Marathon Digital’s Latest Update Suggests Uptick in U.S. BTC Mining

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In Brief
  • Company update reveals Marathon Digital produced 265.6 new BTC in June; a sharp increase from 50.4 BTC produced in January.

  • Update also reveals plans to upscale mining operations, with 12,000 new miners planned for installation by September.

  • Recent results and company ambitions suggest U.S. mining companies are reaping rewards amid China ban.

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One of North America’s largest enterprise bitcoin (BTC) self-mining operations produced 265.6 new minted bitcoins last month, a company update revealed.

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Marathon Digital, based in Montana, published a production and miner installation update for June 2021, which showed considerable progression in BTC production from, not just May, but across the year so far.

A company press release revealed that Marathon’s mining fleet has produced around 846 newly minted bitcoins in 2021 so far. 265.6 of those were produced in June, showing light growth from the 226.6 produced in May, and a stark increase from the 50.4 produced in January. Last month’s production brings Marathon’s total BTC holding up to approximately 5,784. This includes the 4,812 the company purchased at the start of the year. 

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In addition, Marathon reported that they had completed construction on the containers where they intend to base more than half of their mining rigs. These containers will be situated at their facility in Hardin, MT. With new miners installed on a daily basis, Marathon added a further 1,740 miners to its approximately 17,655-strong fleet.

According to the release, the company expects to upscale its operation across July, August, and September; installing another 12,000 miners in the course of those three months. After that, its remaining 73,000 miners are bound for a new, 300 megawatt facility based in Texas.

What does this mean for mining in the U.S.?

These results, and Marathon Digital’s ambitions, arguably suggest an uptick in mining rewards for U.S.-based operations. An uptick that has come about amid the ongoing ban on crypto mining in China, which forced many miners to ship their rigs overseas. The U.S. has proven a popular destination, with many displaced miners moving their operations to Texas.

The ban in China has also resulted in a continuing downtrend in the BTC mining hash rate. A decline that U.S. mining companies could move to capitalize on.

Reported on July 3 as the biggest downward adjustment in history, BTC’s mining difficulty recently plummeted 28%. According to reports, this decline leaves the hash rate at its lowest point for 19 months.

CEOs and politicians discuss crypto mining

The environmental impact of crypto mining, specifically BTC, has been a subject of ongoing debate this year, amid the China ban. Some countries have followed suit with China at various points, such as Iran.

However, others have come out in support of BTC. Most recently, Cynthia Lummis, currently the U.S. Senator from Wyoming. Appearing on CNBC’s Financial Advisor Summit, she cited research from the University of Cambridge that suggested that BTC mining uses around 40% renewable energy. Whereas, “…in the non-bitcoin economy, it’s only 12%”

She went on to say:

“There’s a lot of innovation that’s happening behind the scenes. So I would say, don’t judge bitcoin mining as an energy bad guy. There are a lot of things going on that prove otherwise.”

Senator Lummis later took to Twitter to encourage miners to set up their operations in Wyoming.

CEOs such as Valkyrie Investments’ Leah Wald have also commented on the effects of the China ban on crypto mining. Appearing on Bloomberg Technology, Wald discussed mining rigs relocating to the U.S., saying:

“The question is, how will [the relocation] affect price when they get turned back online? When they’re in a new location? […] I think that will be a very positive decision.”

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Dale Hurst is a journalist, presenter, and novelist. Before joining the Be In Crypto team, he was an editor and senior journalist at a news, lifestyle and human-interest magazine in the UK. Cryptocurrency was one of the first subjects he specialized in when first going freelance in 2018, reviewing exchanges and analysing lawsuits.

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