Bitcoin Hashrate Stabilizing Near 35 Exahash/s After 29 Percent Drop in Mining Difficulty
https://preview.redd.it/v4fhelfwby521.png?width=690&format=png&auto=webp&s=51d0d741515616618e7a201e5376a8d8abf1682d https://cryptoiq.co/bitcoin-hashrate-stabilizing-near-35-exahash-s-after-29-percent-drop-in-mining-difficulty/ Bitcoin’s hashrate had been rising exponentially from 2009 through mid-2018, increasing through the megahash (M/H), gigahash (G/H), terrahash (T/H), petahash (P/H), and exahash (E/H) ranges. The hashrate first exceeded 60 EH/s in August 2018, and then the exponential increase gave way to stabilization. In September and October 2018, the hashrate remained stable, averaging above 50 EH/s, simultaneous with the price of Bitcoin being stable near $6,500. Then the price of Bitcoin plummeted starting in mid-November to as low as $3,100 in December. The hashrate of Bitcoin collapsed to 32 EH/s during this market crash, implicitly indicating 20-30 EH/s being forced offline due to a lack of profitability, which represents billions of dollars of equipment. However, the collapse in hashrate may be coming to an end, at least for now, due to the price of Bitcoin rising back to the $4,000 level combined with a 29 percent decrease in mining difficulty. https://preview.redd.it/fn5itizzby521.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=8b65208f22986a6c5409d40255a20e805354d121 As can be seen in the chart, Bitcoin’s hashrate appears to have stabilized in December, breaking the trend of constant decline. There are two factors that are bringing about stabilization. First off, the price of Bitcoin has stopped decreasing and has risen back to where it was at the beginning of December near $4,000. A stable Bitcoin price is a necessary ingredient for a stable hashrate. More importantly, the mining difficulty of Bitcoin has dropped from 7.184 trillion to 5.106 trillion, a 29 percent decline, which makes Bitcoin mining 29 percent more profitable per unit of hashrate. As long as price does not continue to fall Bitcoin will find an equilbrium hashrate since difficulty adjusts downwards as miners turn off their rigs. The point at which the difficulty stops adjusting downwards is the equilibrium point, a steady state where the existing hashrate can profitably mine or break even without the loss of further hashrate. Currently ,Bitcoin’s hash rate is near 36 EH/s, which would yield a 2.6 percent increase in difficulty if the difficulty re-adjustment happened now. This suggests that the equilibrium level for Bitcoin’s hashrate, at least at the current Bitcoin price of $4,000, is right around the current hashrate. That being said, the price of Bitcoin going up or down can rapidly change the situation. If Bitcoin retraces back towards $3,000, then the hashrate is likely to fall further, and if it rallies strongly then the rigs that were turned off would quickly be switched on again. The fact that there are 20-30 EH/s of rigs shutoff makes the future a bit gloomy for Bitcoin miners, since increases in Bitcoin’s price will not lead to higher profits for miners until all of those rigs are switched back on. There used to be a lag effect between Bitcoin’s price rise and the switching on of new rigs, which allowed miners to make bigger profits before difficulty adjusted upwards. Until the hashrate exceeds 60 EH/s, the time it takes to switch on the dormant rigs will be instant, whereas before miners had to wait weeks or months to order rigs and then switch them on. Based on the data, Bitcoin would probably have to be at $7,000 or higher before Bitcoin miners start seeing increased profit margins. Looking at the broader picture though, it is certainly good news that the Bitcoin mining hashrate has stopped going down since this means Bitcoin will continue to be extremely secure and decentralized. A rapidly dwindling hashrate would make Bitcoin less secure and more centralized, two factors that would threaten Bitcoin’s reputation.
