1. Home
  2. Bitcoin mining

Bitcoin mining

Argentine Oil Subsidiary YPF Luz Powering Bitcoin Mining Activities With Residual Gas

Argentine Oil Subsidiary YPF Luz Powering Bitcoin Mining Activities With Residual GasYPF Luz, a subsidiary of the Argentine state oil company YPF, is currently piloting a project to power bitcoin mining operations with residual gas. The initiative, which is currently being tested in Vaca Muerta, one of the biggest oil fields in the country, seeks to take advantage of this byproduct from the initial stages of […]

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Bitcoin price plummets while miner hash rate soars to all-time highs

The overall security of the Bitcoin protocol, or hash rate, hit a new high of 158 exahash per second despite the price being down over 50% year to date.

Bitcoin miners can’t stop, won’t stop. The Bitcoin (BTC) hash rate continues to surge to new all-time highs, despite a heavy price drawdown. 

The Bitcoin mining hash rate peaked at 258 exahashes per second (EH/s) on Oct. 4, according to Braiins Insights, a mining data tools and metrics company. Although the Bitcoin price is down 58% year-to-date against the United States dollar, the mining hash rate is up 43%.

The past 3 months Hashrate. Source: Braiins. 

Bitcoin Gandalf from the marketing team at Braiins told Cointelegraph that, “The hash rate hitting another all-time high shows that miners are bullish about the future prospects of Bitcoin.” Nonetheless, the current macroeconomic environment could pose an issue, as “the present isn’t so rosy for Bitcoin miners,” Gandalf said, adding:

“Bitcoin continues to trade in this tight band between $19,000–$20,000 and this recent increase in hash rate will result in a sharp upward adjustment in mining difficulty meaning that miner margins will be further squeezed.”

In a series of tweets, mining engineers and hobbyists shared their thoughts regarding the hash rate hitting all-time highs while the price remains low. Rob W of Bitcoin mining company Upstream Data summed up the sentiment: 

Market analyst Zack Voell explained that the surging hash rate could be as a result of “XPs coming online.” The S19 XP Antminer is the latest model from Bitmain, one of the world’s most popular Bitcoin mining hardware suppliers.

The number of hashes produced in a second is commonly referred to as the hash rate. In Bitcoin speak, hash rate is a critical security metric as well as one that many BTC miners keep their eyes on.

In simple terms, the more hashing — or computing power — that the network churns out, the greater the overall security of Bitcoin. As a result, Bitcoin is more resistant to attack, the most common of which is known as a 51% attack.

Currently, more and more miners are coming online to attempt to solve valid blocks to receive the Bitcoin block reward, which is currently 6.25 BTC, roughly $120,000. Blocks are solved and added to the Bitcoin blockchain on average every 10 minutes.

Related: Nuclear and gas fastest growing energy sources for Bitcoin mining: Data

The difficult adjustment determines the rate at which blocks are solved. It fluctuates roughly every two weeks and is expected to increase on Oct. 10 based on the surging hash rate. The difficulty adjustment has been on a steady march upward in 2022 — meaning blocks are, on average, getting harder to solve — after falling for the first time in March 2022.

In sum, despite the fact that the Bitcoin price continues to wallow under $20,000, more and more miners find value in supporting the network. James Check, an analyst at Glassnode, explained in a tweet, “With hash rate pushing to new all-time-highs once again, despite all the promises to the contrary, it appears that #Bitcoin is still not dead.”

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Bitcoin sees first difficulty drop in 2 months as miners sell 8K BTC

Recent weeks have caused fresh headaches for miners, who at one point were reducing their balances by more than 8,500 BTC per month.

Bitcoin (BTC) miners remain under stress at current price levels as data shows large outflows from miner wallets returning.

According to on-chain analytics firm Glassnode, monthly miner sales totaled up to around 8,000 BTC in September.

Bitcoin miners see heavy sales

In contrast to the June lows, when BTC/USD hit its current multi-year floor of $17,600, miners are currently selling considerable amounts of BTC.

According to Glassnode, which tracks the 30-day change in miner balances, at the start of the month, miners were down a maximum 8,650 BTC over the month prior.

Bitcoin miner net position change chart. Source: Glassnode

While this subsequently reduced, taking into account changes in the BTC price, miners are still selling more than they earn on a rolling monthly basis.

As of Sept. 29, the latest date for which complete data is available, miners were down a combined 3,455 BTC over 30 days — nonetheless capping a one-month low in exchange transactions, Glassnode noted.

Bitcoin miners to exchange flow chart. Source: Glassnode/ Twitter

The miner squeeze even caught the attention of mainstream media this week, with Reuters describing the sector as “stuck in a bear pit.”

“Bitcoin miners have continued to watch margins compress — the price of bitcoin has fallen, mining difficulty has risen, and energy prices have soared,” the publication quoted Joe Burnett, head analyst at mining firm Blockware, as saying.

