The Bitcoin mining industry endured a prolonged bear market that lasted for over a year, during which miners lost a significant portion of their market capitalizations. This resulted in companies seeking alternative sources of income such as taking subsidies for modulating municipal power grids, monetizing flared gas, or wholesaling stranded energy contracts.
However, the industry has been buoyed by this year’s 64% rally in Bitcoin, leading to a surge in mining stocks. Riot has rallied by 130%, with 11 Buy ratings by Wall Street analysts, while Marathon and Iris Energy have both more than doubled year-to-date, with seven Buy ratings each. Similarly, Hive, Hut 8, BitFarms, and Argo have all more than doubled.
Additionally, there are numerous privately-held Bitcoin mining companies such as Bitmain, Foundry, Binance Mining, Cormint, Genesis, BitFury, Crusoe, Gryphon, MintGreen, Compass, NiceHash, Compute North, and hundreds of others.
With the wind finally in their sails, what are some of the big names in the Bitcoin mining industry up to?
Riot Blockchain increased the amount of Bitcoin in its coffers by 353% in the past year and aims to add more than 115,000 Antminer ASICs to its operations in January 2023.
Marathon Digital Holdings recently repaid a term loan and halted its loan facilities with Silvergate Bank, freeing 3,132 Bitcoin it had posted as collateral. However, the law firm Faruqi & Faruqi is examining potential claims against Marathon over investor losses from trading its stock or stock options, and Marathon posted a $682 million loss from its 2022 fiscal year due to the bear market and high energy costs.
Compass Mining is currently in a feud with Bitmain over the design of Bitmain’s new S19 mining machines. Design flaws could cause the machines to overheat, damaging sensitive electronic parts. Its mining operations department has warned followers interested in mining to avoid the new designs of Bitmain’s mining rigs.
- HIVE Blockchain Technologies posted negative earnings in its most recent quarter, admitting losses associated with Ethereum’s switch to Proof-of-Stake, which made its Ethereum mining rigs obsolete. However, it reported 250 Bitcoin mined in February 2023, averaging 2.75 exahashes per second in mining power throughout the month. HIVE also reported the receipt of a shipment of 5,600 BuzzMiners, which it is installing in its data centers.
- BitFarms struggled through a fourth-quarter 2022 loss due to the bear market, rising energy costs, and contending with Bitcoin’s mining difficulty. It is considering a potential acquisition and aims to leverage its Argentina-based operations to achieve six exahashes per second in Bitcoin mining hosting power this year after missing its hashrate goals set last year.
- Cipher Mining Technologies reported $3 million in revenue in 2022 but posted a $37.4 million loss. It recently promoted two employees to Co-President and Chief Administrative Officer.
Core Scientific has been going through bankruptcy proceedings, and the presiding judge in its bankruptcy case recently ordered it to transfer $20 million in equipment to an energy supplier. The judge also approved a $70 million loan to help it continue operations throughout its legal proceedings. The company reported production of 1,360 Bitcoin in February 2023, a 10.8% month-over-month decline.
- Argo Blockchain reported a 7% month-on-month increase in Bitcoin production as of February 2023 and said its deposits at Signature Bank are secure. It denied any exposure to the now-bankrupt Silvergate and Silicon Valley banks.
- Bit Digital hired Sam Tabar as its new CEO and announced changes to its executive leadership, advisory board, and strategic priorities in 2023. It also sold its remaining shares in Crypto Flow.
Greenidge Generation Holdings, a legacy power production company founded in 1937, recently started mining Bitcoin. It produces hashrate exceeding 2.4 exahashes per second and recently restructured $11 million in debt to give itself more time for repayment. It plans to raise $1 million in a stock sale to help pay down the debt and sell unused real estate near its South Carolina mining facility.
The Bitcoin mining industry has seen a resurgence in 2023 after enduring a long bear market. The rally in Bitcoin has led to a surge in mining stocks, with many companies enjoying significant gains. However, there have been some newsworthy occurrences, such as Compass Mining’s feud with Bitmain over the design of mining machines and Marathon Digital Holdings facing potential claims from investors over losses. Nonetheless, the industry continues to innovate and grow, with companies exploring alternative sources of income and developing new technologies to improve mining efficiency.