In brief

  • On May 11, Bitcoin’s hashrate touched highs of 103 exahashes per second.
  • It then rapidly dropped—but this was expected.
  • The network’s hashrate has since made a quick recovery.

Bitcoin’s network hashrate recovered this weekend following a worrying post-halving dip. 

The Bitcoin network’s hashrate represents the combined amount of computing power spent on mining new blocks. Today, it hit highs of 103 exahashes per second.

This is a recovery from Thursday’s dip, when the Bitcoin network was backed by 87 exahashes per second—that’s the lowest it’s been since December. 

The hash rate likely dipped on Thursday due to the Bitcoin halving, when mining rewards were cut from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC per block. This meant that less powerful miners were taken offline, since it was no longer profitable to run them.

Bitcoin mining profitability took a hit following the halving. It dropped to lows of $0.07 per hash on Wednesday—levels unseen since March. Now, it stands at $0.08 per hash. 

Miners had rushed to get as much out of the network as possible before the block reward halved. On the day of the halving, Bitcoin’s hashrate hit 138 exahashes per second—that’s the highest it’s ever been. 

Experts told Decrypt that the post-halving dip in network hash rate was expected and should be temporary. The halving, after all, is baked into the Bitcoin protocol and occurs, like clockwork, every four years. This is the third Bitcoin halving.

But Denis Rusinovich, operator of a mining farm in Kazakhstan, told Decrypt earlier this week that the price of Bitcoin was unexpected. Ahead of the Bitcoin halving, Bitcoin’s price hit $10,000—a full recovery from the mid-March coronavirus crash, which cut Bitcoin’s price from around $9,000 to $4,000 within a few days. This allowed older miners to stay in business for longer. 

“[It] was generally expected by miners that overall drop will be around 30%, but clearly one major driver that no one could expect is BTC price level. That gave additional support for less efficient miners to stay afloat the last two weeks,” he said. 

Should the price dip once again, even the more powerful computers that have since inhabited the network could struggle to turn a profit.