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Crypto miners stockpile $3 billion in Bitcoin ahead of halving

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Photo: Jin Odin / Shutterstock.com

As the Bitcoin halving draws near, leading mining companies like Marathon Digital, CleanSpark, and Bitfarms are strategically accumulating nearly $3 billion worth of Bitcoin. Their rationale is rooted in economic principles: a reduction in supply following the halving is expected to drive increased demand, potentially leading to a surge in bitcoin prices.

Halving is a phenomenon conceived by Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged founder of Bitcoin, where the daily mining limit is slashed in half every four years, from 900 to 450. It is a core phenomenon of Bitcoin’s protocol aimed at controlling inflation. However, it presents a complex situation for the miners.

While designed to maintain the cryptocurrency’s scarcity and value, it challenges miner’s profitability and operational sustainability.

Experts like Larisa Yarovaya, speaking to the Financial Times, point out the strategic manoeuvres within the mining sector, describing it as a delicate balancing act between miners’ faith in Bitcoin’s future value and the realities of reduced rewards and rising production costs.

“Mining companies are playing a constant game of chicken with each other,” said Larisa Yarovaya. “It’s a business model that’s based more than ever on faith that bitcoin’s price will go up and demand for it will grow.”

The current situation reflects cautious optimism among miners, buoyed by Bitcoin’s recent price surge and regulatory approvals, signalling growing institutional acceptance. However, concerns about market volatility persist, highlighted by the cryptocurrency’s recent correction, experiencing a decline of over 14%.

Crypto miners are bullish on Bitcoin’s price, but hedge funds are betting against mining companies

Despite these challenges, miners are doubling on investments, with expenditures exceeding $1 billion on new equipment to enhance market competitiveness and operational efficiency. This strategic approach is not without risks, as hedge fund short sellers maintain significant bets against mining companies, indicating lingering scepticism in certain market segments such as energy and technology.

Each time a mining company successfully mines a Bitcoin, it gets rewarded. However, as mining gets more competitive and expensive, some mining companies that aren’t very efficient might struggle to stay in business. This could lead to them being pushed out of the market because they can’t keep up with the costs.

Executives in the cryptocurrency industry are optimistic about Bitcoin’s future and hold thousands of coins. For example, Cleanspark held approximately 5,000 Bitcoins while Marathon Digital has a stockpile of over 17,300 Bitcoins marking a total collective hoarding by the industry at 46,200 Bitcoins.

Market observers stress the importance of sustained network activity and transaction of fee revenues to bolster miners’ financial positions. Developments such as the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and their potential impact on transaction volumes are closely monitored as potential catalysts for revenue growth.

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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