• Marathon Digital plans to add 167,000 bitcoin miners to its fleet between now and early 2023, which would boost its hashrate by nearly seven times its current level
  • Hut 8 Mining’s upcoming Ontario facility expects to bring company’s total hashrate to 3.35 exahashes per second by the end of March

Crypto miners such as Marathon Digital and Hut 8 Mining look to continue increasing their hashrates after the overall metric recently hit an all-time high. 

Las Vegas-based Marathon Digital’s existing mining fleet consists of 32,350 active miners producing roughly 3.5 exahash per second (EH/s). 

But after purchasing a record number of Antminer S19 XP bitcoin miners from Bitmain in December, the company projects that it will have 199,000 bitcoin miners producing about 23.3 EH/s by early 2023, according to an announcement made on Monday

Marathon Digital hashrate growth chart
Marathon Digital hashrate growth chart. Source: Marathon Digital

“Today, we have access to top-tier hosting and renewable power, a strong balance sheet with $644.3 million in total liquidity, and nearly 167,000 industry leading bitcoin miners being added to our fleet between the start of this year and early 2023,” Marathon Digital CEO Fred Thiel said in a statement. 

The company is installing machines at Compute North’s existing facilities and testing deployments at new locations, he added.

Marathon expanded its agreement with Compute North last month to host more than 100,000 of Marathon’s previously purchased bitcoin miners at multiple locations, including wind and solar farms across the US.

Hut 8 Mining, based in Canada, has an installed operating capacity of 2.0 EH/s, a 125% increase in hashrate from a year ago, the company announced on Wednesday. 

The company purchased 2,505 MicroBT M30S machines from Foundry Digital that were already installed at the company’s site in Medicine Hat, Alberta, adding 228 petahashes per second (PH/s) during the month of December.

Electrical upgrades continue at the Medicine Hat site, which will allow for optimal hashrate efficiency from new MicroBT miners. These upgrades are on track to contribute an additional 450 PH/s in February 2022.

Hut 8 continues construction on its site in North Bay, Ontario, which it expects to have operational by the end of the first quarter. This will add roughly 850 PH/s of hashrate to its operations, bringing the company’s total hashrate to 3.35 EH/s by the end of March.

The company entered into a $30 million senior secured equipment financing term loan with Trinity Capital for new MicroBT machines being installed at the Alberta and Ontario sites. 

Hashrate’s recent all-time high

Bitcoin hashrate, a measure of the amount of computing power that is securing the network, hit an all-time high of about 208 million EH/s on Jan. 1, according to Glassnode data. 

The previous high of 198.5 million EH/s, the data shows, was recorded on April 15.  

Bitcoin hashrate was at about 179 EH/s, as of Tuesday, according to BTC.com. 

Compute North CEO Dave Perrill noted the bitcoin hashrate’s rebound in an email last month following its decline after Chinese miners were forced offline due to nationwide crypto bans.

“Expect [bitcoin’s hashrate] to double next year, as major industry players promise that hundreds of megawatts of capacity will come online in 2022,” he wrote. “Even if this doesn’t entirely come to fruition, we will still see more than 3 [gigawatts] of power coming online in all corners of the US.”

Miners will likely continue to have a difficult time purchasing new gear in 2022 due to chip shortages and supply chain issuers, Perrill added, which could benefit the established players in the space.  

“It isn’t just about having the funds but also being well connected to make the short-list to order gear before manufacturers sell out. Rather than new entities attempting to enter the mining space and bring new machines online, 2022 will see an increased investment in publicly traded blockchain companies that already have equipment online.

Holding bitcoin 

Marathon Digital produced nearly 3,200 bitcoins in 2021, the company announced, which was an 846% year-over-year increase. More than a third of that came during the final three months of the year, including a record 484.5 self-mined bitcoins in December. 

The company last sold bitcoin in October 2020, and since then, has been accumulating all the bitcoin it generates. It currently holds 8,133 BTC, which had a value of about $365 million, as of 3 pm ET on Wednesday. 

Hut 8 Mining meanwhile held 5,518 bitcoins on Dec. 31, which is 97% higher than a year ago. It mined 276 of those in December, up from 265 in November.

The value of its total reserves was nearly $250 million on Wednesday afternoon.

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro and crypto-native funds, financial advisors, structured products, and the integration of digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) into traditional finance. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism. Contact Ben via email at [email protected]