We are witnessing now the first time in bitcoin’s history when the total network hash rate has crossed the one quintillion, 10^18 or one exahash per second benchmark.
This is the strongest proof that bitcoin is alive and its supporters are still very much committed to holding up the network. The most likely reason for this incredible hash rate increase is a massive new mining center coming online or a new generation of mining hardware going live on a large scale for the first time.
However, it is necessary to underline that current hash rate is just an estimation based on the current difficulty levels and the rate of solved blocks by miners. It has already happened before that a fast growth serves as a prelude to what will become the new short-term norm.
Bitcoin has survived a rather volatile week. It put up a stubborn defence against Mike Hearn’s statement that the cryptocurrency has failed. To be honest, it’s far from being the first time that bitcoin is announced dead (indeed the 89th time!), so it is no stranger to such accusations. Hearn wrote in response to comments: “It’s ludicrous that people are actually writing posts on reddit claiming that there is no crisis. People were criticizing my post yesterday on the grounds that I somehow overstated the seriousness of the situation. Do these people actually use the bitcoin network to send money every day?”
In his article Hearn states that bitcoin has always been an experiment and like all experiments, it could fail. He describes the current situation in the industry looks as follows: “The block chain is full. You may wonder how it is possible for what is essentially a series of files to be “full”. The answer is that an entirely artificial capacity cap of one megabyte per block, put in place as a temporary kludge a long time ago, has not been removed and as a result the network’s capacity is now almost completely exhausted.”
Bitcoin community reacted ambiguously. Bitcoin price at once fell below a 400$ level and continued fluctuating. Perhaps in order to take any measures, the majority of mining pools and transaction processors, with Coinbase, Bitstamp, Circle, Jeff Garzik, Roger Ver, and Gavin Andresen among the largest, publicly supported 2 megabyte block size increase with Bitcoin Classic.
Seeing the stir that his article has made, Hearn found it necessary to publish an explanation. He made it clear that his desire was just to put things in his own words and simply express his point of view. He hadn’t been asked to write, or paid to, nor could he financially benefit from doing so in any way. His statement might have been misunderstood as Mike took a job at R3 CEV, the startup that works with blockchain and strives to apply it in the existing financial system. But let’s be fair – R3 isn’t a bitcoin company. Moreover Hearn had never made a secret out of his appointment.
Ups and downs are natural in every development. As for now, bitcoin shows that he is able to survive even at hard times.