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I was curious about the number of mining nodes on the network, yet I haven't seen it discussed.

I tried two different approaches to approximate the count of mining nodes. I looked up the hashrate of the fastest hashing machine (which appears to be the Antminer S19 Pro at 110Th/seconds) and compared its projected mining profit with the total mining reward.

A profitability calculator estimates that I'd earn 0.2911 Bitcoin per year with the device running 24/7/365. This means that at 6.25 bitcoin per block, I contributed to solving 0.0465 block in 1 year. If the network used only these machines, then I estimate 55,000 blocks / 0.0465 blocks per mining node = 1,182,795 mining nodes. This is the lower bound, the minimum number of mining nodes on the system.

Now, my other assumption is that the network difficulty is equivalent to the average weighted hashrate of the sum of all mining nodes on the network (time frame is probably smoothed here). If the current, March 18 2021, network difficulty is 21.6 Th/seconds, then the same calculator calculates that my device would earn 0.0572 Bitcoin in 1 year. Using the same calculation, I get 55,000/(1/(6.25/.0572)) = 6,009,615 mining nodes.

These two numbers are quite a bit apart. Is there a better way to estimate the mining node count?

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    there is nothing "official" in Bitcoin – MCCCS Mar 21 at 17:19
  • Does this answer your question: Total # of miners? – RedGrittyBrick Mar 21 at 17:37
  • Hi Denys, I saw that you posted the gist of your post as an answer on the question RedGrittyBrick linked. Generally, if you're in the situation where you want to know whether you got a good answer for something, it would be preferable if you post a question to start the topic and then post your answer as the answer to the question. That facilitates other people giving a competing answer to the actual question. Anecdotally, such topics get more interaction than a "Am I right about <wall of text>?" post. – Murch Mar 21 at 20:17
  • Thank you Murch. Yes, I think I have to learn how to use this post. But since I was asking for opinions, it's because I was unsure of my approximation, hoping someone wold jump in with a link to a formula or some data or something. But I understand what you are saying. This morning I found this blog where a person posts a "market share", but it doesn't make sense...I am not sure what he means by "Implied Market Share" of ones mining device, but it's not the answer I was looking for. medium.com/chainalysis/bitcoin-mining-calculations-ff90dc958dba The remainder calculations look OK – Denys Picard Mar 22 at 17:33
  • Hi Denys, I compacted your question to make it more accessible. I hope I managed to capture the gist of what you wanted to know. Please feel free to further edit the question if I did not. Please check out our tour to get an overview how our site works. – Murch Apr 5 at 23:50
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While it's possible to estimate the current hashrate from the difficulty, they are two different measures. You can find an estimate for the global hashrate on the same site where you found the difficulty. The current estimate is 162 EH/s (162,000,000 TH/s).

Using a similar approach as proposed by you, we can estimate an upper bound of 162,000,000 TH/s / 110 TH/s = 1.47M mining nodes by comparing the global hashrate to that of the fastest mining equipment.

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