Mining Rig Manufacturers Diversify as Market Heats up

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In Brief
  • Mining rig manufacturers are expanding their companies in new directions.

  • Some have begun crypto mining.

  • Others are planning to run exchanges.

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Mining rig manufacturers are expanding their businesses into new areas, including exchanges and mining with their own (and sometimes borrowed) gear.



Bitmain Runs out of Antminers 

Crypto mining hardware company Bitmain posted on Feb. 27 that some Antminers were sold out. In particular, the first batch of Antminer S19j after the Chinese Lunar New Year was sold out. Bitmain stated that the company was preparing another batch to handle the demand.

On Mar. 12, Bitmain will hold a conference in Shenzhen. At the conference, called “2021 Bitmain Partner Summit”, the company will cover important news such as its new sales ordering model as well as its global sales strategy.



New Directions for Canaan

Meanwhile, Bitmain competitor Canaan Creative announced on Feb. 27 that expected revenue was coming into focus. North American clients placed orders for 100,000 Bitcoin miners, with some prepaid. Canaan claims that the company’s current manufacturing center will work at full capacity for 2021 and beyond. 

Canaan CEO and Chairman Nangen Zhang points to a change in the company’s sales focus. Previously, Canaan centered its efforts on small-scale, individual miners, who often did not have long-term plans in place. The company is now focused on publicly traded companies and investment funds with longer horizons – and larger orders.

Ebang

The third-largest mining rig builder is getting into the mining business. In a Feb. 25 news release, Ebang announced that it plans to initiate mining for Litecoin and DogeCoin. On Feb. 17, the company announced the launch of Bitcoin mining.

Ebang sees itself using own-built machines. However, it also envisions adding outside capacity in the form of either buying or renting physical machines from other manufacturers or leasing capacity from other mining farms.

On Dec. 31, 2020, Ebang announced that it would open a cryptocurrency exchange in the first quarter of 2021. In the release, Ebang claimed that it had already completed internal testing of the platform.

What their Client Base is Doing

The fact that the mining rig companies are branching out is no surprise. Their clients are doing likewise. 

On Feb. 26, Marathon Patent Group changed its name to Marathon Digital Holdings. Marathon is among Bitmain’s largest clients. On Dec. 28, 2020, Marathon placed Bitmain’s largest order ever, with 70,000 S-19 class rigs ordered. The deal was worth approximately $170 million.

However, even the massive mining rig use planned is not enough for Marathon; hence, the name change. The scope does as well. Marathon now calls itself a “cryptocurrency mining and digital asset management” company.

Disclaimer

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James Hydzik is a finance and technology writer and editor based in Kyiv, Ukraine. He is especially interested in the development of regulation in the face of increasingly rapid technological change. He previously covered the CEE region for Financial Times banking and FDI magazines. An ardent believer in gut renovating eastern Europe one flat at a time, he currently holds more home renovation gear than crypto.

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