Sparse week for mining news, but still some interesting developments:
- BitCluster, a Russian mining host, is building a bitcoin mining farm above the Arctic Circle at the site of a former nickel plant. Their first client is from from Sichuan province of China, which is interesting considering the low cost of electricity in that area. According to the company spokesperson, Chinese miners will be seeking jurisdictions with lighter electricity tariffs after the rainy season ends.
- US-based Marathon Patent Group announced a joint venture with US energy provider Beowulf Energy to deliver low-cost ($0.028 / kWh) power to its mining operations. Marathon will co-locate its mining farm at Beowulf’s Big Horn Data Hub adjacent to their Hardin, Montana plant. As part of the joint venture, Beowulf will acquire equity in Marathon and Marathon will retain 100% of the profits from the mining operation.
- Bitcoins hashrate has hit an another all-time-high, exceeding 144EH/s on October 13th.
Here is this week’s news from the industry:
- Charles Schwab, Vanguard, and Fidelity have been buying up shares in publicly traded mining companies including Riot Blockchain, HIVE, and Hut 8.
- Riot Blockchain has been continuing to expand their operations, with the most recent purchase of 2,500 S19 Pros. These mining rigs are set to be delivered in December, with already pending orders being delivered this month.
- Ethereum (ETH) hashrate has hit an all time high at more than 250 TH/s according to Glassnode. It’s speculated that the current gas prices and DeFi hype have led to this surge in hashing power. According to F2Pool, it is currently around 3 times more profitable to mine ETH than Bitcoin.
This week has been dominated by news about mining on the nation state level:
- Venezuela has officially legalized cryptocurrency mining and established a national mining pool that must be utilized by all miners within the country. Miners must register with the government and provide information about their mining-related activities. Special licenses will also be granted to entities seeking to build mining farms or ASICs within the country. Miners who utilize pools outside of the national mining pool will be subject to actions by the state authorities. In effect, the national mining pool allows the Venezuelan authorities to levy taxes and control the distribution of funds to miners, and potentially freezing or delaying payments to those who have provided work.
- An interesting Coindesk interview with podcaster Marty Bent on the growing symbiotic relationship between Bitcoin mining and oil and gas producers. Take a listen!
- Three Iranian power plants have been granted the ability to mine Bitcoin with their natural gas turbines. Miners have already been installed at the facilities, utilizing power from turbines that are not connected to the grid. It’s worth noting that Iran is under US sanctions, so Bitcoin mining allows the country to generate income using the resources available to them.
- Abkhazia’s government has blamed the state’s energy crisis on crypto miners despite a ban on the industry. However, rather than cracking down on miners, the authorities are considering alternative solutions that include lifting the ban, which would help illuminate and account for the actual power utilization by the miners within the territory.
Another light news week in the mining industry:
- Technode has put together a nice write-up that summarizes some of the current efforts to further decentralize mining away from China. In particular, it focuses on DCG’s Foundry investment arm that is focused on expanding the North American mining presence. Geographic distribution of mining is a hotly debated topic, so this is a good article that can help you get up to speed.
- With Iran’s national currency undergoing a hyperinflation episode, some Iranian experts are hoping to use cryptocurrency mined in the country to fund automobile imports. The Iranian government has permitted mining as a way to bring in foreign capital amid US sanctions. Currently there have been no official talks, but representatives within some of Iran’s free trade zones have expressed interest in meeting with the head of the central bank to discuss this plan.
Here are some headlines from a light news week:
- Nvidia unveiled their new line of 3000 series GPUs set to launch this month. The lineup is reported to be a significant performance leap over the previous generation’s offerings, which has miners interested in their mining capabilities. However, from a price-performance perspective, AMD may still be the frontrunner for miners, as Nvidia’s next gen offerings will come with a premium due to its strong position within the gaming market.
- The Block reports that over 40% of Ethereum (ETH) mining revenue in the month of August came from transaction fees. For comparison, the percentage of revenue from fees was around 10% this May.