Bitcoin (BTC) has recorded its biggest mining difficulty drop of nearly 28% on July 3, but one model suggests that the BTC price will not bottom until October.
In a series of tweets on July 2, investment manager Timothy Peterson flagged the relationship between Bitcoin price and hash rate as arguable evidence that the dip is not over.
Bitcoin network hash rate 7-day average. Source: Blockchain.com
Hash rate model: Long road ahead to Bitcoin bottom
Bitcoin mining difficulty dropped by an estimated 27.94% on Saturday at block height 689,472, the biggest in its history.
As Cointelegraph previously explained, the drop is in response to the ongoing miner migration out of China and the subsequent loss of hash rate.
For miners still at work, the decrease will be something of a profit boost — difficulty automatically accounts for changes in hash rate, making it more attractive to mine when it drops.
Miners in flux are not expected to return to their craft completely for several months. In that time, difficulty will likely increase again as hash rate goes up — more competition and more power competing for the same set reward.
It is a classic mantra among Bitcoiners that “price follows hash rate” — but if that is true, one model charting the phenomenon is painting a sobering picture of future price behavior.
Peterson noted that the relationship between price and hash rate is “useful” when it comes to marking macro price tops.
An accompanying chart shows spikes in 2013 and 2017, corresponding to tops which held for an entire four-year halving cycle.
2021 looks similar, but since the May capitulation, the relationship has been trending towards 1 — the point at which the Bitcoin price should have fully “corrected.”
“Based on the current trend in P(h), this bubble would finish collapsing by 31 October,” Peterson summarized.
“The ratio includes any combination of a higher hash rate and lower price. So increasing hash rate and stable price also resolves the bubble.”
Bitcoin hash rate ratio chart. Source: Timothy Peterson/ Twitter
In other words, the return of miners is likely to prevent further price dip episodes of the magnitude seen recently, but bulls may still need to wait longer than desirable to see higher levels return.
An important caveat came from Peterson, who cautioned that there are “many things wrong” with such a simple model, and that he himself does not use it.
Pick your end-of-year price showdown
The model is not the only source catering to a return to form for Bitcoin in the latter half of the year.
As Cointelegraph reported, analysts have likened 2021 to both previous top years, these seeing a first local price peak, a correction then a surge to the ultimate top later on.
After BTC/USD posted its third consecutive monthly red candle, meanwhile, the stock-to-flow price model echoed the start of 2019, just after the pit of Bitcoin’s last major bear market.
The next six months, creator PlanB says, will be critical for its utility.