Bitcoin network difficulty dips more than 4%, the most since July 2021

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin mining difficulty fell by -4.33% during a network adjustment on May 25.
  • This was the biggest drop since July of last year when China’s crackdown on Bitcoin mining caused the network’s hash rate to plunge.

Bitcoin's mining difficulty dropped by approximately -4.33% during a May 25 adjustment — the most it has since July 2021.

The data was published by BTC.com, which tracks network mining difficulty and posts an update roughly every two weeks when the adjustments take place. 

Mining difficulty refers to the complexity of the mathematical process behind mining, during which miners are repeatedly trying to to find a hash below a set level. Miners that "discover" this hash win the reward for the next transaction block. The difficulty adjusts every 2,016 blocks (roughly every two weeks) in sync with the network's hash rate.

Difficulty levels haven't fallen more than 1.5% at one time since July of last year, when the difficulty dropped by -4.81%.

That event took place around the time when China was cracking down on Bitcoin mining in the country, leading the total network hash rate to drop by about 50% in the span of less than two months.

Since May 11, the date of the last difficulty update, the network's hash rate has dropped by about 5.43%, according to data compiled by The Block Research.

 

Bitcoin's network difficulty has mostly been increasing, on par with hash rate, since plummeting in the summer of 2021 — apart from a few small and occasional drops.

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, which is considered a leading source in hash rate distribution data, published new findings last week, indicating that some Bitcoin miners kept operating in China even after the ban.


© 2022 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Author

Catarina is a reporter for The Block based in New York City. Before joining the team, she covered local news at Patch.com and at the New York Daily News. She started her career in Lisbon, Portugal, where she worked for publications such as Público and Sábado. She graduated from NYU with a MA in Journalism. Feel free to email any comments or tips to [email protected] or to reach out on Twitter (@catarinalsm).