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  • The hash rate (hash power) of the Bitcoin (BTC) network has surged by roughly 30% over the past 24 hours, which if sustained, shows that a major difficulty adjustment may soon be incoming.

    When mining, the power of the high-performing computers that are used to acquire bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is measured through a hash rate. This hash rate, or hash power, is the speed or the total processing power of the Bitcoin network. It is deemed a necessary part of the system, as it gauges and also represents the productivity and efficiency of the mining machine used.

    According to Coinwarz, Bitcoin’s hash rate currently sits at 157.5 exahashes per second (EX/s) after briefly pushing above 160 EH/s. Now, Bitcoin hash power has increased by 42% in two days.

    The spike follows a sharp drop in hash power in late October, which analysts attributed to the end of the rainy season in the Chinese mining hub of Sichuan.

    The province’s abundant and cheap hydroelectric power seems to attract around 80% of Chinese miners during the wet season. In December, CoinShares predicted that Sichuan accounted for 54% of global mining activity.

    Quantum Economics analyst Jason Deane speculated that the sudden rise in Bitcoin hash power could be a sign that many Chinese miners have completed their migration from Sichuan and restored operations in other local mining hubs like Xinjian and Inner Mongolia.

    The sudden spike in mining activity suggests the network is going to produce another notable difficulty adjustment.

    A significant upward adjustment would come at the chagrin of non-Chinese miners who have been enjoying boosted profits after October’s apparent migration from Sichuan led to a 16% negative difficulty adjustment — the second-largest downwards adjustment in BTC’s history.

    Meanwhile, the world’s largest generator of hydroelectric power for the private-sector, Russian firm En+ Group, has said that it would be launching a cryptocurrency mining venture in partnership with local company, BitRiver.

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