Bitcoin miners are profiting from the sunshine. The cryptocurrency’s recent surge has propelled the industry out of its slump. Now mining businesses are scrambling to lock in earnings before Bitcoin’s “halving,” which would see the rewards for creating tokens halved.
The next halving of Bitcoin, limited to 21 million coins (of which 19 million have already been produced), is expected to occur in April 2024.
“There’s a lot of pressure to get rigs online before the halving,” said Gregory Lewis, an analyst for brokerage BTIG that tracks the top 13 bitcoin miners registered in the United States.
The cryptocurrency website Blockchain.com reports that Bitcoin’s hash rate, which gauges the amount of processing power required to produce a coin, has reached a record high. Therefore, to solve the challenging arithmetic problems that reward miners with bitcoins, they must exert increasing amounts of force and speed.
J.P. Morgan analysts calculate that the hash rate has reached record highs for 11 months, with an exceptional spike in October.
CONFIRMING THE GAME
Following several months of stagnation, Bitcoin has increased by almost 37% in the last month to over $37,000. This surge has motivated miners to connect their potent computers in order to solve the puzzles and sell the freshly created coins.
This year, miners’ 30-day average revenue has increased gradually, reaching an 18-month high of $32.46 million on November 11, according to statistics from blockchain.com.
But even in its 2021 prime, mining—a very energy-intensive process—is still not as profitable.
The Hashrate Index, a mining statistics platform, shows that miners’ earnings from utilizing one Peta hash per second of computing power in a day have increased to over $81 from $70 at the beginning of November. However, they are still well below a record of $127 in early May.
Miners are searching for strategies to prevent their margins from contracting in the fiercely competitive market, with six months left before their rewards portion is drastically reduced.
William Szamosszegi, CEO of Sazmining, stated that “every halving forces miners not to play that game at a high enough level to get washed out.”
CAPTURING THE CHANCE
In the past, price rallies for bitcoin have usually followed halvings. The price increased to $126 from $12 six months after the first halving 2012. Following the second halving in 2016, it grew from $654 to $1,000 in just seven months, and in 2020, it had a sharp increase from $8,570 to $18,040 in the same time frame.
The next halving of Bitcoin will occur in April after the third one in 2020 reduced miner incentives to 6.25 Bitcoin per block.
The current cost of mining a block is $231,250. Many mining businesses are modernizing their equipment to remain competitive and increase their hash rate power, according to Matteo Greco, an analyst at Fineqia International (FNQ.CD), a digital asset investment firm.
Some participants have resorted to shifting their activities to Central American nations to preserve their profit margins, as these nations have more favorable regimes and cheaper energy costs.
Ludovic Thomas, a portfolio manager at Swiss-based Criptonite Asset Management, which invests in digital assets, stated that it is premature to determine whether or not all bitcoin miners have left the woods. “Profitability increases always lead to network hash rate, and difficulty increases.”