The Ethereum community is preparing itself ahead of the Beacon Chain launch, which marks the first phase of the ecosystem’s migration toward a proof of stake (PoS) consensus.
As the Dec 1 launch date approaches, the ETH network’s computing power has soared to 277 Tera hashes per second (TH/s), according to data from Trustnode. This figure is just a few points shy of the all-time high at 295 Th/s reached in August 2018.
ETH Hash Rate Reaches 277 TH/s | Source Trustnode
Before hitting today’s millstone, the ETH network saw the amount of computing power directed toward mining Ether explode by over 80% on Oct 6. As per a tweet to crypto analytics firm Glassnode, the Ethereum network’s hash rate broke the 250 TH/s barrier for the first time in over two years.
Ethereum’s mining hash rate has again surpassed the previous record of 256 TH/s and looks well poised to hit a new all-time high.
What Is Behind the Rising ETH Hash Rate?
The hash rate on the ETH blockchain has been rising steadily since July of this year, giving insight into the network’s health and security.
This surge in the network’s computing power is partly attributable to the rising ETH price, which has gained over 350% since the start of this year. The second-largest cryptocurrency even broke the $600 level on Nov. 23 before profit-taking from crypto bulls triggered an intense sell-off.
This soaring value, which has seen Ether even outperforms the ultra-bullish BTC in terms of yearly gains, has made mining more profitable on Ethereum.
As ETH continues to gain value amid growing interest in the token as ETH 2.0 approaches, more miners are likely to join the Ethereum ecosystem, which runs on GPUs.
Another factor that could be in play in the exploding hash rate is the rise in ETH transaction fees. As we discussed yesterday, gas fees on the network have risen steadily since mid-November amid a resurgent DeFi space.
ETH gas fees are rising again | Source Etherscan.io
DeFi users must pay gas fees to swap tokens on decentralized exchanges. These fees go to miners, often contributing more to their profits than block rewards. Therefore, as the gas fees continue to soar, a further increase in the hash rate will likely follow.
The Ethereum 2.0 Effect
The ETH network has hit multiple records since the deposit contract launch brought users the ability to deposit ETH and participate in staking.
Following the Nov. 5 rollout of the deposit contract, the number of Ethereum addresses holding at least 32 ETH has exploded to an all-time high, as per data from glassnode.
Interestingly, the number of addresses holding at least 0.1, 10, or 100 ETH have also skyrocketed, pointing to increased accumulation from speculators and potential validators.