The Bitcoin mining landscape in January 2024 illustrates a diverse and dynamic industry, marked by varying operational scales, strategic expansions, and technological advancements among leading companies. In January, the top public Bitcoin mining companies reported a decrease in Bitcoin production compared to December 2023. This decline was attributed to several factors, including an increase in the network's hashrate and difficulty, reduced transaction fees, and participation in power curtailment programs due to extreme cold weather conditions in Canada and the US. These challenges highlight the dynamic nature of Bitcoin mining, where operational efficiency and adaptability to environmental changes are crucial for maintaining productivity.
This blog post delves into the operational updates from the largest public Bitcoin mining companies published on their websites, offering a holistic view of the Bitcoin mining ecosystem through an overview of Bitcoin production, treasury holdings, expansion plans, and more.
Marathon's Bitcoin Mining Race Has a New Milestone: 50 EH/s as the Next Finish Line
In January, Marathon, among other Bitcoin miners, experienced a drop in Bitcoin production, generating 1,084 BTC, a 42% decrease from December 2023. Temporary site outages due to equipment failure and weather-related curtailments reduced the operational hashrate by 14% to 19.3 EH/s, leading to a decrease in Bitcoin production. Despite increasing its energized hashrate by 7%, it wasn't enough to offset the 14% drop. As of January 31, the company has an operational hashrate of 26.4 EH/s and holds a total of 15,741 unrestricted BTC, maintaining the title of the largest Bitcoin holder among public miners.
These temporary setbacks don't stop Marathon from going all-in in the Bitcoin mining race. They are rapidly expanding their mining operations, having completed a state-of-the-art 250-megawatt facility in Abu Dhabi - a partnership initiated last year - and are progressing towards a 1.1 exahash capacity in Paraguay by Q2 2024. With additional capacity added in Texas and plans to grow its hash rate by 30% this year, Marathon sets a clear path to reach 50 EH/s by 2025, emphasizing its commitment to scaling operations and enhancing productivity.
Riot's Resilient Rally: Navigating Storms Toward a 38 EH/s Horizon
Riot Platforms experienced a 16% decrease in Bitcoin production in January 2024, mining 520 Bitcoins compared to 619 in December 2023. Challenges in increasing its hashrate from 12.4 EH/s since November 2023, and a longer-than-expected recovery in immersion buildings damaged from a winter storm in Texas in December 2022, have impacted their hashrate growth. Despite these setbacks, Riot announced substantial expansion plans. The company is developing the Corsicana Facility, which, in its Phase 1, will add 400 megawatts (MW) of capacity, aiming for a total facility capacity of up to 1 gigawatt upon full development. Riot aims to expand its self-mining hashrate capacity to 29 EH/s by the end of 2024 and reach 38 EH/s by 2025. As of January 31st, Riot holds 7,648 Bitcoin on its balance sheet.
Elevating the Game: CleanSpark's Ambitious Hashrate Boost
In January, CleanSpark mined 577 BTC, increasing their total to 3,573 BTC. They aim to boost their hashrate by 46% by mid-February, marking the first increase since achieving "A Rare Bitcoin Mining Milestone" of 10 EH/s in October 2023. This expansion is crucial for staying competitive in the Bitcoin mining industry, particularly in light of the upcoming halving event.
Bitdeer's Balancing Act: Mining More with Less Before the Halving
Bitdeer's mining production saw a significant year-over-year increase in January, mining 330 Bitcoins compared to the previous year's 148, despite a month-over-month decline from 434 BTC. This reduction was due to lower transaction fees and operational curtailments in their operation in Bhutan. Ahead of the halving event, Bitdeer aims to increase its hashrate from 6.7 EH/s through major expansions, including new data centers in Ohio and Norway, set for completion by mid-2025. The company also focuses on enhancing mining efficiency by phasing out older machines, affecting its hashrate.
Bitfarms' Bold Leap: Doubling Down as the Halving Approaches
In January, Bitfarms' Bitcoin output fell to 357 BTC from December's 446 BTC, due to increased energy curtailments and reduced transaction fees. With a hashrate of 6.5 EH/s, the company is pushing to boost this to 12 EH/s and then 21 EH/s within the year. This expansion involves launching a new 100 MW facility in Paraguay and updating their miners for efficiency. Bitfarms liquidated all 357 BTC mined in January, while their treasury holds 804 BTC.
Cipher Mining's January Journey
Cipher Mining also faced a 20.4% dip in Bitcoin production to 371 BTC, influenced by market fluctuations and power curtailment efforts in Texas. With an operational hashrate of 7.2 EH/s and 70,000 rigs, the company managed to grow its Bitcoin holdings to 1,132 BTC. In response to the ever-changing market, Cipher initiated the deployment of new Bitmain S21 mining rigs to boost its production efficiency.
Hut 8's Resilient March in January: Advancing Amidst Adversity
Hut 8 advanced its operational efficiencies and digital asset holdings in January by integrating purpose-built software and firmware across its sites, particularly in Canada and the Echo site in Texas. The company's self-mining fleet consists of 73,140 miners and has a hashrate of 7.3 EH/s, producing 339 BTC while holding 9,116 BTC on its balance sheet. Despite facing severe weather in Texas and Alberta, leading to temporary operational shutdowns to support the grid, Hut 8 continued its expansion, including pre-construction work on a new 63 MW site in Texas, underscoring its growth trajectory and resilience amidst operational challenges.
TeraWulf Joins the Pack: Increasing Efficiency and Expansion
In January, TeraWulf reached a self-mining hashrate of 7.1 EH/s, with plans to grow it to 7.9 EH/s by adding 5,000 S19j XPs in February—a 10% increase. Mining 313 bitcoins at an average cost of $16,737 each, TeraWulf aims to increase its hashrate further to 10 EH/s by mid-2024, indicating ambitious expansion efforts to boost mining efficiency and capacity in the competitive landscape of Bitcoin mining with the halving event in horizon.
New Chapter for Core Scientific: A Resilient Rise
Core Scientific mined 1,027 Bitcoins in the first month of the year, a decrease from December 2023's 1,177 bitcoins, yet increased its self-mining hashrate from 16.9 EH/s to 18.6 EH/s and improved mining efficiency to 26.44 J/TH. Despite lower production, they sold 1,114 bitcoins, earning about $47.8 million. This performance follows their successful exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and Nasdaq trading resumption, alongside a significant $400 million debt reduction, marking a strong start to the year.
January 2024 posed various challenges for public Bitcoin mining companies, from network difficulties to environmental factors. However, these challenges also underscored the industry's resilience and adaptability. Companies showcased strategic initiatives to mitigate risks and pursue long-term growth objectives, highlighting the dynamic nature of the Bitcoin mining ecosystem. Looking ahead, continued technological innovation and expansion efforts, especially in anticipation of the upcoming halving event, are expected to drive sustained growth and productivity in the sector.