Miners’ bitcoin production dipped in January amid energy curtailment

Winter storms contribute to month-over-month declines in BTC production as the bitcoin halving approaches

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Artie Medvedev/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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The largest public bitcoin miners produced less bitcoin in January than they did the month previous, as winter storms spurred the segment’s firms to curtail energy usage.

Marathon Digital’s bitcoin production declined by 42% month over month — from 1,853 bitcoin (BTC) in December to 1,084 BTC in January.

Disruptions during the month included “weather-related curtailment and equipment failures that led to site outages,” Marathon Digital CEO Fred Thiel said in a statement. 

The company had an energized hash rate of 26.4 exahashes per second (EH/s), as of Jan. 31. But its average operational hash rate dropped 14% last month to 19.3 EH/s, Thiel noted Monday.

The company said it is eyeing hash rate improvement in the coming weeks, noting that Marathon has added 0.9 EH/s of capacity in the facility it recently bought in Granbury, Texas.

Read more: Marathon Digital to remove rival bitcoin miner Hut 8 from newly acquired sites

Core Scientific, which emerged from bankruptcy and re-listed on the Nasdaq last month, produced 1,027 BTC in January. That was down from 1,177 bitcoins the month before.

The company reduced power consumption at its data centers “on several occasions” in January, delivering 18,487 megawatt hours to local grid partners, according to the firm. 

“By supporting the grid in such a fashion, Core Scientific helps grid operators keep power flowing to their customers when temperatures rise and air conditioning use increases, and when temperatures drop and heating use increases,” the company said in a Monday news release. 

Riot Platforms’ bitcoin production dropped from 619 BTC in December to 520 BTC in January. 

CEO Jason Les attributed the decrease to an uptick in power demand amid “extreme cold” in Texas during the month.   

Riot’s curtailment efforts during the period of high demand generated $3.3 million in power and demand response credits, Les added — the equivalent to roughly 77 BTC, based on the average bitcoin price during the month.

Though Riot’s bitcoin production dropped in January, it sold just 40% of the BTC it generated, compared to about 95% the prior month. 

Les said Riot intends to retain a greater proportion of its bitcoin production in the near-term as the next bitcoin halving approaches. The halving, slated for April, is an event during which the per-block rewards for mining bitcoin will be reduced from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC. 

Read more: Bitcoin price tracking ahead of the past 2 halvings — now 3 months to go

CleanSpark, Cipher Mining and Bitfarms each saw bitcoin production declines of 20% in January. They generated 577 BTC, 371 BTC and 357 BTC, respectively. 

Like others, Canada-based Bitfarms attributed the decrease to grid stability programs that promote energy curtailment amid the month’s “powerful winter storms.” 

Cipher Mining CEO Tyer Page noted that “the colder weather and resulting elevated power prices in Texas incentivized curtailment from our power provider at Odessa.”

While Bitfarms sold all 357 of the bitcoins it produced, CleanSpark and Cipher Mining sold just 6.4 BTC and 34 BTC, respectively during the month.


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