Bitcoin mining difficulty climbed to a record high on Monday, a large part of which is attributed to Ethereum’s “Merge” upgrade freeing up more room for Bitcoin miners, according to Bloomberg.

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Fast facts

  • Bitcoin mining difficulty, a measure of the amount of work a miner needs to put into verifying blockchain transactions in order to mine Bitcoin, rose by 13.55% in the two weeks leading up to Monday, setting a new high record.
  • The changes in mining difficulty are highly correlated with changes in the mining hashrate, which is the level of computing power used for mining.
  • Experts say the surge in Bitcoin mining can partly be credited to the decline in Ether mining since the Merge update, which took place on Sept. 15, 2022, the Bloomberg report said. 
  • The Merge saw Ethereum, the world’s second-largest blockchain, transition from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, cutting its carbon footprint by 99%. 
  • The update replaced nearly 1 million mining computers with Ether holders in mining Ethereum cryptocurrencies, Bloomberg reported.
  • Proof-of-stake allows users to mine crypto by staking a certain number of tokens, while proof-of-work has miners compete in solving mathematical problems with their computers to dig out cryptocurrencies.

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