Bitcoin miners standing in front of a fork in the road

 Many companies and Bitcoin miners went bankrupt, but many continued to expand mining and bring local benefits.

The Bitcoin mining industry is having a hard time as BTC falls to the $20,000 price range, while energy costs in North America and Europe hit record highs. Regulatory agencies in many countries have also begun to control cryptocurrency mining. According to the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), the electricity consumption of the Bitcoin mining industry has increased by 41% over the same period last year. Many companies have had to sell their miners, while others have filed for bankruptcy. But there are exceptions, especially the group of miners that focus on clean energy solutions.

The diggers can do it

According to Matthew Schultz, Executive Chairman of CleanSpark, Bitcoin mining is the only way to save on energy costs – what sets CleanSpark apart from other cryptocurrency miners. The reason is that they partner with some cities like Georgia and Texas to buy excess renewable energy. "These cities have essentially become our electricity suppliers," Schultz said. That way, he believes the “Bitcoin winter” will impact the company in a completely positive way.

CleanSpark leaders are inspecting Bitcoin mining rigs at College Park (USA). Source: CleanSpark
Leaders of CleanSpar are inspecting Bitcoin mining rigs at College Park (USA). Source: CleanSpark

CleanSpark's effective operation is also due to the market analysis ability of the leadership team. Last year when the price of BTC hit $69,000 and the market was scarce for miners, orders had to be placed all year in advance. At that time, Schultz said that, instead of depositing money and not having the machine delivered until next year, they decided to sell Bitcoin when the price was at $69,000 and keep cash. When the graphics card craze passed, they continued to buy cheap diggers to operate. With cash in reserve, they even bought mining facilities that miscalculated and didn't survive the "Bitcoin winter".

"We're buying rigs for $17 per terahash (TH/s), whereas a year ago it was $100," said Scott Offord, owner of the mining equipment unit. Scott's Crypto Mining, said. Miner prices are now very cheap due to the low price of Bitcoin, many groups of miners massively liquidated. There are machines that have not even been unboxed that have been sold by the owner to cut losses, some are sold under foreclosure.

According to Andy Long, CEO of Bitcoin mining company White Rock Management, many miners are forced to sell their machines to cover their debts due to buying machines at too high a price. He said his company not only operates in Texas, but also continues to expand in Sweden, where the mining rigs are 100% powered by hydroelectricity.

Miners have to sell themselves

However, not all miners are as rational as Schultz and Long. Elliot David, a representative of the Sustainable Bitcoin Protocol, said that the majority of miners are facing bankruptcy.

Jonathan Bates, CEO of cryptocurrency mining company BitMine, said that in the future they will only focus on self-mining instead of providing mining rental services. “With ASIC prices plummeting, we find it better to do self-mining based on the equipment we have than renting a serviced factory,” he said.

In an announcement on October 19, Bitmine said it has agreed to buy back a number of ASIC miners that were sold to cryptocurrency mining company TCC. Specifically, in the previous contract, Bitmine sold this company 70 Antminer T-17 models for $175,000 and 25 Whatsminers models for $162,500. Total order value is 337,500 USD. They will now spend $62,500 on 25 Whatsminers and $144,000 on 70 Antminer TY-17s.

In addition, many other Bitmine partners also announced the return of orders placed and hoped that the company could buy them back because they could no longer afford to pay and operate the mine.

Future of Cryptocurrency Mining

With mixed signals from miners, David believes the cryptocurrency mining industry is at a crossroads. “Miners will have to diversify their sources of income and look for clean energy sources if they want to operate in the long term and be financially flexible,” noted David.

Meanwhile, Offord thinks that miners are looking for opportunities in places where there is excess energy such as solar power or bioenergy on farms. In the future, they should not only focus on building a Bitcoin mining factory, but also have to think about a sustainable model to reduce carbon.

In addition to sustainability, David pointed out that regulatory requirements are also becoming ever more important to miners, especially in the US. “Miners are increasingly aware that they are forced to regulate themselves before the authorities step in,” he said.
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