The amount of computing power on the Ethereum network is currently at an all time high following weeks of volatility in key metrics on the blockchain.
According to data from on-chain analytics provider Glassnode, the Ethereum hash rate hit an all time high of more than 250 terahashes per second (TH/s) on Oct. 6, marking an 80% rise since January. Glassnode reported that a surge in the hype surrounding DeFi projects this year sparking higher gas fees may have contributed to the metric reaching an all time high.
#Ethereum hash rate hits an ATH.
Ethereum miners have pushed the hash rate to a new record high in the wake of the #DeFi hype and surging fees.
It crossed 250T/s and is now up 80% since the beginning of the year.
Live chart: https://t.co/tDWUOcGLSV pic.twitter.com/x9vNicblrA
— glassnode (@glassnode) October 6, 2020
In addition, data from crypto mining pool F2Pool shows that it is currently up to three times as profitable to mine Ethereum (ETH) instead of Bitcoin (BTC).
F2Pool, which calculates mining profitability by determining current revenue (block reward and transaction fees) and deducting the cost of power, reports that BTC Antminer S19 Pro miners can earn $4.33 in profits over 24 hours, while ETH miners using GTX TitanV 8 cards can expect $15.56 over the same period — making it 259% more profitable at present. Six of the mining rigs monitored by F2Pool show Ethereum miners show a daily profit of more than $10, while only two Bitcoin mining rigs have profits of more than $4.
Hash rate is a key metric when determining the health and security of a blockchain. It measures the computing power of the network. The last time the Ethereum hash rate was near these all time high levels was in August 2018, when the metric reached 246 TH/s. However, the price of the token steadily decreased from more than $400 to under $100 by December that year.
Various other metrics of the Ethereum network may be incentivize miners to choose the network over Bitcoin.
A surge in DeFi coupled with stablecoin growth drove transaction fees on the Ethereum blockchain to all-time highs in Q3. Data from Glassnode shows Ethereum miners made $166 million from transaction fees alone in September. In contrast, Bitcoin miners earned only $26 million from fees over the same period.
However, earnings from transaction fees have dropped significantly more recently. Cointelegraph reported that average ga fees have dwindled since peaking at $11.60 on Sept. 17th to $2.98 on Oct. 1, a decline of more than 74% in two weeks.