crosses Four Exahash
The bitcoin mining environment has grown massive with many participants and pools competing to process transactions so they can earn fresh new bitcoins. The mining process has evolved from individuals mining on their computers at home to mega-sized data facilities located all around the world filled with thousands of machines.
Over the past year and four months, bitcoin’s hashrate has entered the exahash era as the network processed one exahash per second in January of 2016. Now the miners’ collective hashrate is over four exahash per second or 4,216,797,036 GH/s, surpassing the most powerful supercomputers in the world.
An exahash solves 10^18 hashes (problem-solving with algorithms) per second which means the network’s hashrate is processing beyond exascale computing speeds at over four quintillion hashes per second. According to research, exascale computing technology will grow exponentially in 2018, and the bitcoin network became one of those technologies when it surpassed 1.5 exahashes per second in mid-2016. The introduction of new mining chips and the growth of mining pools has led many people to believe bitcoin is the most secure computational network in history.
Mining Revenue Is up, Network Difficulty Is High, and There Are More Pools Than Ever Before
Bitcoin’s rise in fiat value has helped push mining to new levels over the past year. According to statistics mining revenue is up more so than ever before as miners accumulate coinbase rewards and mining fees. However, network difficulty is also extremely high making it difficult for solo miners to make a profit without joining a pool. Bitcoin’s network difficulty is a measurement of how difficult it is for miners to find a hash below the given target.
Mining pools have been around for quite some time, and a few years ago people thought hashrate distribution was too concentrated between a few pools. In particular, during the summer of 2014, Ghash mining pool breached the 51 percent threshold of hashrate distribution several times. However, in 2017 there are more pools than ever as there are currently roughly 22 pools commanding most of the mining power. No pool has more than 20 percent of the hashrate distribution, and there are only six significantly larger pools compared to all the others.
Bitcoin’s Exponential Mining Power Securing the Blockchain’s Strength
Looking at Bitcoin’s hashrate compared to other altcoins using proof-of-work one can see that Bitcoin’s processing power is exponentially larger. For instance, the Litecoin network’s hashrate is 5,695 GH/s, Ethereum’s is 23766 GH/s and the hashrate for the Dash network is 1,252 GH/s. The processing power of the Bitcoin network is leaps and bounds larger than all three of these alternative networks combined. Making Bitcoin’s distributed ledger not only the longest running, but also considered by many as the most secure blockchain on the face of the earth.
What do you think about the Bitcoin network’s hashrate surpassing four exahash per second? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, and Blockchain.info.
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