As we see Bitcoins price continue to fidget just a bit above the $9000 level, analysts are also seeing some of the slowest mining difficulty changes in years.
Wolfie Zhao at Coindesk reports that the latest incremental adjustment of Bitcoin mining difficulty rates is the smallest of eight rate changes since March 2010.
“The bitcoin network adjusted its difficulty level at 01:18 UTC on July 1 to 15.7842 trillion – down a mere 0.0033% from the previous level of 15.7847 trillion set June 17,” Zhao writes today. “The percentage change is small enough that it is rounded up to a zero, data from BTC.com shows. … The negligible adjustment on Wednesday means the total average computing power connected to Bitcoin over the past 14 days has barely changed, either due to the lack of new mining devices plugging in or any newly added computing power being offset by those that are squeezed out after Bitcoin’s halving.”
As part of the explanation of this stasis, Zhao points to some bottlenecks in getting new mining equipment out into the community, and some conflict between big players.
“An internal power struggle between the two co-founders at Beijing-based Bitmain, the world’s largest Bitcoin miner maker, has affected the company’s shipment logistics as well as its mining chip supply chain. Some customers indicated they were hesitant to bulk purchase miners from Bitmain before the situation settled.”
Then, too, as Zhao points out, we are in a period of very low volatility for Bitcoin. It’s not swinging wildly from $6,000 to $10,000 and back again. Like the fall of 2018, where BTC stuck at around $6000 for weeks, it’s now holding steady just over $9000, which is fine for a lot of traders who are buying and holding for the future. For instance, in years past, some prognosticators have said that we’re going to see million-dollar Bitcoin by 2024, or even by the end of this year.
If Bitcoin’s going to post the kinds of enormous increases that its biggest fans are looking for in 2020, it had better get started. That said, $9000 seems like a healthy price point, and the low volatility is reassuring some investors who are scared of wild last-minute swings. Take a look at historical charts to form your an opinion of how Bitcoin would be useful in your portfolio.