Bitcoin miners generated an estimated $353 million in revenue in October, up 8% from September, according to on-chain data from Coin Metrics analyzed by CoinDesk.
The revenue increase came as bitcoin soared through October, closing the month up nearly 30% at $13,800 on Coinbase. Seasonal shifts in mining hardware in late October also caused an increase in miner revenue as the network’s hash rate dropped, causing transaction processing to slow and fees to climb through late October.
Revenue estimates assume miners sell their BTC immediately.
Network fees brought in $42.9 million in October, or just over 12% of total revenue, the highest percentage since January 2018. Fee revenue increased as average fees soared in the second half of October, reaching $13.45 on Friday.
Fees climbed as bitcoin suffered its most severe congestion in nearly three years, as the mempool – a holding depot for transactions awaiting confirmation – filled up due to a drop in hashrate caused by miners taking machines offline, as CoinDesk previously reported. Specifically, some miners in China’s Sichuan province took machines offline to relocate to other areas with cheaper electricity sources as the region’s rainy season ended.
Notably, fees as a percentage of total revenue continues a strong upward trend since April, prior to the network's third block subsidy halving in May. Increases in fee revenue are important to sustain the network’s security as the subsidy decreases every four years.
At the end of Q3, cryptocurrency traders predicted significant upside for bitcoin as they rotated money from alternate cryptocurrencies (altcoins) to bitcoin. Quarter to date, bitcoin is up 26%, outperforming nearly every altcoin with a large market capitalization.
If this trade thesis continues to be valid through the rest of Q4, miners can have hopes for a higher BTC price and subsequent revenue growth through the end of 2020.