So far this year, publicly traded Marathon Patent Group (Nasdaq: MARA) has mined 196 BTC worth $11.5 million at current prices, and the firm plans to expand its bitcoin mining fleet to more than 100,000 ASICs by the end of January 2022.
The newly mined coins bring Marathon’s bitcoin treasury up to 5,134.2 BTC (roughly $300 million), per an announcement. Marathon’s stock jumped 7% on the news and closed at $56.56.
Also in Q1, Marathon received 10,300 top-of-the-line Bitmain s-19 Pros, which are more powerful than most other hardware on the market.
The Las Vegas-based firm will receive recurring shipments from Bitmain throughout the year with the goal of having over 100,000 ASICs online by the end of January 2022, giving Marathon’s operations an estimated hashrate of 10.3 exahashes per second (EH/s). These purchases come after the company raised hundreds of millions from stock offerings and other financing over the past year.
Marathon’s aggressive expansion is in step with the other big names in the mining industry. New machines are just now coming online after heavy demand dammed-up the ASIC supply chain, and Bitcoin’s mining difficulty recently hit an all-time high in response to the flood of hashrate. (Bitcoin’s mining difficulty is a self-correcting algorithm that makes mining bitcoin harder or easier depending on market conditions.)
Compass Mining CEO Whit Gibbs previously told CoinDesk this trend shows no signs of stopping this year. Marathon’s mammoth ASIC orders gives proof to that.
“The pending flood of hashrate about to enter the market will only continue pushing bitcoin’s mining difficulty higher, which should track with bitcoin’s price,” Gibbs said.