Marathon Digital to Move Mining Rigs From Coal-Powered Montana Site

The company wants its bitcoin mining operations to be 100% carbon neutral by the end of the year.

AccessTimeIconApr 5, 2022 at 4:23 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 7:17 p.m. UTC

Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) plans to relocate its mining machines away from a site in Hardin, Mont., that is powered by coal, the company said in a press release on Tuesday.

  • Crypto miners have been facing increasing scrutiny for their carbon footprint in the past year or so, and some have taken steps to move toward renewable energy. Marathon has pledged that its operations will be 100% carbon neutral by the end of 2022.
  • The Hardin bitcoin (BTC) mine is hosted by Beowulf, according to a Marathon investor presentation in March. Beowulf also owns the coal power plant nearby that powers the mine. The mine has space for 30,000 Bitmain Antminer S19 mining rigs, which together could generate as much as 3.3 exahash/second of computing power.
  • The transition is set to take place in the third quarter of this year in a staggered fashion to avoid downtime, Marathon said.
  • The crypto mining company didn't specify where the machines will be moved to or what "more sustainable sources of power" it will use. CEO Fred Thiel said the company's current strategy is to deploy mining rigs "behind the meter" at sustainable power stations, meaning the facilities are close to an energy producer and can draw power without going through the grid.
  • Marathon shares were down almost 8% Tuesday morning, while the price of bitcoin was down slightly over the last 24 hours.
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    Eliza Gkritsi

    Eliza Gkritsi is a CoinDesk contributor focused on the intersection of crypto and AI.