We have touched the hash rate while discussing Bitcoin mining. If not that article, you would have definitely come across the term hash rate or hash power at other places. Many cryptocurrency-related websites keep on publishing news stating that the hash rate has come down or went up.
What is hash rate, and what is the significance of it going up and down? If you have been curious to know answers to these questions, then your curiosity ends here. We will talk about the Hash Power in detail in this article.
What is the Hash rate?
Hash rate, also known as hash power, tells you the combined computational power of a cryptocurrency network or the power of an individual mining rig.
In the mining process, it tells you the efficiency and productivity of the machine used for mining.
Let us try to understand it with respect to mining. We have already discussed that the mining process consumes a lot of energy because it has to solve intensive mathematical problems to find the blocks. Mining will be successful only when the miner hash the block’s headers such that it is less than or equal to the target. The difficult level of the target changes every 2016 block. The miner finds the hash or target by changing a small portion of the block’s headers known as a nonce. The chances of getting the hash are low as there are many zeros. The number of attempts made per second to find the block is called the hash rate. Do you have any more questions now?
Hash Power Measurement and units:
How do we measure the hash rate? You will not know if the hash rate is high or low if you don’t know how to measure it. To measure hash rate, we have a unit as hashes per second (h/s). It will tell you about the speed of the machine you are using for mining. It is counted using terms like Kilo, Mega, Giga, Tera, Peta, and Exa.
- 1 kilo hash per second (1 Kh/s) = one thousand hashes per second
- 1 Mega hash per second (1 Mh/s) = one million hashes per second
- 1 Giga hash per second (1 Gh/s) = one billion hashes per second
- 1 Tera hash per second (1 Th/s) = one trillion hashes per second
- 1 Peta hash per second (1 Ph/s) = one quadrillion hashes per second
- 1 Exa hash per second (1 Eh/s) = one quintillion hashes per second
Hash Power Importance:
The hash rate of the cryptocurrency is essential to track. It tells the strength of a blockchain network – more specifically, its security. Hash Power increases with more machines dedicated by honest miners to discovering the next block. With a higher Hash Power, the harder it becomes for malicious agents to disrupt the network.
There is a 51% attack related to Bitcoin. When the hash rate falls, it means reduced cost to perform a 51% attack. It makes the network more prone to attack. When the Hash Power is higher, the chances of 51% reduce.
Hash Power Impact:
You may be mining on your own or through a mining pool, Hash Power is an important parameter to consider. If the hash rate is higher, it means the chances of mining a block are higher. When the Hash Power is at the peak, miners will have more chances of receiving block rewards.
How is the hash rate calculated?
There is no way you can know the exact Hash Power. However, you can make an estimation based on the public data available.
Now that you understand the Hash Power, you must be wondering – what is the Hash Power of your favourite cryptocurrency – Bitcoin? You can estimate the hashing power of Bitcoin from the number of blocks mined in the last 24 hours and the current block difficulty. For example, the average time between mined blocks is T and a difficulty D, the estimated hash rate per second H is given by the formula H = (2 to the power 32) * D / T.
We hope the article was helpful and you learned something new. We will continue to share such topics in the future as well.