Bitcoin’s mining difficulty – a measure of the amount of computing resources required to mine bitcoin – has increased for the third time in a row , in yet another sign of the network’s staying power following a crackdown on the industry earlier this year by authorities in China.

Mining difficulty is a key element of the Bitcoin blockchain’s built-in self-stabilizing mechanisms. When more crypto miners are operating on the network, blocks tend to be discovered or mined more quickly. As miners drop off the network, they are found less frequently. To compensate, the blockchain’s programming automatically adjusts periodically to ensure that data blocks continue to get mined on average every 10 minutes or so. This process was hard-coded into the Bitcoin blockchain’s original programming when it was launched over a decade ago.

Read more: How Bitcoin Mining Works At 14:41 UTC on Wednesday, the blockchain’s mining difficulty increased by 13.2% at block 697,536, according to several mining sites.