With BTC/USD forecast to potentially drop even more in line with global macroeconomic strife, miners could face additional hurdles to come.

This would further stress an essential component of the Bitcoin ecosystem which just in August ended a “capitulation” phase to claw back some profitability.

Difficulty comes off record highs

Signs of change are evident in current network fundamentals numbers.

At the latest automated adjustment on Sep. 28, Bitcoin mining difficulty decreased by 2.14% — its first decline since July.

Related: More ancient Bitcoin leaves its wallet after 10-year hibernation

The metric, which provides multiple insights into network operation and miner buoyancy, was previously at all-time highs.

In two weeks’ time, however, the uptrend is estimated to resume, with the ultimate result dependent on price action in the meantime.

Similarly, the Bitcoin network hash rate is currently circling slightly lower levels than recent peaks, nonetheless still near all-time highs of its own, according to combined data from BTC.com and MiningPoolStats.

Bitcoin network fundamentals overview (screenshot). Source: BTC.com

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

SAI Tech Reveals 2 New Liquid Cooling Bitcoin Mining Containers Built for Overclocking Flexibility

SAI Tech Reveals 2 New Liquid Cooling Bitcoin Mining Containers Built for Overclocking FlexibilityOn September 28, the bitcoin mining operator and clean-technology company, SAI Tech, announced the launch of two liquid cooling bitcoin mining infrastructure products called the Tankbox and Rackbox. The two new models join the firm’s SAIHUB Box and feature plate cooling and immersion cooling technologies. SAI Tech Unveils Tankbox and Rackbox Bitcoin Mining Infrastructure Products […]

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Bitcoin Mining Industry Reveals Mergers, Hashrate Increases, and New Facilities Amid Market Downturn

Bitcoin Mining Industry Reveals Mergers, Hashrate Increases, and New Facilities Amid Market DownturnWhile bitcoin is down more than 72% from the crypto asset’s all-time high, bitcoin mining operations are expanding at a rapid pace during the downturn. On Tuesday, the bitcoin miner Cleanspark said its hashrate has surpassed 4 exahash per second (EH/s), and the Texas mining company Rhodium revealed it raised $11.9 million, according to a […]

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Bitcoin Network’s Mining Difficulty Drops for the First Time in 2 Months

Bitcoin Network’s Mining Difficulty Drops for the First Time in 2 MonthsFollowing four consecutive Bitcoin mining difficulty increases, the network’s difficulty dropped for the first time in 68 days, sliding 2.14% at block height 756,000 on Tuesday. The change means it’s currently 2.14% easier to find a bitcoin block reward following the mining difficulty’s all-time high (ATH) that took place on September 13. Bitcoin Difficulty Slides […]

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Research Finds Bitcoin Mining Equates to 0.10% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Research Finds Bitcoin Mining Equates to 0.10% of Global Greenhouse Gas EmissionsAccording to a recent report published by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF), bitcoin mining worldwide accounts for around 0.10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or 48.35 million tons of carbon dioxide per annum. Moreover, CCAF’s report details that “Bitcoin’s environmental footprint is more nuanced and complex” and because of complexity issues it […]

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Nuclear and gas fastest growing energy sources for Bitcoin mining: Data

Some governments can negatively impact Bitcoin's environmental footprint by banning BTC mining, according to new data from Cambridge.

The electricity mix of Bitcoin (BTC) has drastically changed over the past few years, with nuclear energy and natural gas becoming the fastest growing energy sources powering Bitcoin mining, according to new data.

The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) on Tuesday released a major update to its Bitcoin mining-dedicated data source, the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI).

According to the data from Cambridge, fossil fuels like coal and natural gas made up almost two-thirds of Bitcoin’s total electricity mix as of January 2022, accounting for more than 62%. As such, the share of sustainable energy sources in the BTC energy mix amounted to 38%.

The new study suggests that coal alone accounted for nearly 37% of Bitcoin’s total electricity consumption as of early 2022, becoming the largest single energy source for BTC mining. Among sustainable energy sources, hydropower was found to be the largest resource, with a share of roughly 15%.

Despite Bitcoin mining significantly relying on coal and hydropower, the shares of these energy sources in the total BTC energy mix have been dropping over the past several years. In 2020, coal power powered 40% of global BTC mining. Hydropower’s share has more than halved from 2020 to 2021, tumbling from 34% to 15%.

Bitcoin mining electricity mix from 2019 to 2022. Source: CCAF

In contrast, the role of natural gas and nuclear energy in Bitcoin mining has been notably growing over the past two years. The share of gas in the BTC electricity mix surged from about 13% in 2020 to 23% in 2021, while the percentage of nuclear energy increased from 4% in 2021 to nearly 9% in 2022.

