Introduction to Mining Difficulty

Published by Mario Oettler on

The Bitcoin mining difficulty defines how hard it is to mine a new block. In other words, it is a measure of how many attempts you need on average to solve the hash puzzle. To understand this article, you should be familiar with Proof of Work (PoW).

In PoW, miners need to solve a hash puzzle. They do this by guessing the input value of a hash function and then checking the hash output (digest) whether it meets the solution criteria or not. The stricter the solution criteria are, the more difficult the puzzle is.

Some proof-of-stake (PoS) blockchains use a similar approach where block validators need to fulfill an inequation, which is sometimes called a simulated mining rig.

Here, we consider the mining difficulty for Bitcoin, which uses proof of work (PoW).