July, 2019 marked a new precedent for Bitcoin mining when the Bitcoin hash rate reached an all time high. July 3rd marked this special occasion when that hash rate jumped to more than 65 TH/s (terra hashes a second), the current all-time high record.
Why is this such a momentous record? There are a few reasons.
It’s important to understand that the computing resources to mine Bitcoin have gotten exponentially higher over the past few years. It’s been a long time since the lone miner could feasibly mine Bitcoin from their desktop PC. The resources to mine Bitcoin have become so extravagant that miners will invest money to build server farms in low-cost areas. It’s also been reported that some mining operations have been state-sponsored in some countries just so miners could afford to operate.
Due to the expense, it was thought that Bitcoin would see a slow digression in mining activities. 2018 proved that might be the case as miners began to sell off specialized hardware, the second-hand GPU market became flooded with components, and GPU sales plummeted for vendors. The market showed that miners had decided to call it quits. Yet, Bitcoin mining seemed to make a come-back in 2019.
This is good news for Bitcoin. The value of Bitcoin has proven to increase based both on market demand and the hash rate. The more people are mining Bitcoin, the more valuable it appears to become. Likewise, the higher the current hash rate is for Bitcoin, the more stable and secure the cryptocurrency will be. 51% attacks become significantly more difficult as the hash rate climbs.
We could also see a shift in energy resources in some areas of the world due to the rise in the hash rate. This means that miners are using more electricity than ever. Though most mining operations are based on renewable energy sources, the localities that mining farms call home have historically witnessed increase strains on their local power grid plus all the issues that follow with that additional strain. It’s too early to tell, though, as these reports generally aren’t released until months after the fact.