Hot weather is not suitable for Bitcoin mining. But miners bore on nonetheless, implementing new strategies to collect coins this past July.
Miners such as Iris Energy (IREN), Argo Blockchain (ARBK) and Riot Blockchain (RIOT) followed through on strategic initiatives to better their performance during what is typically a low season for mining, while other miners took to the capital markets for relief from difficult revenue conditions.
The table below includes a cost per EH/s based on the current market capitalization and the current hashrate for each miner as at July 31, 2022 and considering the hashrate at December 31, 2022.
In terms of the current hashrate, Digihost Technology (DGHI), DMG Blockchain (DMGI) and CleanSpark appear to show the best value. When considering the hashrate at the end of the year, Argo Blockchain, Bitfarms, and Iris Energy all appear to be good value. Core Scientific (CORZ) also provides a good cost per PH/s and that does not take into account the significant amount of hosting and equipment sales services they provide.
Consistency can be applied to the top five or six miners in the table below. Iris Energy and Hive Blockchain, in particular, have been swapping positions on the monthly updates. As Marathon Digital have been given the green light to energize their miners we should now see their numbers significantly improve. Equally, Argo Blockchain and Riot Blockchain will also benefit from the amount of new miners being installed utilizing their immersion cooling technology.
Hive Blockchain (HIVE) beat out Iris Energy (IREN) by the smallest of fractions over the month, in terms of Bitcoin mined by EH/s, to secure first place in our rankings. Bitfarms (BITF) came in a credible third, with CleanSpark (CLSK) completing the top four.
Hive Blockchain’s first place comes after a busy month. The Vancouver, Canada-based firm increased its hashrate by 13% to 2.26 EH/s, according to self-reported figures. Hive should reach their target hashrate of 4.3 EH/s by year’s end time. They also mined 2,957 Ethereum bringing in close to $5 million in revenues, taking their total monthly mining revenues to $11.5 million.
Argo Blockchain improved their performance, mining 219 Bitcoin in July compared to 179 Bitcoin in June. A completed miner swap with Core Scientific and ordered units from Bitmain aided the firm’s hashrate count, now at 2.23 EH/s.
The London and Nasdaq listed miner sold 887 Bitcoin in July in a move to pay off an outstanding loan with Galaxy Digital. The original loan financed its West Texas facility, Helios, which opened in May 2022.
Lastly, Argo Blockchain retired 460 PH/s worth of Antminer S17 and T17 miners from its fleet. The firm cited “high failure” rates as the rational–an experience many miners can sympathize with.
CleanSpark continued its good performance by adding a further 100 PH/s in July and updating the market of its recent purchase of a new 36 megawatt (MW) site in Washington, Georgia. Scaleable to 86 MW, the purchase will help the company add a further 1.1 EH/s in the current quarter, taking their total hash rate to 4.0 EH/s.
Iris Energy remains the most consistent miner of 2022 in terms of performance, and provided the market with news that they had made great progress at their Mackenzie Site. Phase Two of the project ran two months ahead of schedule, allowing the company to effectively double their July average hashrate to 2.3 EH. With the Prince George site coming on line at the end of September, the firm’s operating hashrate will bump north of 3.7 H/s. They remain on track to achieve 6.0 EH/s by the end of 2022, with all miners fully paid.
Marathon Digital (MARA) only managed to achieve 72 Bitcoin at an average of 700 PH/s due to the storm damage at its Hardin Site, Montana. On a more positive note, they were finally given exempt status at the Compute North Facility, West Texas in early August. Some 40,000 miners representing 3.9 EH/s were energized, awarding MARA Pool its first blocks since early June.
Of the miners surveyed, only Hut 8 (HUT) and Marathon Digital did not sell Bitcoin during the bear market. Both have significant holdings of $180.5 million and $236.3 million, respectively. If Bitcoin continues to slowly recover in price, as it has over the previous two months, these holdings will put both in a strong position when considering further growth.
On initial reflection, Riot appeared to have a disappointing monthly update producing just 318 Bitcoin–a decrease of over 25% in the amount of Bitcoin mined over the previous month.
However, the company has been extremely fortunate in securing ten year power agreements in Texas before the energy prices started to spike, and by shutting down during peak July demand, they were effectively able to sell blocks of power at market prices achieving $9.5 milion in monthly energy credits against future bills.
If you were to convert this credit using an average price of $21,634 per Bitcoin during the month, it would equate to 439 Bitcoin, and propel Riot Blockchain to the top position in month. This new metric is a potential game changer for companies like Riot Blockchain and will need to be taken seriously in monthly updates, as there appears to be no end to energy prices continually rising.
The largest public miner by server count, Core Scientific mined 1,221 Bitcoin in July from its mining fleet of 10.9 EH/s. As of quarter's end, Core Scientific held 1,205 Bitcoin after selling the lion’s share of its mining treasury in May and June.
Regardless of the positive figures, the Austin, Texas-based firm laid off 10% of its staff this past Thursday in what Core Scientific CFO Denise Sterling called a “surgical” operation to trim expenses. The firm also filed an S1 to raise more equity. The raise follows large stock sales by Core Scientific executives over the spring months.
Core Scientific maintains its forward looking hashrate schedule, with 30-32 EH/s scheduled to be online by year's end.
With additional writing from Will Foxley