Marathon mines record 2,926 bitcoins as revenue ticks up

Marathon Digital has installed the requisite hardware to reach its lofty hash rate target, as the bitcoin mining firm’s second quarter earnings showed signs of stabilization. 

The publicly traded US company had laid out a mid-year hash rate target of 23 exahashes per second (EH/s). 

Marathon Digital grew its hash rate by 54% during the second quarter — from 11.5 EH/s to 17.7 EH/s, executives said on an earnings call on Tuesday.   

After installations in July and early August at its Garden City, Texas site, Marathon’s installed hash rate hit the company’s projected 23 EH/s level. Marathon CEO Fred Thiel said in a statement that operation of these installed miners are “imminent.”

“While we have not announced any significant growth plans beyond 23 exahashes, our intention is to continue to grow and maintain our leading position in this space,” Thiel said on the call.

Read more: Which bitcoin miners are growing the fastest in 2023?

Marathon produced a record 2,926 BTC from April to June, up 33% from 2,195 BTC in the first quarter. The second quarter BTC total represented roughly 3.3% of the bitcoin network rewards available during the period.

The company’s stock price closed at $15.72 Tuesday, up 4.3% on the day. The shares were down nearly 2% in after hours trading, as of 6 pm ET. 

Marathon sold 63% of the BTC it produced in the quarter to fund operating costs, pocketing $23.4 million in gross proceeds. 

Still, the company posted a net loss of $21.3 million from April to June — up from a net loss of about $7 million in the prior quarter. Both figures represent a weighty improvement from the $212.6 million net loss Marathon booked in the second quarter of 2022. 

Marathon’s total revenue increased from about $51 million during the first quarter to nearly $82 million in the second. 

Halving ahead

Thiel said the company is eyeing profitability heading into the next halving, expected to occur around April 2024.  

With the upcoming halving, which reduces mining rewards, per-block rewards (minus transaction fees) will decline from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.

“We’re obviously very focused on optimizing our operations so that our cost to mine bitcoin will allow us to weather any sort of storm here as we get toward the halving, where bitcoin price might fluctuate up and down greatly,” Thiel said.  

Thiel said the company could seek out buying opportunities among financially stressed competitors. 

“These miners who are in trouble today are going to be in more trouble come the halving,” he said. “So I think there are going to be even more opportunities next year.” 

Still, the company would be looking for specific attributes in such a purchase.

“It’s got to be somebody that has an absolute amazing [power purchase agreement],” Thiel said. “Or access to a very low energy cost and a facility where you can essentially pull out old machines and put in brand new, super efficient machines.”

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