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# What Is Hash Rate? What You Need to Know

Hash rate is a measure of the computational power of a proof-of-work (PoW) cryptocurrency network, group, or individual. It measures the total number of guesses per second that are made to solve a complex mathematical problem and validate transactions on the blockchain.

## How Hash Rate Works

A hash is a fixed-length alphanumeric code that is generated by applying a hashing algorithm to any input data. Hashing is a one-way function, meaning that it is easy to produce a hash from an input, but impossible to recover the input from the hash. Hashing is also deterministic, meaning that the same input will always produce the same hash.

In PoW blockchains, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, hashing is used to secure the network and reach consensus on the state of the ledger. Miners compete to find a hash that is lower than or equal to a target value, which is determined by the network’s difficulty level. The difficulty level adjusts periodically to maintain a constant block time, which is the average time it takes to produce a new block.

To find a valid hash, miners have to change a variable part of the input data, called a nonce, and try different combinations until they find a hash that meets the target. This process is essentially a lottery, where each hash is a ticket with a different probability of winning. The more hashes a miner can generate per second, the higher their chances of finding a valid hash and earning the block reward and transaction fees.

The hash rate is the speed at which a miner, a group of miners, or the entire network can perform hashing operations. It is typically measured in hashes per second (h/s), using prefixes such as kilo, mega, giga, or tera. For example, a hash rate of 1 Th/s means that one trillion hashes can be generated per second.

## Why Hash Rate Matters

Hash rate is an important indicator of the security and health of a PoW blockchain network. A high hash rate means that there is a lot of computing power dedicated to the network, which makes it more resilient to attacks and more costly to manipulate. A low hash rate means that the network is vulnerable to attacks and less reliable.

Hash rate also reflects the profitability and competitiveness of mining. A high hash rate means that there is a lot of competition among miners, which drives up the difficulty level and reduces the chances of finding a valid hash. A low hash rate means that there is less competition and more opportunities for mining. However, the profitability of mining also depends on other factors, such as the price of the cryptocurrency, the cost of electricity, and the efficiency of the mining hardware.

## Examples of Hash Rate

Different PoW blockchains have different hash rates, depending on their hashing algorithms, network size, and difficulty level. For example, as of December 2023, the hash rate of Bitcoin was about 170 exahashes per second (Eh/s), which means that 170 quintillion hashes were generated per second on the network^{1}. The hash rate of Ethereum was about 700 terahashes per second (Th/s), which means that 700 trillion hashes were generated per second on the network^{2}.

Different mining devices also have different hash rates, depending on their hardware specifications, power consumption, and performance. For example, as of December 2023, the Antminer S19 Pro, a popular Bitcoin mining device, had a hash rate of 110 Th/s, which means that it could generate 110 trillion hashes per second^{3}. The Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090, a popular GPU for Ethereum mining, had a hash rate of about 120 megahashes per second (Mh/s), which means that it could generate 120 million hashes per second^{4}.

## Conclusion

Hash rate is a measure of the computational power of a PoW cryptocurrency network, group, or individual. It measures the total number of guesses per second that are made to solve a complex mathematical problem and validate transactions on the blockchain. Hash rate is an important indicator of the security and health of a PoW blockchain network, as well as the profitability and competitiveness of mining.