Bitcoin’s hash rate has been steadily growing and hit a new all-time high in the first week of July 2019. The previous record was broken in the second half of June, when it reached 65.19 TH/s. Hash rate has always been a very important parameter for miners, as a higher hash rate increases their chances of solving the mathematical problem, sealing off the block and collecting their reward. Higher hash rates also secures the network from the possibility of a 51% attack.
While it is positive, there is also a downfall if the hashrate increases, as the energy consumption increases in turn. As mining difficulty increased, there was increased competition between miners and the demand for Bitcoin increased in parallel. The bull run that started in April 2019, broke 2018’s record in June 2019, when 70% of the crypto losses from 2017-18 were recovered. Network mining fundamentals have shown impressive growth in the past few weeks with both hash rate and difficulty reaching new highs.
Network factors that influence mining profitability include price, block times, difficulty, block reward, and transaction fees. Electricity costs are also a significant factor when determining profitability for various ASICs. During the flood season from April to October every year in the Chinese province of Sichuan, electricity drops to a cost of US$0.04 cents/KWh due to the abundance of hydroelectric power. At this electricity price, all ASICs are currently profitable except those manufactured in 2014.