My question concerns Litecoin, but could apply to any other cryptocurrency.
I was inspecting the Litecoin difficulty chart and saw a pattern that seems to occur regularly: a dip in the hash rate just before a retarget, then a large, artifical pump to set the difficulty higher than it "should be". An example:
Why would miners do this? For maximum profitability, shouldn't miners attempt to keep the difficulty as low as possible? Additionally, why the regular dip just before a retarget?