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Bitcoin Mining Giant Marathon Pivots to International Ventures Ahead of Halving

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Bitcoin mining giant Marathon, with a hash rate of 19.2 EH/s, is shifting focus to international joint ventures for future growth.
  • Despite high costs and delays at U.S. facilities, Marathon plans to expand by 30% in 2024 with new facilities in Abu Dhabi and Paraguay.
  • Marathon's margins may be squeezed post-halving if Bitcoin prices fall below $30,000, despite a 467% growth in Bitcoin production within a year.
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The world’s largest Bitcoin mining firm, Marathon, has just revealed the state of its operations in its latest quarterly report. Moreover, the company has been aggressively expanding its hash power and is pivoting to an international joint venture model for future growth.

On Nov. 14, Bitcoin mining expert Jaran Mellerud shared Marathon’s operations report, noting how the mining giant is preparing for the BTC halving in less than six months’ time. 

Marathon Seeking Growth Overseas

Marathon is the largest public miner by hash rate, with 19.2 EH/s (exahashes per second) online. Moreover, the firm is also the largest public miner by Bitcoin held, owning a stack of 13,396 BTC worth an estimated $474 million at current prices. 

According to the report, Marathon has grown its Bitcoin production by 467% in one year, expanding its hash rate from 7 EH/s one year ago.

This has enabled the firm to go from a meager 416 Bitcoin produced in Q3 2022 to a massive 3,490 BTC in Q3 2023.

Marathon BTC production by quarter. Source: MinerMetrics
Marathon BTC production by quarter. Source: MinerMetrics

The report noted that Marathon will likely soon reach its 23 EH/s goal. This is due to the powering up of its facility in Garden City, Texas, in November. Furthermore, it is expected to be fully operational later in the month with 4.1 EH/s, but energization of the site has been delayed since July.

However, the firm mentioned that it would be pivoting to international joint ventures. These could make it the most geographically diversified miner and gradually reduce production costs over time.

“As Marathon is getting its final US-based hosted facilities online, it focuses more on scaling internationally through joint ventures with local partners.”

The firm has grown weary of high costs and energization delays at its US-hosted facilities. It expects to expand 30% in 2024 with the addition of new facilities in Abu Dhabi and Paraguay. 

Marathon’s cost structure has improved but remains relatively high compared to peers. Moreover, its margins could get squeezed after the halving if Bitcoin prices fall below $30,000.

Bitcoin Mining Ecosystem Outlook 

Bitcoin network’s daily average hash rate is currently 428 EH/s, which is close to its all-time high. This puts further pressure on miners competing for the next block. 

Speaking of competition, difficulty, which essentially measures the levels of ‘work’ needed to mine on the network, is currently at peak levels of 64.6T.

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty. Source: Hashrate Index
Bitcoin Mining Difficulty. Source: Hashrate Index

Mining profitability, or hash price, remains low despite the price increases. It is currently $0.079 per TH/s per day, according to Hashrate Index.

With high hash rates and low profitability, BTC mining remains a struggle for all but the biggest players. 

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...
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