Bitcoin’s (BTC) network hash rate, a measure of its computational horsepower, has slumped 46% since its peak level in mid-May, as Bitcoin’s hash rate has fallen to its lowest levels since early November as mining operations in China start unplugging.
It has been reported that the hash rate is currently 91.2 exahashes per second (EH/s), close to half of its 171.4 EH/s high posted less than six weeks ago.
However, it has also reported a drop in mining profitability from a peak of $0.449 per day per terahash per second to current levels of $0.226 over the same period.
The report said that Bitcoin’s hash rate has not been this low for eight months, last creeping below 90 EH/s on November 3, 2020. A higher hash rate means greater competition among miners to validate new blocks, which also increases the scale of resources required to perform a 51% attack by making the network more secure. The slump in hash rate and mining profitability is due to the ongoing crackdown from Chinese authorities on Bitcoin mining facilities across the country.
Over the weekend, images of major mining pools in China’s Sichuan province being shut down were shared across social media.
Last Friday (June 18), authorities in Ya’an City, a prefecture-level city in the western part of Sichuan, ordered local Bitcoin mining operations to shut down. In late 2019, CoinShares estimated that Sichuan hosted more than half of the global hash rate, attracting miners with its cheap and seasonally abundant hydropower.
Thus, on June 12, Yunnan provincial authorities also issued a notice ordering an investigation into the alleged illegal use of electrical power by individuals and companies involved in Bitcoin mining.