Could Bitcoin’s hashrate double during 2022?
To try to imagine what could happen to the Bitcoin hashrate during the next 12 months, it is worth analyzing the trend of the last three years.
Bitcoin hashrate trend
In January 2019, the overall hashrate was around 40 Ehash/s.
The value of BTC was just under $4,000, such that the profitability of Bitcoin mining was less than $0.2 per day per THash/s.
The key point is to analyze how hashrate has changed over the past three years in relation to mining profitability.
The price in January 2019 was actually very low due to the collapse that occurred in the immediately preceding months and due to the absurd hash-war between Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV.
In fact, already in May, it had risen back above $5,000, making the profitability also rise back up to almost $0.25 per THash/s per day.
However, this increase did not act on the hashrate precisely because it was a recovery from the decline of the previous months.
In mid-2019, there was a sudden surge due to the announcement of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, so much so that the price of BTC jumped to over $12,000, and profitability came close to $0.5.
This sudden growth managed to have an effect on the Bitcoin mining hashrate, leading it to reach 100 Ehash/s at the end of September. However, in the meantime, the Bitcoin price had returned to $8,000, but this drop had no major effect on the hashrate.
You have to remember that the hashrate changes very slowly, especially when it goes up, because it means that more machines have to be added to the ones already in use. Often these new machines must be purchased and configured, so it can take months for the hashrate to grow significantly.
In fact, until January of the following year, the hashrate continued to fluctuate between 80 and 120 Ehash/s, and only from February 2020 did it start to grow further until it reached 140.
During this period, the price of BTC went back up to $10,000, but the profitability in the meantime had dropped to $0.15 per day.
After the collapse of the financial markets in March 2020, which briefly brought the price of BTC back to around 4,000$, a new long period of growth of the hashrate began, probably in continuation of the previous trend.
The new peak was recorded in May of the following year, 2021, when it touched 200 Ehash/s before the collapse due to the Chinese ban.
During this long period, the price of BTC exploded, up to $65,000 in mid-April 2021, with a return around the $30,000 mark between May and July.
The profitability of Bitcoin mining
Profitability also exploded, going from $0.15 to $0.45, or tripling in the space of about a year. It was this specific trend that caused the hashrate to increase.
Given that the profitability of Bitcoin mining over the past three years has often been around or below $0.2 per day per Thash/s, it is possible to imagine that it could tend to return to these levels over the next few months or years.
It is currently around $0.26, down from $0.45 in late August.
Bitcoin hashrate forecast for 2022
This last figure reveals that if the price of Bitcoin does not increase, the hashrate is unlikely to double from its current, already high levels.
In fact, the current level is very close to the highs, and with profitability not much higher than $0.2, it is hard to imagine a possible further doubling.
However, if the price would come back, for example, above 60.000$, the profitability could come back around 0,4$, and this could lead to assuming a possible doubling of the hashrate.
So a doubling of the Bitcoin mining hashrate during 2022 seems absolutely possible, but only if the price of BTC returns to high levels, such as above $60,000.
On the contrary, should it far exceed this figure in 2022, e.g., by positioning itself above $70,000, the hashrate could even increase during the year by more than 100%.
In other words, the long-term price movements of BTC determine the trend of the Bitcoin mining hashrate.