Bitcoin Miners on a Shopping Spree, Lower BTC Generation Cost Coincides with Price Rise
Bitcoin mining is seeing a “very important strategic shift” away from China as the Nordic region becomes a lucrative place to mine cryptocurrency thanks to very low electricity prices.
Ever since hitting an ATH in mid-October, the hashrate of the largest network has been keeping above 120 Th/s except for the drop to under 100 Th/s at the end of that month.
With hashrate and difficulty both near all-time highs, the Bitcoin network has never been this secure, and competition among the miners to produce BTC never been so strong, despite the price of BTC currently being around $27,000, again near ATH.
This has mining operators ordering and deploying more and more machines to capture as much of the Bitcoin market share as much as they can.
As we reported, publicly-traded Riot Blockchain (RIOT) purchased another 15,000 ASIC machines from Bitmain, bringing its total number of ordered machines to over 31,000 this year, which is expected to expand its hashrate capacity by 65% to 3.8 exahashes per second (EH/S) in 2021.
Another publicly traded bitcoin mining company Bitfarms announced the deployment of 1,000 Whatsminer M31S mining machines along with an additional 3,000 that will be put to use in Q1 2021. This is set to push the firm’s hashrate above 1.2 exahashes per second (EH/s). This year, Bitfarms has already acquired or deployed nearly 6,000 new machines.
Important Strategic Shift
In the backdrop of heightened activity in the overall Bitcoin market, the Nordic has also become a lucrative place to mine the cryptocurrency, once again, thanks to a drop in electricity prices.
Many of the miners that were attracted to the region during the bull run of 2017 have left due to poor margins from higher electricity costs and lower prices for most digital currencies but, while the bull season is returning, the Nordic region is also seeing unusually wet weather boosting the hydro reservoirs to the highest level in over 20 years.
“The ones that stayed through the difficult period, like us, are quite happy now,” said Philip Salter, head of operations at Hong Kong-based Genesis Mining, which operates a data center in Sweden. “There were times we were not making any profit at all, but during the last year our profitability has more than tripled.”
Power prices in the Nordic region are close to zero now, with the average prices this year about a third of Europe’s biggest power market, Germany.
“We have seen a notable uptick in investor appetite for Bitcoin mining opportunities in Norway,” said Tyler Page, a business developer at Bitfury. “This year’s energy prices were particularly low as Bitcoin prices have increased.”
In Q2 of 2020, Norway accounted for 0.48% of Bitcoins’ global hashpower, while China's share is 65% but down from 75.62% in 3Q19, as per Cbeci.
“There is a very important strategic shift away from mining in China to mining in western countries like Sweden as Bitcoin investors become more public and want more stability and critical safety,” said Salter.