Game of Death In The Bitcoin Mining Industry
Bitcoin mining is suffering from the bear crisis. After the slump in the beginning of 2018, bitcoin mining is walking into winter as bitcoin drop from $10,000 down to $7,000 in March.
As analyst with Morgan Stanley predicted that if the coin can’t recover $8,600, many Bitcoin miners will likely find it unprofitable to keep creating the cryptocurrency.
“Once bitcoin price drops, the price for mining machines would stumble along with it. Store mining machines at low cost and dump it when price goes up. It’s also a good business.” a Chinese Canadian miner said.
A mining farm owner based in Xinjiang said the earning of selling his second-hand mining machines in late 2017 was close to the profit of mining in half year. Surely he seized a good timing when the price of mining machine was at peak along with bitcoin price reaching its all-time-high, a second-hand mining machine was priced as much as 30,000 yuan ($5,000) which was bought at 10,000 yuan months ago in July.
Three factors are essential for profit in bitcoin mining, they are bitcoin price, hashrate and electricity. When bitcoin price drops, hashrate and electricity cost are the key factors for the survival of a mining farm. Whoever has competitive hashrate with low electricity cost would survive in the ice age.
Hash power of the bitcoin network has spiked 30 billion folds since the birth of bitcoin. It makes mining profit halved every two months. How to keep competitive in hashrate and mine more bitcoins are the key.
Global hashpower distribution among mining pools in April 2018
Cheap power supply is the pursuit of mining farms. An extra 1 cent more for per kilowatt hour might lead to the death of a mining farm. “When the mining profit drops close to the electricity cost, whoever has cheap power supply can keep their business running. When mining farms offered electricity at 6 cents per kilowatt hour have no choice but to sell mining machines and shut down the mining farm, those who has cheaper electricity may still have their business ran.”
Apart from the volatility of crypto market, hash power and electricity, bitcoin mining is also threatened by regulations. On January 2, the Office of the Leading Group of Beijing Internet Financial Risks Remediation issued documents telling local governments to rationally guide enterprises to orderly retreat from the bitcoin mining business.
“It is a lucrative industry when in good timing, but when bear market comes, you have to give it back. All companies in the industry except those engaged in technology development are still playing the tricks of the capital market.” A pool founder said.
Anyway, bitcoin price has recovered somehow since April, from $7,000 to $9,000. Some people believe it is a sign that bitcoin bull is coming back, while some say the current bear will last for another year or even longer. Different views forecast their varied futures. Only those who prepares for the winter are more likely to foresee the next bull.