The abbreviations TH and GH stand for tera hash and giga hash respectively and represent units of measurement used to quantify the computing power of a device, specifically in the mining industry. They measure how many hashes a device produces in a second to find the solution to a specific cryptographic hash function. In other words, they measure the hash rate of the device. If you want to understand both the hash rate and the relationships between the units, it’s essential to first understand the basics of cryptocurrency mining.
What’s Crypto Mining?
In the cryptocurrency mining process, miners, or nodes, work as validators for the new transactions on the blockchain while creating new coins in the process. When any amount of currency is spent or transacted between digital wallets, the digital ledger (the blockchain) must be updated in debiting one wallet and crediting the other.
When you exchange fiat currency physically, you actually keep track of this debit and credit system in the economy. However, when it comes to digital currencies, one major drawback is that digital systems can be manipulated easily. For example, by hacking the algorithm, one can enter huge amounts of credit into their wallets without debiting any other wallets. Such an activity would end up creating more coins in the blockchain since the coins that entered the hacker’s wallet haven’t been deduced from the network.
This is known as the double-spending problem. Bitcoin is revolutionary because it has managed to curb this kind of activity thanks to its blockchain technology, eliminating the need for a third party to monitor the network. And Bitcoin mining is an essential part of this mechanism. New coins are created to reward miners for their work in securing the network. Therefore, miners have the incentive to provide computing power and secure the network through cryptography.
For this purpose, miners use special mining hardware to produce the right amount of computing power needed to solve the hash function. The more guesses their machine is able to produce, the higher their chances of finding a match and claiming the block reward. Thus, computational power is a critical part of mining activity.
Types of Mining Rigs
Even though mining is computationally cumbersome work, mining operations used to be reasonably simple. Satoshi himself mined the Genesis block of Bitcoin on his CPU-based computer. However, since Bitcoin (BTC) prices skyrocketed and the cryptocurrency market became a popular investment pool, many people have turned their eyes to cryptocurrency mining.
The increasing number of miners has created greater demand for powerful mining technology. A faster machine meant more chances to claim the block reward. But the competition led to the capacity of mining devices escalating rapidly. And since the invention of Bitcoin, the average hash rate of the mining hardware went over the roof.
The first mining upgrade was the implementation of GPU mining. GPUs are graphics cards that are designed to process parallel information to generate high-quality video graphics. This parallel processing power was very attractive in terms of cryptocurrency mining. With a couple of tweaks, they can be appropriated to do cryptocurrency mining at a much higher rate than an average CPU.
However, even though GPUs are very powerful processors, they were initially made for processing video graphics. Mining crypto using a GPU requires very delicate fine-tuning, and if you don’t know what you are doing, you can even burn your device as a result of overheating.
The second upgrade in mining rigs was the ASIC miners. They are specifically developed for continuously running the hashing algorithm at ultrahigh rates. Since the only purpose of these rigs is to mine cryptocurrencies, they don’t require fine-tuning or tweaking around. Moreover, they are much more energy-efficient than an average GPU. For example, one of the best mining rigs is the Antminer S19XP, which produces roughly 140,000,000,000,000,000 guesses in a second on Bitcoin’s SHA-256 algorithm.
What Is Hashing Power?
As explained above, cryptocurrency mining requires continuously trying to come up with a solution to a cryptographic hash function. Hashing power, therefore, measures the capacity of the mining device to run a specific algorithm in a second.
The total amount of hashes per second of a cryptocurrency blockchain is called the hash rate of that coin. For example, Bitcoin’s (BTC) hash rate is around 190 million tera hashes per second, which is equal to 190 thousand petra hashes per second or 190 exa hashes per second.
Hashing Power Table
In order to measure the so-called hash rate, we use the following metric prefixes:
1 kH/s (kilo hash per second): 1,000 (one thousand) hashes per second
1 MH/s (mega hash per second): 1,000,000 (one million) hashes per second.
1 GH/s (giga hash per second): 1,000,000,000 (one billion) hashes per second.
1 TH/s (tera hash per second): 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) hashes per second.
1 PH/s (peta hash per second): 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillion) hashes per second.
1 EH/s (exa hash per second): 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one quintillion) hashes per second.
1 ZH/s (zeta hash per second): 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (one sextillion) hashes per second.
As you can see, 1 TH represents 1,000 GH. Just like terabyte and gigabyte. But instead of being measurements for disk space, tera hash (TH) and giga hash (GH) are units that measure the device’s capacity of running the cryptographic hash function.
A Few Words Before You Go…
Hash power is a very important concept if you are to understand cryptocurrency mining and the capacity of mining rigs. As crypto-mining technology continues to advance, the total hash rate of the mining industry is sure to reach sky-high levels. However, this doesn’t mean that we are getting better at mining cryptocurrencies. On the contrary, the block prize stays constant no matter how much computing power we pour over it. This certainly is a problem that the cryptocurrency community needs to overcome because the extreme demand for computing power has serious economic environmental implications.