Bitcoin has been making headlines lately, as its price continues to rise, and the hash rate of the network has reached all-time highs. According to data aggregator YCharts, Bitcoin’s network hash rate hit 398 terahashes per second (TH/s) on March 23, a significant increase from 335.32 TH/s on March 26. This surge in hash rate is being attributed to various factors, including unused mining inventory coming online, new facilities going live, and entrepreneurs finding cheap sources of mining.
Sam Wouters, a research analyst at Bitcoin financial service provider River Financial, believes that the recent spike in hash rate is linked to the inventory of mining hardware that was brought online last year. He notes that while Bitcoin’s price was low, miners brought as much inventory online as possible, and the network reached maximum capacity. However, with the recent price surge and some time passing, more inventory has been able to go online, leading to the spike in hash rate.
Wouters also suggests that Hydro models are starting to enter the market, with “250+ TH/s per machine, which adds tremendous hash rate.” Similarly, a March 20 analysis from investment banking company Stifel shared a similar sentiment, speculating that miners are bringing hardware back online, which is leading to the increase in hash rate.
One company that is benefitting from the recent surge in hash rate is TeraWulf, a US-based Bitcoin mining company. According to its CEO, Ammar Khan, TeraWulf has been able to continue mining Bitcoin at lower price levels due to its efficient mining fleets. Khan explains that some have speculated that lower prices forced miners to shut down their rigs and wait for the BTC price to improve, but TeraWulf has been able to continue mining due to their low-cost energy sites.
Khan also notes that TeraWulf has the opportunity to expand its capacity by 80 MW at LMD and 50 MW at Nautilus. He believes that the recent price movement is an indication of the long-term value of the ability to expand at low-cost energy sites. However, he does not expect the network hash rate to continue to increase through the first half of the year, as there is a lag between when investment decisions are made and when that capacity comes online.
In conclusion, while the exact reason for the recent spike in hash rate is unclear, it is evident that Bitcoin mining is becoming increasingly profitable, and miners are taking advantage of the current market conditions. As more companies enter the market, and more inventory comes online, it will be interesting to see how the hash rate continues to evolve and how it impacts the price of Bitcoin.