What is Hash Rate?
Hash rate is the measure of the computational power in a proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency network. The hash rate is used to determine the health, security, and mining difficulty of a blockchain network.
A hash is an alphanumeric code that is randomly generated, and hashing is the process of guessing that code (or as close to it as possible). Each guess submitted by computers on the network is measured, and the hash rate is how many guesses per second are taking place across the entire network.
Understanding Hash Rates
Hash rates are measured by the number of guesses each computer makes per second to solve for the hash on a blockchain network. This is an essential part of the crypto mining process on a proof-of-work (PoW) network.
Here’s how it works:
The more computers that join a blockchain network and process hashes (guesses) on the network, the higher the hash rate is.
How to Measure Hash Rate
Hash rate is measured by the number of hashes (or guesses) per second on a blockchain network. The larger the blockchain network, the higher the hash rate.
Because there are typically hundreds (or thousands) of computers making millions of guesses per second, hash rate is typically measured in terahashes, or 1 trillion hashes, per second. For example, the Bitcoin network hash rate is measured in terahashes per second.
Smaller networks may be measured in smaller increments, such as kilohashes per second (1,000/s), megahashes per second (1 million/s), or gigahashes per second (1 billion/s).
Why is Hash Rate Important?
Hash rate has importance as an indicator of the overall security of a blockchain network, as well as the mining difficulty for miners to earn block rewards. The more miners who are part of a blockchain network competing to mine blocks, the less likely it is for a malicious attack on the network to occur.
Hash rate also affects the mining difficulty of a given blockchain. Some blockchains increase the difficulty of mining a block as the hash rate increases. This means that crypto networks with very high hash rates may be nearly impossible for individual miners to compete.
What is Bitcoin’s hash rate?
The hash rate on the Bitcoin network as of October 2022 is around 240 million terahashes per second (or 240,000,000 TH/s). The network first hit a hash rate of 1 TH/s in May 2011 and has increased every year since then.
What happens when the hash rate changes (increases or decreases)?
The hash rate is a gauge of the overall network activity by miners on a proof-of-work (PoW) network. When the hash rate increases, here’s what it means:
When the hash rate of a PoW blockchain network decreases, this typically means:
Where can I see different crypto hash rates?
There are several places to view the hash rates of popular PoW crypto blockchain networks. Websites such as BitInfoCharts and others measure the hash rates of various cryptocurrencies. Here are a few of the most popular PoW hash rates:
The Bottom Line
Hash rates are indicative of the popularity of a cryptocurrency. The more computing power dedicated to a given crypto network, the more likely it is that the cryptocurrency is increasing in growth and adoption.