Riot Blockchain, a prominent player in the Bitcoin mining industry, is gearing up for the anticipated Bitcoin halving event in April 2024 with a substantial expansion of its mining operations. The company has announced the acquisition of 66,560 mining rigs from MicroBT, marking one of the most significant increases in hash rate capacity in its history.
Massive miner purchase
Riot Blockchain is making waves in the cryptocurrency world with its strategic acquisition of 66,560 mining rigs from MicroBT. This bold move is in preparation for the Bitcoin halving event scheduled for April 2024, an event that significantly impacts Bitcoin mining rewards. The acquisition comes at a staggering cost of $290.5 million, averaging approximately $4,360 per machine.
Of these newly acquired mining rigs, a whopping 72% will be MicroBT’s latest model, the M66S, which boasts an impressive hash rate of 250 terahashes per second (TH/s). The remaining machines will consist of the M66 (14,770) and M56S++ (3,720) models, collectively contributing 18 exahashes per second (EH/s) to Riot’s mining operations.
This acquisition marks a historic moment for Riot Blockchain, with CEO Jason Les describing it as the “largest order of hash rate” in the company’s history. It’s a strategic move that positions Riot to enhance its mining performance significantly.
Riot Blockchain plans to deploy the first batch of 33,280 miners from the June purchase in the first quarter of 2024. The newly acquired 66,560 miners are slated for deployment in the second half of the same year. The company’s goal is to achieve a self-mining hash rate capacity of 38 EH/s when all 99,840 rigs are fully operational, a milestone expected to be reached in the second half of 2025.
Motivation behind the expansion
The primary motivation behind Riot’s significant expansion is the impending Bitcoin halving event in April 2024. During this event, Bitcoin mining rewards are expected to be reduced, making it imperative for miners to increase their hash rate capacity to maintain profitability.
The news of Riot Blockchain’s substantial miner purchase has ignited positive investor sentiment. On December 4, Riot’s stock surged nearly 9%, contributing to an impressive year-to-date growth of over 345% in 2023. This robust performance reflects the confidence of investors in Riot’s strategic approach to Bitcoin mining.
Bitcoin mining industry developments
In addition to Riot Blockchain’s expansion, other players in the Bitcoin mining industry are also making notable strides:
CleanSpark’s Impressive Mining Growth: CleanSpark reported mining 666 BTC in November, marking a 5.2% increase from October and a substantial 24% growth compared to the same period in 2022. The growth is attributed in part to rising transaction fees and increasing interest in Bitcoin’s various use cases.
TeraWulf’s Steady Performance: TeraWulf, listed on Nasdaq, mined 323 BTC in November, representing a 3% increase from October. This performance was primarily driven by higher network transaction fees, indicating the resilience of Bitcoin mining operations.
Hut 8’s Merger and Debut: Hut 8 successfully completed its merger with Bitcoin Corp, forming Hut 8 Corp. The newly merged entity commenced trading on Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange on December 4. However, its debut performance saw a notable decline in its stock price on the same day, reflecting the challenges and uncertainties in the cryptocurrency market.