According to Cambridge analysts, Chinese miner relocations were a major reason behind sharp fluctuations in Bitcoin’s energy mix in 2020 and 2021. China’s crackdown on crypto in 2021 and the associated miner migration resulted in a major drop in the share of hydroelectric power in the BTC energy mix. As previously reported, Chinese authorities shut down a number of crypto mining farms powered by hydroelectricity in 2021.

“The Chinese government's ban on cryptocurrency mining and the resulting shift in Bitcoin mining activity to other countries negatively impacted Bitcoin's environmental footprint,” the study suggested.

The analysts also emphasized that the BTC electricity mix hugely varies depending on the region. Countries like Kazakhstan still rely heavily on fossil fuels, while in countries like Sweden, the share of sustainable energy sources in electricity generation is about 98%.

The surge of nuclear and gas energy in Bitcoin's electricity mix allegedly reflects the “shift of mining power towards the United States,” the analysts stated. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, most of the nation’s electricity was generated by natural gas, which accounted for more than 38% of the country’s total electricity production. Coal and nuclear energy accounted for 22% and 19%, respectively.

Among other insights related to the latest CBECI update, the study also found that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with BTC mining accounted for 48 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e) as of Sept. 21, 2022. That is 14% lower than the estimated GHG emissions in 2021. According to the study’s estimates, the current GHG emissions levels related to Bitcoin represent roughly 0.1% of global GHG emissions.

Combining all the previously mentioned findings, the index estimates that by mid-September, about 199.6 MtCO2e can be attributed to the Bitcoin network since its inception. The analysts stressed that about 92% of all emissions have occurred since 2018.

Total greenhouse emissions related to Bitcoin as of mid-September 2022. Source: CCAF

As previously reported, the CCAF has been working on CBECI as part of its multi-year research initiative known as the Cambridge Digital Assets Programme (CDAP). The CDAP's institutional collaborators include finance institutions like British International Investment, the Dubai International Finance Centre, Accenture, EY, Fidelity, Mastercard, Visa and others.

Related: Bitcoin could become a zero-emission network: Report

The new CDAP findings noticeably differ from data by the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), which in July estimated the share of sustainable sources in Bitcoin's electricity mix at nearly 60%.

“It doesn’t include nuclear or fossil fuels so from that you can imply that around 30-40% of the industry is powered by fossil fuels,” Bitfarms chief mining officer Ben Gagnon told Cointelegraph in August.

According to CBECI project lead Alexander Neumueller, the CDAP’s approach is different from the Bitcoin Mining Council when it comes to estimating Bitcoin’s electricity mix.

“We use information from our mining map to see where Bitcoin miners are located, and then examine the country, state, or province's electricity mix. As I understand it, the Bitcoin Mining Council asks its members to self-report this data in a survey,” Neumueller stated. He still mentioned that there are still a few nuances related to lack of data in the study.

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Jihan Wu-Backed Crypto Miner Bitdeer Acquires ‘Singapore’s Fort Knox’ for $28.4 Million

Jihan Wu-Backed Crypto Miner Bitdeer Acquires ‘Singapore’s Fort Knox’ for .4 MillionSources have disclosed that the digital currency mining operation, Bitdeer Technologies, has purchased a high-security storage and display facility in Singapore called Le Freeport for $28.4 million. Bitdeer’s chairman, Jihan Wu, confirmed the vault acquisition via a text message following the reports that revealed the mining firm purchased Le Freeport. Bitdeer Purchases Maximum Security Vault […]

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs

Is post-Merge Ethereum PoS a threat to Bitcoin’s dominance?

Cory Klippsten, the CEO of Swan Bitcoin, shares his views on how "the competition for liquidity" between Bitcoin and Ethereum will play out after the latter's switch to a proof-of-stake system.

While Ethereum (ETH) fans are enthusiastic about the successful Merge, Swan Bitcoin CEO Cory Klippsten believes the upgrade will lead Ethereum into a “slow slide to irrelevance and eventual death.” 

According to Klippsten, the Ethereum community picked the wrong moment for detaching the protocol from its reliance on energy. As many parts of the world are experiencing severe energy shortages, he believed the environmental narrative is taking the back seat.

In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Klippsten said “I think the world is just waking up to reality and Ethereum just went way off into Fantasyland at the exact wrong time.”

“It is just really bad timing to roll out that narrative. It just looks stupid.”

According to some predictions, institutional capital will increasingly turn away from Bitcoin (BTC) and flow into Ethereum unless Bitcoin doesn’t move away from the energy-consuming proof-of-work system.

Klippsten dismisses this narrative as false, citing that, ultimately, all valuable technologies need to rely on real-world energy to function correctly.

"If you don't have some tethering to the real world using laws of physics, you're basically off creating some kind of like metaverse fantasyland". 

Watch the full interview on our YouTube channel and don’t forget to subscribe!

Latin Grammy Awards signs three-year contract for award show NFTs