Riot Blockchain, one of the largest bitcoin miners in the U.S., started moving its bitcoin mining rigs from a hosting site in New York to its own mine in Texas to cut down on costs.
Riot expects the move from the Coinmint facility in Massena, N.Y., to its Whinstone mine in Rockdale, Texas, to reduce electricity costs and eliminate third-party hosting fees, the miner said in a Wednesday statement. About 5,700 of Riot's bitcoin mining rigs are offline as a result of the move and the rest of its fleet will likely be shipped in July, the statement said.
Part of the transition is a miner swap agreement, Riot said. Bit Digital said it signed a deal with Riot on June 9 to swap its brand new machines with Riot's operational ones in Massena. Bit Digital's hashrate has fallen since it moved its operations out of China following a crackdown last year.
Riot also said that it received 1,273 Antminer S19j Pro machines from manufacturer Bitmain in June, deployed another 4,676 in its immersion-cooled buildings and has a further 6,324 "staged for deployment." Riot expects 6,333 more S19j Pros to arrive this month.
Rack space has been a limiting factor for bitcoin miners in recent months as facilities have been full and new buildouts delayed. Riot is working on expanding the capacity of the Whinstone facility by 400 megawatts (MW), which would bring it to 750 MW. That would make it the largest crypto mine in the U.S.
Riot, however, decreased its hashrate expectations for the year to 12.5 exahash per second (EH/s). The downgrade follows June's reduced forecast, when it said it expected 12.6 EH/s by January 2023, below May's prediction of 12.8 EH/s. The miner produced 421 bitcoins in June, compared with 466 BTC in May, the statement said.
This is the fourth consecutive month that Riot Blockchain has sold bitcoin, and the sales are yielding diminishing returns. In June, it raised about $6.2 million by selling 300 bitcoins, compared with May's $7.5 million from the sale of 250 bitcoins. The company previously held on to its bitcoin production. Riot still takes a "long-term view on its bitcoin holdings and believes it is in the best interest of shareholders to have strong bitcoin holdings," the Wednesday statement reiterated.
Miners have been selling their holdings to cover costs and loan obligations as their revenues have dwindled along with the price of bitcoin and ether.
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