Milestone: The Bitcoin Network Reaches One Exahash

By Albert Szmigielski

Sometime around January 24th 2016 the Bitcoin Network reached one Exahash per second for the first time ever. That is 1 quintillion, a 1 followed by 18 zeros or 1018 hashes per second. That is just an insane amount of computing power.

4174_07_01 30days - 16-01-27 - 12:32:34 PMImage: Bitcoin Network reaches ONE exahash. Image courtesy of blockchain.info

Over the last two years the Bitcoin Network hashrate increased roughly 50-fold.

4174_07_01- 2years - 16-01-27 - 12:30:34 PMImage: Bitcoin Hashrate over the past two years. Image courtesy of blockchain.info

Why is this a big deal?

Bitcoin currently has the most secure network in the world. To duplicate the network it would take a lot of resources. At a low price of $150 per Terahash, it would cost approximately $150 million just for the mining hardware. Then there are installation and running costs. This is by the way also the cost to do a majority attack on Bitcoin. Keep in mind, even with a 51% attack you can’t steal anyone else’s bitcoins, you can only double spend your own. The hashing power of Bitcoin is staggering, no other network comes close. This is important to a potential developer writing services that require a blockchain.

Bitcoin Network Security

As a developer you want to choose the most secure network to deploy your blockchain applications and services. You can give your clients peace of mind that whatever it is you are offering, it is on the most secure blockchain in the world. Bitcoin is also the most robust blockchain. For the past seven years it was attacked from every single angle by every hacker tempted by the riches that reside on the blockchain. Every time Bitcoin survived, not only that, but it also got stronger. Don’t take my word for it, here is Andreas M. Antonopoulos explaining the security of Bitcoin:

So HAPPY MILESTONE BITCOIN!!!

Technical Details regarding the Hashrate

The hashrate is of course calculated and not measured. The network doesn’t know what hardware every miner is running. You can get the current hashrate from your Bitcoin wallet at any time using the getmininginfo command in the console. You can also use getnetworkhashps to just get the hashrate without any additional information.

Screenshot - 15-07-14 - 11:24:52 AM - getmininginfo-croppedImage: On Jul 14 2015, at block 365,306 the hashrate was 353.8 Petahashes.

Screenshot - 16-01-27 - 12:50:51 PM - getmininginfoImage: Today, Jan 27 2016 the hashrate is 946.6 Petahashes. Almost tripple from half a year ago!

If you were wondering how the hashrate is calculated you can take a look at the rpcmining.cpp file from bitcoin core repository on GitHub. In this file (currently on line 37) you will see the GetNetworkHashPS function.

Conclusion

There we have it, one exahash of hashing power and the security that comes with it. How you will use it? That is entirely up to you?

 

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