A community dedicated to Bitcoin, the currency of the Internet. Bitcoin is a distributed, worldwide, decentralized digital money. Bitcoins are issued and managed without any central authority whatsoever: there is no government, company, or bank in charge of Bitcoin. You might be interested in Bitcoin if you like cryptography, distributed peer-to-peer systems, or economics. A large percentage of Bitcoin enthusiasts are libertarians, though people of all political philosophies are welcome.
The difficulty of mining a Bitcoin block ramped up by 3.6% today, marking an all-time high for the network. But the adjustment does put additional pressure on miners. While not the most significant leap in difficulty adjustment history, the 3.6% hike brought Bitcoin's total network difficulty to a record high of 17.56 trillion (T). Difficulty is a measure of how difficult it is to find a hash below a given target. The Bitcoin network has a global block difficulty. Valid blocks must have a hash below this target. Mining pools also have a pool-specific share difficulty setting a lower limit for shares. How often does the network difficulty change? Every 2016 blocks. The higher the mining difficulty, the less Bitcoin you get for a fixed amount of power. To justify the difficulty, prices tend to go up. The higher the price, the more people get interested in Bitcoin mining. As with any asset, more people get interested in it when prices are going up. Therefore, mining difficulty follows prices. The Bitcoin Network Difficulty Metric The Bitcoin network difficulty is the measure of how difficult it is to find a new block compared to the easiest it can ever be. It is recalculated every 2016 blocks to a value such that the previous 2016 blocks would have been generated in exactly two weeks had everyone been mining at this difficulty. The level of Bitcoin mining difficulty increases or decreases according to the ease of mining within the protocol. Remember, Bitcoin needs to have a consistent block time of 10 minutes. In other words, new BTC can be injected into the circulating supply every 10 minutes.
Bitcoin basics: What is the difficulty target and how does it adjust itself?
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