Lower Power Costs Becoming Essential Component For Profitability Of Digital Mining Operations
Palm Beach, FL – The rise in popularity of digital mining and the underlying blockchain technology presents both challenges and opportunities to the energy sector. Cryptocurrency mining is a difficult and costly activity. Miners must pay to build ever increasing bigger rigs capable of vast amounts of processing power, and then the rigs themselves must be powered with large quantities of electricity. Companies with the access to electricity resources have a huge ‘leg-up” on their competition… so the race to acquire sources of inexpensive electricity can be a life-or-death situation for the mining facility. Many installations actually decide where to build their facilities based largely on the local availability of energy production facilities. As a result, the largest mining operations are springing up in parts of the world with cheap electricity, like China. In 2018, the state of Washington, by some estimates, hosted 15%- 30% of all Bitcoin mining operations globally due to availability of less expensive power sources. The cost matters! Profitability in a large part, relies upon how much their electricity costs… and IF they can even get all that they need. An article in The Economist said: “BITCOIN has been alarming people for years because of the amount of electricity needed to mint new virtual coinage. Alex de Vries, a bitcoin specialist at PwC, (estimated) that (in 2018) the… global power consumption for the servers that run bitcoin’s software is a minimum of 2.55 gigawatts (GW), which amounts to energy consumption of 22 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year—almost the same as Ireland. Google, by comparison, used 5.7 TWh worldwide in 2015. What’s more, bitcoin “miners” consume about five times more power than they did last year, and orders of magnitude more than just a few years ago—and there are no signs of a slowdown. Active companies in the markets this week include Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA), LINK GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES INC. (CSE: LNK) (OTCPK: LGLOF), HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (OTCQX: HVBTF) (TSX-V: HIVE), NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE: NC) (OTCQB: NTTCF), International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM).
An article in VOX added: “As the value of the digital currency has climbed, so has the amount of energy needed to keep this online economy running, which… exceeds the energy use of (over) 159 individual countries…”. All indicators seem to project that it will continue to grow in the years to come.
LINK GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES INC. (CSE: LNK) (OTCPK: LGLOF) NEWS: LINK GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES SIGNS 6 MW POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS WITH BLOCK ONE TECHNOLOGIES FOR THEIR DIGITAL CURRENCY MINING OPERATIONS – LINK GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES (“LINK” or the “Company”), an innovative power and infrastructure solutions provider for digital mining and data hosting operations, is pleased to announce that its phase one development of power in Alberta is fully subscribed through agreements (the “Agreements”) with Block One Technologies (“Block One”). According to the terms of these Agreements, Link will provide Block One with 6 megawatts (MW) of electrical power for an initial term of one year, at an agreed upon rate calculated in Canadian dollars per kilowatt hour.
“We are very pleased to be working with an experienced, professional group such as Block One Technologies,” said Stephen Jenkins, President & CEO of Link. “This partnership allows Block One to access our existing power assets in order to conduct its digital mining operations more cost effectively, while also allowing us to expand our current business operations. While this is the first formal agreement between Block One and Link, the companies intend to pursue future agreements that will play an important role in Link’s growth strategy.”
Bijan Alizadeh, Founder & Chairman of Block One, commented: “By working with Link, Block One can take advantage of the competitive energy prices Link offers, while continuing to expand our digital currency mining operations. We have deep expertise in the digital mining space and partnering with Link on power supply makes a lot of sense for us and our clients.”
Other recent developments in the markets this week include:
NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE: NC) (OTCQB: NTTCF) has integrated its platform into the banking automated clearing house (ACH) for all United States-based merchant payouts. “This development is a massive leap forward for us in driving cost out of the financial infrastructure for our clients,” stated Clayton Moore, Founder and CEO of NetCents Technology. “When we pivoted NetCents to focus on Crypto transactions it was paramount from our perspective that we drive down transaction costs and deliver on the promise of a seamless frictionless economy. This milestone essentially creates that costless bridge between the crypto world and the traditional world – enabling us to attack more business opportunities – and offer a more fully developed product suite. Everyone hates paying wire fees – understanding that they are just another way for commercial banks to gouge their clients. We are really happy to be able to offer this costless transfer feature, and believe it will further accelerate adoption of our platform.”
International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) in an article published by Aithority.com, IBM Blockchain Platform 2.5 was announced at the IBM Think Conference in May 2020. IBM 2.5 is created using Hyberledger Fabric 2.5, in tighter integration with Red Hat Open Shift for automated provisioning, management, and app scaling across enterprise applications.
In the new era of connected workplace operations, enterprise collaboration and communications tools are emerging as the steady benchmarks of digitization. For better preparedness across supply chains, business teams seek real-time visibility and monitoring dashboards to keep a check on private and public information and how they are shared. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, digitization efforts have been put on an accelerated route to take on new challenges arising due to redundancy and lack of data visibility across the various touchpoints within the enterprise.
Marathon Patent Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) one of the few Nasdaq listed cryptocurrency mining companies in the United States, recently announced the purchase of an additional 500 of the latest generation Bitmain S19 Pro Miners. These 500 miners will produce 110 TH/s and generate 55 PH/s (petahash) of hashing power, bringing the Company’s total Hashrate to approximately 240 PH/s when fully deployed. This compares to the Company’s previous S-9 production of 46 PH/s. The purchase price paid was $1,190,000. The Company expects to take delivery of these latest units by the end of September.
On May 11, 2020, Marathon announced the purchase of 700 M30S+ (80 TH) miners which now have been fully installed and are operational. On May 12, 2020, the Company announced the purchase 660 Bitmain S19 Pro Miners followed by the announced purchase of an additional 500 on May 19, 2020. Today’s announcement of the purchase of an additional 500 S19 Pro Miners brings the total state of the art, next generation miners purchased in the past month to 2,360 units. The Company is expecting delivery and installation of 1,160 Bitmain S19 Pro ASIC Miners in approximately the next 30-60 days, followed by the remaining 500 shortly thereafter.
HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (OTCQX: HVBTF) (TSX-V: HIVE) recently announced that it has put into operation its recently acquired 1,090 Bitmain Antminer T17+ 58 Terahash per second (TH/s) SHA 256 mining machines at its green energy-powered bitcoin mining operation in Quebec.
Combined with the recently installed 750 Bitmain Antminer S17+ 73 TH/s machines operational at its Quebec facility, HIVE’s aggregate operating hash rate from this next generation mining equipment is approximately 118 PH/s and is estimated to be operating at a gross mining margin above 40%i. These recent investments are among several steps the Company is undertaking to maximize the capacity and efficiency of its 30-megawatt (MW) facility.