Most blockchain enthusiasts know about Bitcoin (BTC) and the consensus mechanism used called Proof of Work (PoW). What is less understood, yet equally important, is what is a hash and particularly, what is Bitcoin’s hashrate?
What is hashrate?
Hashrates are a metric used to desribe computing power in a network. Mining hashrate for networks such as Bitcoin is a key security metric. The more hashing (computing) power in the network, the greater its security and its overall resistance to attacks. Although Bitcoin’s exact hashing power is unknown, it is possible to estimate it from the number of blocks being mined and the current block difficulty.
The daily numbers of hashes (raw values) may periodically rise or drop as a result of the randomness of block discovery. Even with a hashing power constant, the number of blocks mined can vary day to day.
What is Bitcoin’s hashrate?
The Bitcoin hashrate has grown rapidly over the years, as illustrated on the all time figure in Bitinfocharts.
This rapid increase in hashrate can be attributed to the growing network of miner, and hence computing power added to the network, making Bitcoin the most resilient blockchain to attacks.
The general agreement of Bitcoin’s hashing power is that it converts to 7 blocks mined per day as an average, which is perhaps a better representation of the underlying power than the hashing power.
The hashing power is estimated from the number of blocks being mined in the last 24h and the current block difficulty. More specifically, given the average time T between mined blocks and a difficulty D, the estimated hash rate per second H is given by the formula H = 2 32 D / T