Marathon Digital pushes into Paraguay amid ongoing expansion
The Florida-headquartered crypto miner seeks to improve margins and reduce concentration risk by diversifying geographically
rafapress/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
Marathon Digital continues to expand its footprint as part of diversification efforts that double as cost-reduction measures ahead of the bitcoin halving.
The Florida-based bitcoin miner is building a new 27-megawatt project in Paraguay powered by hydro energy. This marks Marathon’s second international deployment, the company said Tuesday.
Marathon is partnering with Penguin Infrastructure Holding to establish a new operation near Paraguay’s Itaipu Dam. The company said it aims to achieve 1.1 exahash per second (EH/s) of computing power by the beginning of next year.
Charlie Schumacher, Marathon’s vice president of corporate communications, told Blockworks in an email there are many countries that can benefit from cheaper and more reliable power.
“By diversifying geographically, we have an opportunity to improve our margins, reduce concentration risk in our business and further decentralize the Bitcoin network’s hash rate, potentially all while helping various countries and businesses improve their economics and reduce their emissions,” he added.
Earlier this year, Marathon expanded into the United Arab Emirates through a joint venture with FS Innovation. As of the end of October, the company reported having 2.3 EH/s of mining capacity up and running in Abu Dhabi. It aims to increase this to 7 EH/s by year’s end.
“After proving that we can successfully deploy internationally with our project in Abu Dhabi, we are continuing to expand into new markets with excess or stranded energy,” Thiel said in a Tuesday statement.
Paraguay produces roughly 32 terawatt hours of surplus energy per year, he added.
Marathon’s international deal follows its agreement with Nodal Power last week to launch a mining project in Utah powered by landfill methane gas.
The company’s continuous expansion efforts come months before the next bitcoin halving slated for April 2024.
This event — occurring roughly every four years — reduces mining rewards, which is expected to add financial stress to certain companies in the segment. Per-block rewards for miners are set to decrease from 6.25 bitcoin (BTC) to 3.125 BTC this time around.
Though geographic expansion isn’t “inherently critical before the halving,” Schumacher explained, it is a core part of Marathon’s growth strategy.
“As we approach the halving, we are focused on reducing our costs,” he added. “One way to reduce our costs to mine is to find new sites or develop new methods of mining that are less expensive than traditional methods.”
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