Seunghyun Yoo

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[EN] Ethereum Network Difficulty (11/3/2018)

As of now, the current network difficulty is 2997.46 TH/round. The exponentially growing network difficulty is now heading south. Considering the current profit of mining blocks, it hits the breakeven level. Let’s do a simple calculation. Suppose a modern VGA card calculates hashes at the rate of 25MH/s with using 100W of electricity. The relative hash rate is (25 MH/s * 15 sec/round) / (2997.46 TH/round) ~= 1.251 * 10^(-7), and thus the expected block reward is equal to 3.753 * 10^(-7) ETH because of 3 ETH of block reward. The expected revenue is 3.753 * 10^(-7) ETH * $200/ETH = $7.506 * 10^(-5) for one round. The amount of energy consumption for one round is 0.1kWh * 15/3600 * $0.18 = $7.5 * 10^(-5). There is no plus for an individual miner anymore. There are three options for the miner who does not live near a hydraulic power plant: (1) turning off mining devices, (2) believing in the scarcity, buying coins from the exchange, and (3) using it as an electric heater… Despite the fact that the overall system converts useful energy to entropy at the rate of 4.9% (the detailed calculations are skipped), it is totally up to speculators’ decision. Once the price goes up by $400/ETH, the burning rate could be negligible with the inflation rate. If the price remains at the same level or goes down, miners should endure the very long time of “winter”, which was quite common in the past.