Currently, on an average, 144 blocks are mined per day in the Bitcoin network, for which miners get 12.5 bitcoin as the rewards for each block. At this rate, 1,800 new bitcoins are mined per day which means each bitcoin block takes an average of 10 minutes to be mined.
As per these stats, a total of 739,800 bitcoin should be mined starting January 2019 to now. However, the actual number is much higher. A total of 763,688 bitcoins are actually mined, an increase of 3.2%, 23,888 BTC.
This surge in bitcoin production is because of the hash rate that is not taking a breather. Bitcoin hash rate made its all-time high (ATH) at 126 Th/s on January 17. In fact, the hash rate of the network has been staying above 100 Th/s since Jan. 14.
Due to the increment in hash rate throughout 2019 and now 2020, mining difficulty hasn’t been able to keep up as such enabling the miners to mine blocks much faster and hence generate more bitcoin.
The same surge in bitcoin production was seen in 2018 because of “all of the hash coming on during the bull run,” observed analyst Ceteris Paribus.
In quarter 4 of 2018, the hash rate took a tumble of about 40%, bottoming in Dec. 2018 just like the bitcoin price. Ever since then, the hash rate has been only climbing up. With both price and hash rate crashing in late 2018, block mining also “slowed considerably.”
This current increase in block mining is the perfect opportunity for miners to grab 12.5 bitcoin for each block before it gets reduced to half, 6.25 BTC in May 2020. Just 84 days away, the block reward halving would result in 900 new bitcoins mined every day.
According to a latest study, the upcoming halving would also result in a fifty percent increment in the cost of mining bitcoin.
Currently, the average cost of mining one bitcoin is $6,851 which would double to $12,535 after the halving. This estimate is based on the assumptions that the hash rate would say at its current level, electricity price is 6 cents per kilowatt-hour — this rate is higher than the 2 cents it costs big crypto mining firms, and that 30% of the miners will “transition” to the latest devices while 70% will ”remain on older” ones.
This estimated cost is above the current market price of bitcoin at $9,800. If the market price of BTC doesn’t rise, it would turn several miners into loss. Some miners, especially big ones, will still be profitable, but a lot of miners will operate at a loss and will take their rigs offline.