While the next difficulty change for Bitcoin is just two days away, the network’s hashrate soared to unprecedented heights, reaching 491.15 exahash per second (EH/s) on May 02, 2023, at block height 787,895. This staggering amount of computational power came tantalizingly close to a half zettahash or five hundred quintillion hashes per second.
Bitcoin’s Hashrate Surges to Unprecedented Heights, Nearly Reaching Half a Zettahash
On the second day of May 2023, Bitcoin’s hashrate achieved a remarkable feat, tapping into a new record at block height 787,895. In a stunning display of computational power, the network reached a 24-hour high of approximately 491.15 EH/s. This momentous spike in hashrate comes at a time when the network has been recording an average of roughly 344.4 EH/s over the past 2,016 blocks, with the hashrate dipping below the 300 EH/s range on five separate occasions since April 2, 2023.
However, the month of April has seen slower block intervals, with block times consistently exceeding the ten-minute average over the 30-day period. The consequences of Bitcoin’s slower block times have been significant, leading to a notable backup in the mempool. As of 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on May 2, data shows that a staggering 240,000+ transactions remain unconfirmed.
The latest surge in hashrate follows a previous milestone achieved on April 18, 2023, when the network tapped 440.80 EH/s at block height 786,013. However, Bitcoin’s current all-time high of 491.15 EH/s is even more impressive, and awfully close to a half zettahash. To put this into perspective, a zettahash represents an astronomical number of hashes, equivalent to one sextillion hashes per second.
In a recent report by Bitcoin.com News, research analyst Sam Wouters from River Financial made a bold prediction that Bitcoin could enter the zettahash era in two years’ time. Wouters’ estimates suggest that “at the current growth rate in 2023, we’d reach a Zettahash by the end of 2025.” Despite the network’s quick all-time high in hashrate, block times continue to lag behind the ten-minute average, and a downward difficulty adjustment between 1.22% to 2% is expected.
At the time of writing, Foundry USA reigns as the top mining pool, boasting 107.66 EH/s or 31.17% of Bitcoin’s total hashpower. Foundry is followed closely by Antpool with 80.75 EH/s, F2pool’s 42.62 EH/s, Binance Pool’s 29.91 EH/s, and Viabtc’s 23.18 EH/s.