Cryptocurrency miners including, CleanSpark (NASDAQ:CLSK), Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ:RIOT), HIVE Blockchain (NASDAQ:HIVE), and Hut 8 Mining (NASDAQ:HUT), have mined more bitcoins (BTC-USD) in January than in the prior month, and some anticipate a boost in mining capacity in the foreseeable future.
Starting with Riot Blockchain (RIOT), the company’s BTC production jumped almost 8% in January and +252% from the year-ago period. Its hash rate capacity of 3.4 exahash per second rose from 3.1 EH/s in the prior month, and expects to see 12.8 EH/s by the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the company recently shut down its Texas-based Whinstone facility, having cut its energy use by ~98%.
For CleanSpark (CLSK), it mined 305 BTC in January vs. 226 in December, and its hash rate was 2.1 EH/s in January, compared with 1.9 EH/s in December. This capacity expansion allowed the company to produce a high of 10.4 BTC in January, up from 9.5 in the previous period.
Hive Blockchain (HIVE), which mines both BTC and ethereum (ETH-USD), minted 264 BTC in January, compared with 245 in December, with 1.87 EH/s in January vs. 1.7 EH/s in December. Note that ethereum’s (ETH-USD) network difficulty increased ~7.5% in January.
On the other hand, Marathon Digital (NASDAQ:MARA) produced 462.1 BTC in January, down from December’s peak of 484.5. Despite this pivot, the company expects its hash rate to jump to 13.3 EH/s in mid-2022 and 23.3 EH/s in early 2023. This compares with ~4 EH/s in January – roughly flat from December.
As a group, crypto miner-related stocks, which are seen as a levered version of bitcoin (BTC-USD), dipped as much as 30% in January, with bitcoin (BTC-USD) off by 20%., as seen in the chart here. Note that BTC’s volume faded throughout January amid selling pressure. Seeking Alpha contributor Jason Appel recently dived deeper into RIOT and MARA outpacing BTC to the downside.
Generally, crypto miners’ revenue, which measures the total value of Coinbase (NASDAQ:COIN) block rewards and transaction fees paid to miners, recently stood at ~$35M and has been falling since its $80M peak in mid-April – about eight months before the price of bitcoin (BTC-USD) topped out, according to data from Blockchain.com.
A look inside the Bitcoin network:
Bitcoin’s (BTC-USD) network difficulty, a measure of how hard it is to mine a new block for the blockchain, hit a record high of 26.64T, making the network more secure against attacks, according to data from Blockchain.com. Recall in the past week when decentralized finance protocol Wormhole got hacked for about $320M, the second-largest DeFi attack on record.
Towards the end of the week ended Feb. 4, Bitcoin surpassed $40K after big tech earnings blowout.