How Privacy Coins Work Bitcoin transactions are semi-anonymous: every transaction on the blockchain is broadcast publicly and visible for all eternity, but the owner of each wallet is unknown. Tying addresses to real-world identities is now relatively easy for the powers-that-be, because everyone has to cash out somewhere, and that usually involves linking bitcoin addresses to bank accounts. Privacy Tech Algorithms The three most common privacy algorithms are zk-Snarks, Coinjoin, and RingCT. The latter method is used in monero; Coinjoin features in dash and is also being trialed with bitcoin; and zk-Snarks are used by most of the Z coins including Zcash. Here’s how they work: RingCT: Monero’s ring signatures allow the sender to hide their transaction among other outputs. In addition, RingCT makes it possible to hide the amount being sent. Coupled with a stealth receiving address, this makes for an extremely discreet way of sending funds. Transparency is optional with monero, which uses an “opaque” blockchain. Coinjoin: Developed by Gregory Maxwell, Coinjoin deploys a ‘safety in numbers’ approach. When two senders despatch a transaction of an identical amount, this is converted into a joint payment. When this occurs, correlating the transaction inputs and outputs is virtually impossible. There are many variants of Coinjoin including Private Send, which is used by dash, and Coin Shuffle; Cash Shuffle is the version currently being tested with bitcoin cash. zk-Snarks: Zero-Knowledge Succinct Non-Interactive Argument of Knowledge is a technology that allows miners to verify transactions without knowing who sent or received the coins. Using a cryptographic hash, each party can prove that a certain statement is true without revealing the precise details of who sent what and where. Although most commonly associated with the Zerocoin family, zk-Snarks are also being tested with ethereum. The Main Privacy Players Zcash: Born out of the Zerocoin protocol, Zcash is basically bitcoin with the option of privacy. There’s a fixed supply of 21 million coins and despite using a public blockchain, Zcash allows for the sender, recipient, and amount being sent all to be concealed. Researchers have published evidence that suggests some Zcash transactions can be de-anonymized, though for everyday usage, Zcash should still provide enough privacy for most people. Monero: Like Zcash, monero has emerged as a viable cryptocurrency in its own right, even for individuals who aren’t interested in privacy. Its privacy tech is highly regarded and numerous deep web marketplaces accept monero. Monero usage surged in the wake of the Alphabay shutdown, after it emerged that feds were unable to determine how much XMR the site’s alleged kingpin, Alexandre Cazes, held. Dash: By market cap, dash is the biggest coin on this list. It’s not an outright privacy coin however, but does have Private Send for users who’d prefer to keep their business to themselves. Transactions are confirmed by 200 TerraHash of X11 ASIC computing power and over 4,500 servers hosted around the world. Zcoin: The other Z worth mentioning, Zcoin enables users to “mint” a coin on a public ledger so as to transform it into a private coin. This process can be repeated multiple times, allowing a coin to be sent publicly or privately as desired. Pivx: An open source project, Pivx is another community-oriented privacy coin. It uses a mixing mechanism that’s based on Coinjoin, but which operates in a decentralized manner, aided by a network of masternodes. PIVX is the first proof of stake cryptocurrency to be based on the version 0.10 or higher Bitcoin codebase, and the PoS structure utilised does away with coin age, meaning in order to get the most out of your staking you must keep your wallet open at all times, resulting in more constantly available nodes, strengthening the network. Verge: XVG is another anonymous cryptocurrency that was designed for privacy-friendly networks such as Tor and I2P. The general consensus is that verge isn’t as private as some of its competitors, so don’t trust it with your life. On the plus side, it boasts fast and low-cost transactions. Spectrecoin Native Tor Integration preserves network privacy and protects users against surveillance, by keeping traffic within the Tor network at all times. OBFS4 Bridge Support facilitates undetected use in countries that block Tor, such as China & Iran. Spectrecoin is the only privacy coin to offer this feature Deep Onion Deep Onion is a hybrid cryptocurrency that uses proof of stake (PoS) and the X13 proof of work (PoW) algorithm. It is natively integrated with the TOR network and ALL connections are made over the TOR network. Deep Onion is 90% premined, but 70% will be air-dropped to community, 20% will be used for bounties, rewards and other promotions, and about 10% will be reserved for the development team. The development team from Deep Onion focuses on creating a secure and anonymous transaction network as much possible. To achieve that they are utilizing the Tor network to connect up to. As a result your IP address is not registered anywhere when using Deep Onion. Instead of this an anonymous Tor network ID is created for you. What sets DeepOnion apart from other privacy Cryptos are its ability to adapt to market changes and constantly updating the platform. In this regard we have new features that will be realised soon in the form of DeepSend, these features will offer more anonymity and privacy operation over the TOR network which will make DeepOnion one of the most secure Private Crypto currencies in this age. However, a particular Crypto currency provides an answer to the subject of Safety and Privacy. DeepOnion is an anonymous cryptocurrency which focuses on the privacy of its users. The DeepOnion developers utilize the Tor network to enable them to meet their key objective which is security. One of the qualities of this coin that makes it attractive to users is the fact that while using it, the user’s IP address is not registered on any platform. Instead of having your IP address registered, one gets an anonymous ID created for them in the Tor network. The Tor network offers multiple levels of privacy to ensure that your location, online activities, and identity are kept entirely confidential. Tor is tightly integrated into the DeepOnion wallet, and it conceals a users identity and their online activity from any third parties by separating your identification and routing online traffic by the implementation of onion routing, which encrypts and then randomly bounces communications through a network of relays around the world. Concealing your IP address is beneficial in that you can make transactions anonymously and no transaction can be traced back to you. Well, while some may fear that this is a loophole allowing for illegal transactions, it provides security for individuals making large transfers. Additionally, the coin boasts prompt transactions, with a faster speed than Bitcoin. The DeepOnion coin is still relatively young, yet it has managed to establish a very supportive community. Like bitcoin, DeepOnion runs on a peer-to-peer network, but its use of Tor network comes in as an added advantage. When using DeepOnion, one can be sure that their internet service provider or even the government is not monitoring them. It is freedom and privacy all in one package.
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