Bitcoin Is Getting Less Difficult To Mine After Halving — But Is That A Good Or Bad Sign?

Bitcoin BTC/USD miners may heave a sigh of relief as the network experienced its largest negative difficulty adjustment since November 2022. 

What Happened: The Bitcoin blockchain underwent its fourth negative difficulty adjustment for the year, according to CryptoQuant's Head of Research Julio Moreno, making it easier for the halving-battered sector to produce blocks and generate new Bitcoins. 

The mining difficulty is adjusted every 2.016 blocks, or roughly two weeks, to ensure block production time remains at 10 minutes. It is positively correlated with hash rate, the computational power dedicated by miners.

The latest 5.7% drop in difficulty comes as a likely response to the 10% decline in the 7-day moving average of the hash rate from 655 EH/s on the halving day to 586 EH/s as of May 10, according to Hash Rate Index. 

Why It Matters: The quadrennial halving that slashed block rewards, severely impacted miners' revenue streams. CryptoQuant's Moreno noted, "As revenue has declined sharply after the halving, Miners are currently underpaid by the most since March 2020, the COVID crash." 

The loss in earnings prompted many participants, particularly those operating on a small scale, to turn off their machines and abandon the market. This caused a hash rate decline and subsequently led to a negative difficulty adjustment.

The sentiment was echoed by Luxor mining pool CEO Nick Hansen who reportedly told Decrypt, "If there isn't enough margin for miners to make a profit, they turn off, which causes the hash rate to go down.”

That said, CEO of mining firm Optiminer Scott Noris pointed out that this bodes well for the sector’s future growth. "The miners who planned properly will grow or the ones who turned off will get newer tech and find cheaper energy while everyone waits for the price to reflect the halving," he told Decrypt.

With difficulty lowered and competition lessened, mining costs could decrease, providing temporary relief for the sector.

Miners earn the majority of their revenues through fixed subsidies from every block produced. Halvings attack this very component severely, as each occurrence reduced rewards by 50%. 

Price Action: At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading up 2.81% at $62919.46, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

Read Next: Joseph Lubin Accuses SEC Of Stifling Crypto Growth Amid Legal Showdown

Photo by Gaston Cerliani on Shutterstock

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