The Bitcoin network is on course to reach a new record as its hashrate nears 100 quintillion, according to data published by cryptocurrency exchange Blockchain.com.
At the time of writing, the hash rate stands at 97.4 quintillion, which in its own right, is a record, but it seems that the prize is on the milestone figure of 100 quintillion hashes per second.
In the second half of 2018, the hash rate was in recession but started staging a comeback in January this year. Three months later, Bitcoin followed suit and its price rose to more than $10,000.
If the current trends are maintained, the hash rate is likely to hit the milestone target in just a matter of days. To illustrate the Bitcoin hashrate grown pace, the metric hovered around 55 quintillion hashes per second in Sep. 2018.
What is hash rate?
In a nutshell, hash rate can be defined as the processing power of the bitcoin network or any other blockchain network.
The bitcoin network is a decentralized ledger that works on a cryptographic protocol. The transactions on the protocol, known as the blockchain, are publicly broadcast while consensus is reached through the proof-of-work algorithm commonly referred to as mining.
Mining is the process that mints new bitcoins, something akin to how central banks or governments print fiat.
After bitcoins are mined, blocks of verified transactions need to be ‘hashed’ before being appended to the increasing chain of blocks. Each of these hashes is done by solving complex mathematical puzzles. The hash rate measures the number of times that the network attempts to solve the puzzle every second.
The hash rate, is, therefore, an indicator of how healthy the bitcoin network is. A higher hash rate is preferred as it goes a long way in securing the network against 51 percent attack. A higher hash rate means that more miners are required to successfully launch a 51 percent network attack.
The increase in hashing power is also an indication that the Bitcoin network has gained acceptance and more people and organizations are interested in it. The hashing power increased after the powerful Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASIC) were deployed on the network.
Bitcoin gains will be fiat’s loss
According to Max Keiser, host of the financial TV Show Keiser Report, the price of Bitcoin is correlated to the hash rate, an evident fact so far this year. Now, he has taken things a notch higher and claims that fiat currencies will feel the pinch of Bitcoin’s success.
The rate at which the bitcoin hash rate is growing has not gone unnoticed. Hodlonaut, the organizer of the Lightning Torch relay, noted on Twitter that the hashrate was just over 6 quintillion in September 2017.
“Today, hashrate increases with that same amount every 2-3 weeks,” added Hodlonaut.
While Bitcoin’s hashrate has reached a new milestone, some have noted that its price hasn’t capitalized on the network strength. Trading around $10,400; bitcoin is far from its all-time high of nearly $20,000 reached in December 2017.
Bitcoin is more than 180 percent up since the beginning of the year.