Bitcoin Miners Earn Record $4 million in 1 Hour – Decrypt

In brief

  • Bitcoin’s price went above $48,000 today.
  • Transaction fees are at higher-than-normal levels as well.
  • That’s resulted in more revenue potential for miners.

Bitcoin’s price—currently near the $48,000 mark—is having an effect on people’s pocketbooks. That includes the wallets of those who mine it.

According to data from blockchain analytics firm Glassnode, Bitcoin miners earned over $4 million in revenue in a one-hour period today. That’s the highest level ever recorded on the Bitcoin blockchain, it says.

Mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the blockchain. Miners run specialized computers that contribute to the security of the network; the machine that solves the cryptographic puzzle first is rewarded with freshly minted Bitcoin. The process starts over every 10 minutes or so.

Miners earn two things when they establish a new block: a block reward, which is currently 6.25 BTC, plus fees paid by Bitcoin users to help prioritize their transactions.

That results in about 37.5 Bitcoin in block rewards each hour—maybe more if seven blocks are processed instead of six. At today’s BTC rate, that equates to $2.1 million.

Much of the money miners are earning, though, come from transaction fees, which hit a three-year high of $25.46 yesterday—with over 2,500 transactions per block—adding on another $400,000 or so. Yet fees fluctuate wildly from day to day and from hour to hour—and tend to be highest during US business hours. 

With all the attention being paid to the network as the price of Bitcoin ascends toward $50,000, there’s more competition to get transactions in, and more incentive for users to pay a higher fee. That may be a bummer to average users, but it’s clearly not so bad for miners.

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