Bitcoin’s hash rate reached a record-breaking 544 exahashes per second (EH/s) on December 25, marking a remarkable 130% increase since January, when it stood at 253 EH/s.
The surge in hash rate coincides with Bitcoin’s price skyrocketing by over 150% in 2023. While this may seem like a positive development, it brings added challenges for miners.
Bitcoin Profitability Takes a Hit
An increased hash rate is a critical indicator of network security and efficiency but has intensified the pressure on miners already grappling with a profitability slump.
The hash price, an important profitability metric, currently sits at $0.09 per terahashes per second per day, according to the data compiled by HashrateIndex, down from its recent high of $0.136 on December 17.
The decline in profitability is primarily due to sustained high fee pressure in Bitcoin’s mempools and the backlog of unconfirmed transactions. This congestion, persisting for almost a year, not only raises costs for miners but also leads to elevated transaction fees for users.
While occasional spikes in transaction fees occur during periods of high demand, the ongoing mempool congestion remains a significant concern for both miners and users. As Bitcoin continues to climb higher, addressing these scalability challenges becomes crucial for sustaining the network’s health.
However, experts are not worried about it. Glassnode analyst “Checkmatey” said that Bitcoin has been grappling with nearly a year of continuous mempool congestion, experiencing sustained elevated fee pressure since February.
But miner fee revenue is reaching near all-time highs, mirroring peaks in hash rate and difficulty. The analyst emphasized Bitcoin’s fundamentals remain strong despite the prolonged mempool congestion. With hash rate and difficulty at record levels, the analyst deemed the network to be as safe, secure, and sound as ever.
“We’re approaching almost an entire year without fully clearing Bitcoin mempools, having sustained elevated fee pressure since Feb. Miner fee revenue is near an all-time high, as are hash rate and Difficulty. Bitcoin is as safe, secure, and sound as it has ever been. Bullish.”
The upcoming halving event may exacerbate challenges for miners, reducing rewards from the current 6.25 to 3.125. Experts, however, anticipate that Bitcoin’s halving might subsequently ease the rapidly rising mining difficulty. Additionally, the growing hash rate signals enhanced network security, potentially propelling BTC’s price toward a bullish market.
Fourfold Increase in BTC Miners’ Transaction Revenue
In 2023, Bitcoin miners have been accruing an average daily transaction fee revenue of $2 million.
The combined daily revenue from block rewards and transaction fees in December reached a peak of $64 million, marking an impressive 400% surge from the year-to-date figure. Throughout the month, the daily revenue from mining activities has consistently remained above $33.85 million, indicating substantial profits for miners during the fourth quarter of 2023.