The Bitcoin network is healthier than ever as its hash rate continues to grow nearly exponentially in the long term, despite the tremendous 60% price drop from 20,000 USD to 7,500 USD since December 2017.
Miners cryptographically hash transactions into blocks and add them to the blockchain, and this is how the Bitcoin network is maintained and secured. Miners receive freshly minted from the block reward and transaction fees in return for their efforts, and this has become a very popular source of income in the cryptocurrency world.
The hash rate is the amount of cryptographic hashes processed by computers per second and is a good measure of the total processing power Bitcoin miners are contributing and is perhaps a good measure of the health of the Bitcoin network for a couple of reasons. The difficulty of hashing increases as hash rate rises, and therefore as hash rate rises Bitcoin becomes more cryptographically secure. Also a rising hash rate indicates that Bitcoin is becoming more popular, since more people are dedicating processing power to trying to obtain Bitcoins through mining.
In the long term the hash rate has been rising practically exponentially, going from about 800,000 TH/s at the beginning of 2016, 2 million TH/s at the beginning of 2017, to 16 million TH/s at the start of 2018, and now sits near 31 million TH/s. This is a good metric of how Bitcoin has been spreading globally and it’s use rising exponentially during that time.
Bitcoin’s price hit an all-time record high near 20,000 USD per coin in early December 2017, and since then has been on a pretty swift decline which has brought it down to 7,500 USD per coin at the time of this writing. Hundreds of billions of dollars have exited the Bitcoin market as a result. Despite this huge 60+% price drop, the network hash rate has gone up approximately 140% from 13 million TH/s to 31 million TH/s at the same time.
This rapid rise in mining power on the Bitcoin network indicates that the consensus of miners think Bitcoin won’t be dropping in the long term, or they wouldn’t be investing tremendous amounts of money into their Bitcoin mining equipment.
The rise in hash rate also suggests that Bitcoin continues to be the #1 cryptocurrency and is the cryptocurrency that most miners decide to focus their efforts on since it has been and continues to be the gold standard of the cryptocurrency world.
Bitcoin is by far more widely used than any other cryptocurrency, since it is the first and truly the essence of what a cryptocurrency should be from the time it launched in 2009. It is cryptographically secure, and allows users to send money anywhere in the world instantly for anything they want to purchase, and is a lot more private than any other long-distance payment method like banks or Western Union.
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