Bitcoin miners are selling coins from their holdings and stakes in their companies after mining profitability has plummeted since November.
With Bitcoin (BTC) currently holding around $43,500, about 33% below its all-time high (ATH) of around $69,000 reached this month, miners are selling at the wrong time. However, electricity and equipment bills must be paid.
Data from network analytics firm Glassnode shows that Bitcoin miners have become net sellers after being net hodlers for months.
Since November 9, mining revenue per BTC has decreased by an average of 50.5% for the two most popular mining devices, S9 and S19, according to Arcane Research. This means that the ROI has declined faster than the price of BTC.
A large increase in hashrate contributed to a decrease in the profitability of mining. The competition among miners increases in proportion to the hash rate, because this means that more and more devices are turned on to compete for the next block.
It was reported on Feb. 13 that Bitcoin reached a new ATH in hash rate. This milestone was achieved by jumping from 188.4 exahashes per second (EC/s) to 284.11 EH/s in one day. According to Ycharts, the hash rate is around 232.19 EH/s at the time of writing.
Some large mining enterprises have decided to increase their cash savings or pay bills by selling stocks rather than cryptocurrencies. On February 11, a representative of the mining company Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (MARA) told Bloomberg: “We started walking in October 2020 and haven’t sold a single Satoshi since.”
Instead, Marathon filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sell $750 million worth of shares and securities. Seeking Alpha says that Marathon intends to use a “significant portion” for equipment purchases and general purposes.
MARA is currently down 0.56% and is valued at $28.24 after business hours.
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An analyst at asset management company DA Davidson told Bloomberg on Feb. 14 that miners have ideological and business reasons for not wanting to sell bitcoin:
“Large miners are more likely to sell shares because their shareholders want them to keep their bitcoins and not even think about selling them.”