Bitcoin’s (BTC) hash rate spiked to all-time highs of 398 exahash on March 23, and analysts have been speculating miners are starting to turn their rigs back on as the Bitcoin price rises.
According to data aggregator YCharts the Bitcoin network hash rate has dropped to 344.63 as of March 27, an increase from 335.32 on March 26 but it is still up from 178.77 one year ago.
In a March 26 post, Sam Wouters, a research analyst at Bitcoin (BTC) financial service provider River Financial, speculated the spike in hash rate is connected to unused mining inventory coming online, new facilities going live, and entrepreneurs finding cheap sources of mining.
Bitcoin’s hashrate touched 400 Exahash. At the current growth rate in 2023, we’d reach a Zettahash by the end of 2025.
I’m getting questions and concerns from people.
Where is the growth coming from? Is it nation-states? Secret mining operations? Did someone find some exploit? pic.twitter.com/MMWfgPbqty
— Sam Wouters (@SDWouters) March 27, 2023
“While Bitcoin’s price was so low and as much inventory as possible was brought online last year, at some point, maximum capacity of what the network could handle was reached,” he said.
“Now that the price has been rising again and some time has passed, more of this inventory has been able to go online,” Wouters added.
In addition, Wouters says that Hydro models are starting to get into the market, and they have “250+ TH/s per machine, which adds tremendous hash rate.”
A March 20 analysis from investment banking company Stifel shared a similar sentiment, speculating that the recent spike could be connected to miners bringing hardware back online.
“We anticipate overall network hash rate will continue to climb higher as a result of attractively priced hardware being bought up by well-capitalized miners.”
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Nazar Khan from Bitcoin mining company TeraWulf, explained the company is currently maximizing the hash rate of all its rigs and has recently brought more online at its new Nautilus Cryptomine facility.
“Wulf has the opportunity to add 80 MW of capacity at LMD and 50 MW at Nautilus. The recent price movement is an indication of the long-term value of the ability to expand at low-costt energy sites,” Khan said.
Great start to the morning at the #NuclearPowered #Nautilus facility ⛏ Kicking off the week clean and green pic.twitter.com/XY9XFeUloF
— TeraWulf (@TeraWulfInc) March 20, 2023
According to Khan, while some have speculated the lower prices forced miners to shut down their rigs and wait for the BTC price to improve, TeraWulf was able to continue ming bitcoin at lower price levels because of their lost cost from “efficient mining fleets.”
Related: Crypto miner explains how Bitcoin mining stabilizes grids
However, regardless of the reason for the spike, Khan says TeraWulf is not expecting the network hash rate to continue to increase through the first half of the year irrespective of the BTC price.
“There is a lag between when investment decisions are made and that capacity comes online,” Khan explained.
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