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If you are interested in blockchain and crypto mining, you must have encountered a term called mining difficulty. It is a concept that you should clearly understand to take part in mining activities. To know what mining difficulty is and its benefits, read on.
Every blockchain has a mining process by which miners can generate fresh coins. An algorithm regulates how difficult it is for the miners to mine a certain block. This difficulty is known as mining difficulty.
For mining a block, a miner must solve complex mathematical problems by finding a valid hash. As the process progresses, the network adjusts the rate so miners can find valid hashes. Each blockchain has its algorithm to regulate this adjustment. The algorithm increases or decreases the mining difficulty based on the rate at which miners can mine a block.
In recent times, the number of miners has increased manifold. Thus automatically, the mining difficulty of blockchains has also increased. Let’s take an example for you to understand better. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that has become very popular. As a result, the number of miners on that blockchain has also increased.
The more the number of miners, the more computing power is used in the peer-to-peer network. And as a result, greater is the competition for the limited block rewards. Thus to adjust the rate at which miners can find blocks, the network raises its hash power.
This maintains the time a miner or a mining pool can successfully mine a block. The more the hash power, the more difficult it will be to find valid hashes for a block. Currently, it takes about 10 minutes to mine a Bitcoin block.
After every 2,016 blocks are mined, Bitcoin adjusts its mining difficulty. The difficulty will increase based on the number of miners and their combined hash power.
Mining difficulty may seem to you as a hindrance on your path to getting block rewards. However, it has its benefits too. They are:
As the mining difficulty increases, it becomes more difficult for a hacker to conduct a malicious attack on the network. Due to the increasing difficulty, miners use special ASIC mining computers that make trillions of guesses each second to find the correct hash for a block. A mining pool has scores of such systems on its floor to conduct the process. Thus, it is very difficult for hackers to get enough computing power for majority control and launch an attack.
A miner’s computing power differs from person to person and pool to pool. Thus to maintain parity in the mining process, the blockchain network raises or lowers its mining difficulty. This ensures that the network is generating blocks at a steady rate.
To overcome mining difficulty, you can simply join a mining pool. It will help you team up your computing power and get better results. Mining has its challenges; however, teaming up with other miners makes those difficulties much easier to bear.