As more and more people are adapting to Bitcoin every day, the popularity of mining is continuously rising. Due to this increase in mining popularity, the difficulty of Bitcoin mining is soaring higher and higher.
How Does it Work?
The Bitcoin mining difficulty by design will adjust every 2016 blocks based on the length of time it took to find the previous 2016 blocks. The network targets on solving a block every 10 minutes, so six blocks per hour will mean that finding 2016 blocks will take two weeks. If it takes less than two weeks, then the difficulty increases and if it takes more than two weeks, the difficulty decreases to a reasonable difficulty that will take the targeted length of time.
To keep mining profitable and to save people from spending large amounts of money on loud and boiling hardware, mining pools adapted to cloud mining, allowing the users to rent their hashing power from them without the hassle.
As more and more people start mining, whether by renting cloud-based hashing power or purchasing hardware, the difficulty will continue to increase. After so many blocks, the mining will begin to become less and less profitable for the miners because of these increases every two weeks, due to the cloud-based mining fees and hardware electricity costs.
As of typing this article, the current Bitcoin difficulty is 35,450,887,888.
Coping With Difficulty
Aside from simply putting it in the back of your head and hoping it will gradually go away, there are a few ways people have decided to cope with the gradually decreasing profitability.
There are miners that have chosen to move to areas of the world that have low electricity costs and are much colder to deal with the heat of burning hardware hashing away all day. Still, there are miners that just continue to rent more hashing power or buy better hardware when it is released. On a more innovative note, certain cloud-based mining companies are looking towards using full liquid immersion in order to cool down their hardware. It causes the hardware stay at very low temperatures and also keeps energy costs at an astonishingly low rate.