Claudio Koller ยท 3/9/2023

What is the Bitcoin Mining Difficulty?

Since the process of mining is purely a matter of luck, one could argue that the more miners are active in the network, the faster new blocks are found. Thus, the average block time in the Bitcoin network would change depending on how many miners are active. This would have fatal consequences on Bitcoin's distribution schedule and lead to unintended inflation.

Bitcoin Mining briefly explained

Bitcoin mining is the process of adding new transactions to the bitcoin blockchain and is responsible for the security of the network.

The bitcoin protocol automatically adjusts the mining difficulty to ensure that new blocks are added to the blockchain at a consistent rate, regardless of the processing power used for mining.

The more Computing Power, the more difficult the computational Task

The more miners join the network competing for new blocks, the higher the mining difficulty becomes. As the mining power in the network increases, the protocol automatically increases the Difficulty to make it harder to find new blocks and meet the average ten-minute block time.

Mining Difficulty is an indicator of the level of difficulty in bitcoin mining. It determines the complexity of the cryptographic computational task to be solved and varies depending on the number of miners or, more precisely, the computational power in the network.

> Learn more about Hash Functions in Bitcoin.

Difficulty Adjustment

The bitcoin network is designed to add a new block to the bitcoin blockchain every ten minutes on average.

Accordingly, the Difficulty must be increased or decreased to maintain the desired block time of 10 minutes on average. Therefore, the Difficulty is adjusted every 2,016 blocks, which is approximately 2 weeks. This adjustment is also referred to as Difficulty Adjustment.


The bitcoin mining Difficulty is the difficulty of the task to find a new block in the bitcoin blockchain. The difficulty is adjusted at regular intervals to ensure that the average time to find a new block remains constant.

This is necessary to maintain the decentralized nature of the bitcoin network and to ensure that new blocks are added to the blockchain at a steady pace.

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