What Is Crypto Hash Rate, and Why Is It Important?

If you are a cryptocurrency or blockchain user, you must be familiar with the term “hash rate.” As much as it might be seen as a casual phrase, it significantly affects whatever proof-of-work blockchain you are involved in.

So, let us take you through what hash rate is, how it is calculated, and why it is important to know how it works.

What Is Crypto Hash Rate?

The hash rate of a crypto network shows the network’s combined computational power used in mining operations. Hash rate also measures the computing power of an individual miner in a network.

In simple terms, the hash rate is the speed at which a mining machine operates. Just like we measure the speed of a car in kilometers and meters, the computing power of bitcoin mining operations is measured in hashes. Thus, the hash rate is the number of hashes created per second.

A typical crypto-mining operation requires miners to solve complex mathematical puzzles as they try to find blocks. The faster the machines used, the faster the equations are solved. Since they operate faster, machines with high hash rates tend to find blocks more quickly than those with lower hash rates. For this reason, miners also invest in powerful computers to have an edge when mining.

How to Measure Hash Rate

Bitcoin hash rate is measured by the number of calculations or hashes per second. These numbers can be in the thousands (kilohashes), millions (megahashes), billions (gigahashes), trillion (terahashes), and quintillions (exahashes). Hash rates differ from one network to another and even from miner to miner.

Large networks, like Bitcoin, typically use thousands of computers that make trillions of hashes per second. A single ASIC miner can produce terahashes. Such networks measure their hashes in exashes per second (EH/s). For example, at the time of writing, the Bitcoin network hash rate is more than 250 EH/s.

Why Is Hash Rate Important?

Investors check hash rates to measure a blockchain network’s security. Networks with high hash rates are usually difficult to attack—the more honest miners there are that compete to mine blocks, the less likely it is for manipulators to tamper with the blockchain.

Since malicious actors need to control more than 50% of a blockchain to execute a 51% attack, it would be difficult for them to get such control when many miners with powerful computers are involved.

If an entity has enough computing power to control more than 50% of a blockchain’s mining power, it could block, reorganize, or reverse transactions, making such a network prone to double spending and many other malicious activities. Double spending is a flaw that lets an attacker reacquire a cryptocurrency after spending it, meaning they can spend the same crypto multiple times.

A high crypto network hash rate shows miners are investing in powerful mining equipment and have faith in the project. Therefore, you can see the hash rate as an indicator of the health and security of a network.

When investors see high hash rates, it encourages them to invest in a crypto network. Since we have also mentioned that the hash rate is more like an indicator of the health and security of a network, such a network could be better for investors than one with a low hash rate.

Where to Check Blockchain Hash Rate

You can check the hash rate of different proof-of-work blockchain networks through blockchain explorers. For example, the Explorer shows you Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency hash rates, among others. Bitinfocharts is also useful for checking the hash rates of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.

Crypto Hash Rate Is An Important Security Measure

Checking a network’s hash rate before involving yourself is an important security measure. Not only can it keep you away from networks vulnerable to attackers, but it will also save you from investing in networks and projects with lower prospects. In addition, in dealing with new and less-known projects, the hash rate has become one of the crucial factors to consider when evaluating the risk involved in such projects.

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