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How Bitcoin Miners Prepare for Revenue Cuts in Upcoming Halving

3 mins
Updated by Bary Rahma
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In Brief

  • Bitcoin miners prepare for halving, cutting rewards by half; leading companies remain optimistic.
  • Despite stock struggles, strategies include financial fortification and new revenue streams.
  • Industry consolidation expected; CleanSpark, Riot expand capacity to stay competitive.
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Despite a challenging year for Bitcoin (BTC) miners, the CEOs of leading mining companies remain optimistic as the next Bitcoin halving approaches.

In a recent research report, analysts from Bernstein shed light on the strategic maneuvers that keep these executives hopeful.

Bitcoin Mining Stocks Struggle in 2024

This year, Bitcoin miners like Riot Platforms (RIOT), Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA), and Hut 8 Corp (HUT) have seen significant declines in their stock values. Year-to-date, the prices of these stocks have fallen by at least 47%.

In contrast, CleanSpark (CLSK) has enjoyed an exceptional 33% increase in stock price since January 2024.

Read more: 5 Best Platforms To Buy Bitcoin Mining Stocks Ahead of 2024 Halving

RIOT, MARA, CLSK, and HUT Price Performance
RIOT, MARA, CLSK, and HUT Price Performance. Source: TradingView

Despite these variances, a common strategic preparation and adaptation thread highlights the sector’s buoyancy.

In an industry marked by cyclicality, the upcoming Bitcoin halving is a pivotal event that reduces miner rewards by half. This event fundamentally impacts the revenue streams of Bitcoin miners. However, according to Bernstein’s findings, leading mining companies have fortified their financial positions to navigate this challenge effectively.

“CEOs point to miner dollar revenues at all-time highs, providing a solid cushion to miners pre-halving and they also noted the relatively low debt on the balance sheet,” Bernstein analysts wrote.

Furthermore, Bitcoin’s network architecture developments, including application and layer 2 enhancements, have introduced new revenue streams through increased network fees. These incremental revenues are crucial for miners, providing additional financial inflows amidst tightening economic conditions.

Will Only Four Bitcoin Mining Companies Survive?

Nonetheless, a significant focus for these companies has been on consolidation and strategic expansion. Specifically, the CEO of CleanSpark anticipates the industry will eventually consolidate around four major players, with RIOT, MARA, CLSK, and Cipher Mining (CIFR) leading the charge.

Moreover, CleanSpark’s recent activities underscore this strategy. The company expanded its operations by acquiring three turnkey Bitcoin mining facilities in Mississippi for $19.8 million and a site under construction in Georgia.

These acquisitions are set to increase CleanSpark’s hashing capacity substantially, doubling its current rate to over 20 exahashes per second (EH/s) in the first half of 2024.

Also, Riot expects to double its capacity by the end of the year. This increase is crucial in mitigating the potential revenue impacts from the upcoming Bitcoin halving, ensuring their operations remain cost-effective and competitive.

However, challenges remain. According to SeekingAlpha analysts, Riot Platforms, for instance, faces escalating production costs, which have risen significantly from $44,400 per Bitcoin in Q4 2021 to $110,000 in Q3 2023. Analysts suggest that these costs could potentially triple post-halving.

Based on this analysis, there would be severe strain on Riot’s profitability unless Bitcoin prices surge unexpectedly.

“We only expect Bitcoin to hit $90,000 in the coming bull market (which will average $66,000 during the bull market period). Unless Bitcoin surprises to the upside beyond $180,000, we do not expect any distributable income to [Riot’s] shareholders,” Seeking Alpha analyst wrote.

The broader Bitcoin mining ecosystem is also undergoing significant changes. The total Bitcoin network hashrate has exploded to around 600 exahashes per second (EH/s), up from 116 EH/s since the last halving.

Read more: Bitcoin Halving Countdown

Bitcoin Network Hashrate. Source: YCharts

This surge indicates heightened competition and increased operational demands, pushing miners to invest more heavily in advanced equipment.

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Harsh Notariya
Harsh Notariya is a journalist and crypto expert that excels in delivering the latest Web3 and Crypto News. Previously, as a Growth Marketer at Sporty and a Community Consultant at Totality Corp, he significantly boosted community engagement and followers. Harsh also crafted engaging content for top crypto influencer Shivam Chhuneja, blending meme references for an educational yet fun experience. His versatile skills make him a notable figure in crypto journalism.