Bitcoin Miner Bitfarms Warns of Default, Looks to Amend BlockFi Loan

The outstanding $20 million loan is secured by only $5 million in assets.

AccessTimeIconJan 13, 2023 at 1:17 p.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:06 a.m. UTC

Bitcoin miner Bitfarms (BITF) might have already, or may in the future, stop making installment payments on a $20 million loan from bankrupt crypto lender BlockFi, effectively defaulting on the loan, the firm said in a press release on Friday. As a result, Bitfarms is looking to modify the loan.

The original loan for $32 million was signed in February 2022 by Backbone Mining Solutions, a Bitfarms company that operates a 20 megawatt (MW) mining site in Washington state.

The loan now has $20 million outstanding and is secured by only $5 million in assets, in the form of some mining machines and the bitcoin they produce. So the miner is looking for more favorable terms on the loan and reducing its obligations.

"Neither a restructuring on more beneficial loan terms nor a reduction in BMS’s indebtedness is assured," the Friday press release said.

Canada-based Bitfarms has been working to reduce its loans, but still has $47 million outstanding, including the loan with BlockFi.

Miners have been haunted by their heavy debt obligations in a bear market that has seen the value of their collateral, usually crypto assets and mining machines, plummet. Two of the biggest firms in the industry, Compute North and Core Scientific (CORZ), have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

As of the end of 2022, Bitfarms had $36 million in cash and unencumbered crypto.

The stock is down over 5% at 95 cents in pre-market trading.


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Eliza Gkritsi

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