DigitalBTC Bows Out of Bitcoin Mining Race

Grace Caffyn
Sep 29, 2015 at 13:14 UTC
Updated Sep 30, 2015 at 14:02 UTC
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Australian firm DigitalBTC is bowing out of bitcoin mining to focus on its consumer products, its CEO has said.

The company, which debuted on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) last June, mined 8,600 BTC in its first three months. However, with bitcoin’s price down almost 60% since then, its hardware is proving to be less and less profitable.

According to its latest statement, mining operations netted DigitalBTC $6.4m in the 12 months to June 2015, 20% less than the previous year.

CEO Zhenya Tsvetnenko told The Sydney Morning Herald:

“When we saw the big drop in the value of bitcoin, just like a traditional miner, we had to look for something else to do. We have been slowly winding down our bitcoin mining operations and we will be progressively moving away from using it as a currency.”

Though DigitalBTC – like many others – has been diversifying its product line for some time, this is the first confirmation it will discontinue its mining operations altogether.

The company’s new products include private liquidity platform digitalX Direct and AirPocket, a peer-to-peer remittance app. The latter starts its public beta in the US and the Dominican Republic today.

Long on bitcoin

“As much as we believe that bitcoin as a financial instrument can be a valuable tool, we basically have the opinion that it is going to take longer than we thought,” Tsvetnenko said.

While miners have been hit hard by the currency’s decline eating into margins, consumer-centric companies have also felt the slump.

Last week, payment processor BitPay laid off a number of staff to “better align with the [industry’s] pace of growth”.

Despite bitcoin’s value, DigitalBTC – which is listed under Digital CC Limited – still holds a great amount of the digital currency.

According to its report, the company bought $10.1m-worth in Q2, bringing its total purchase over the past year to nearly $29.7m.

Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.

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