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Over the Christmas weekend, the computing power on the BTC network plummeted by a major 40%. This was due to a major winter storm that swept across the continent of North America, causing Bitcoin miners in the US to power down.
According to reports, the Bitcoin mining hashrate (a metric for the computing power on the BTC blockchain) dropped to 156 EH/s, a difference of about 100EH/s or 40% between December 21st and 24th.
However, by Monday, the 26th, the hashrate had climbed back up to 250 EH/s.
The action of Bitcoin miners in the US powering down is called curtailment and was done to help the electricity grids. Since mining consumes significant power, turning off their mining will help reduce the demand on the grid during the storm.
According to reports from Mining Pool Stats, Foundry USA (the largest mining pool in the United States) lost over 50% of its hashrate during this time. This went down as the biggest loss of any mining pool. Also, other mining giants like Riot Blockchain (RIOT) and Core Scientific (CORZ) curtailed their mining operations.
However, while the curtailment did help the electric grid in the US, many Bitcoin miners are now calling for a more diverse geographical distribution of Bitcoin mining, saying a 40% dip in hashrate is too high.
According to a tweet from Europe-based, BTC miner, @DenisRusinovich,
“Bitcoin miners will need to be meteorologist nowdays as well. Severe winter weather in North America impacted the biggest mining pool Foundry with approx 20 EH being switched off. Another confirmation that bitcoin’s geographical diversification is vital!”