The price of Bitcoin has taken a beating in the past month. The leading cryptocurrency by market cap is down by more than 11% from its price in July and has lost more than $50 billion in market cap since then.
While the price plunge has been painful for investors, Bitcoin miners have also been feeling the sting as mining revenue per computing power has been dwindling for the past few months. On the other hand, Bitcoin’s hashrate has soared to high levels as mining farms continue to come online.
Bitcoin Hashrate Reaches All-Time Highs Despite Bear Market
Over the last year, Bitcoin’s hashrate (the total combined computing power of miners) has almost doubled. Data from Blockchain.com shows that the Bitcoin network hash rate surpassed 414 terahashes per second (TH/s) for the first time on August 16.
This metric has since retraced to 390 TH/s, but it is expected to rise further in the coming weeks as miners bring on more computing power to break even on their mining operations. The higher the hashrate, the more difficult it becomes to mine BTC and earn rewards. This means that miners are now making less BTC per terahash of computing power than ever before.
Data from Hashrate Index shows this figure is now at $0.06016 per terahash/second per day. In comparison, this figure was at $0.08124 on May 8 during the rise of Bitcoin Ordinals and Inscriptions. A further decline from here would see mining revenue fall below the lowest point in November 2022.
How Miners Are Adapting To Stay Profitable
The Bitcoin mining industry has proven itself resilient, even during the depths of the crypto winter. According to data from investment information platform MacroMicro, the current average cost to mine a BTC stands at $45,877 with the current price of BTC now at $25,936.BTC price displays volatility during the weekend | Source: BTCUSD on Tradingview.com
To remain profitable with the rising hash rate, Bitcoin miners have had to adjust their operations. Publicly traded mining companies like Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms have had to raise about $440 million through stock sales.
Bitcoin miners have also avoided selling their $900 million BTC, as it could trigger a major selloff from investors. While previous on-chain data have shown miners sending a significant amount of coins to exchanges, miners have been expanding their reserves recently.
BTC Mining Outlook
The outlook for Bitcoin mining economics in the coming months is uncertain but potentially promising if the hashrate continues to increase. The next Bitcoin halving is expected to take place in April 2024, slashing block reward by 50%.
When the halving occurs, things could even get tighter for miners, as they would have to increase mine more blocks to break even. Nevertheless, big BTC mining companies are already on track for this adjustment. Marathon Digital, for example, was able to achieve a 54% boost in its hashrate during the second quarter but reported a net loss of $21.3 million.
Featured image from iStock, chart from Tradingview.com