Things haven’t been exactly the same since Bitcoin (BTC) went through halving. A substantial number of miners have disconnected their equipment due to the reduction of the reward by half. As a result, transaction fees are now considerably higher, the hash rate has been reduced by about 25%-40%, and new blocks are being generated at a remarkably low rate.
So what can be done to prepare for this new post-hazard reality, or will things return to normal in the near future? Here is a closer look at the Blockchain processes that have been affected.
The hash rate
One of the most important trends after halving is the decrease in the hash rate, something that experts had warned about shortly before the event. Because miners’ profitability has plummeted by halving the block reward, the older generation of mining units, such as the widely popular Antminer S9, have mostly gone out of business. Currently, it is estimated that an Antminer S9 generates a negative of more than $2 per day, so there is no point in keeping these units online unless the miners have access to free electricity.
As a result of the halving of the reward and the disconnection of a substantial portion of the obsolete miners, the BTC hash rate experienced a significant drop of 30% in the three days following the halving. Although there has been a small rebound since then, the metric continues to drop by about 25%.
Miners’ earnings are falling, but this has always coincided with a rise in the price of Bitcoin
Total hash rate
Since the latest difficulty setting – a pre-coded, self-regulating mechanism that occurs every 2016 blocks and is designed to maintain extraction speed at approximately 10 minutes per block – allowed Bitcoin to regain only 6% of its hash rate, the trend is likely to continue over the next two weeks.
“We could see some more miners leaving the network for the time being, despite the start of the rainy season in China,” suggested Ian Descoteaux, the head of mining at Bitcoin.com, in a conversation with Cointelegraph, referring to the most dominant region in the sector.
Generation time per block
The capitulation of the miners has had a number of consequences for the industry, including a significant reduction in the speed of block generation. BTC’s daily block generation metric fluctuated around 100-120 blocks per day after halving, but then collapsed to only 95 blocks on May 17, reaching its 2017 lows.
“The miners who went out after halving caused a reduction in the
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which means that the blocks are found less often than every 10 minutes,” Philip Salter, head of mining operations at Genesis Mining, told Cointelegraph:
“So the generation times of the blocks rose to something like 12min instead of the usual 10min, but the transaction capacity in each block remained the same. This causes congestion (less space in the Blockchain, same demand for tx shipment), and this in turn causes an increase in the tx rate. Yesterday [May 19], the average block time was 14 minutes, which reduces Bitcoin’s transaction capacity.
This trend has played an important role in the huge increase in commissions, Salter continued, adding: “There must also be a greater interest in Bitcoin transactions.
“I feel that [the high fees] are more likely to be driven by the growing interest in Bitcoin,” said Chun Wang, the co-founder and managing partner of F2Pool – BTC’s largest mining consortium – in a conversation with Cointelegraph. “Not because the block reward has been halved or block generation is slower. However, halving could also be one of the main reasons for the growing public interest, Wang added.