This is a transcribed excerpt from the “Bitcoin Magazine Podcast,” hosted by P and Q. In this episode, they are joined by Marathon Digital Holdings CEO Fred Thiel to talk about what it’s like to be a listed bitcoin miner in the stock market during the bear market. and what moves bitcoin miners can make to better secure their future while navigating bear markets.
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Q: It sounds like you’re focused on spreading out geographically because you’re not as much at risk from these kinds of regulatory attacks. This makes total sense to me. I’m curious, how much of a tailwind have you experienced with the mining ban in China, if any?
There was such a strong narrative about all these ASICs coming out of China and flowing to other places or coming into the market, I’m just curious what your experience with that was, given the position you’re in.
Fred Thiel: Yes, we had a huge tailwind that was offset, if you will, by the fact that our hardened facility had ongoing operational issues. I don’t have to go into those, because we’re totally transitioning out of that place now, but it was a coal-fired power plant that kept breaking down. So we got really optimistic, “Great. This whole hashrate is going down, we’re going to be able to mine a big ton of bitcoins,” and all of a sudden, “Oh, the power plant is going down again.”
For us personally, we experienced great rewards when the plant worked. Some days, we were mining four blocks with the small hashrate we had, which was great.
But eventually, the global hash rate caught up and here we are now, trending back to where we should have been. Today we’re around 240 exahashes globally and I think we’ll continue to see the hash rate grow as we continue to roll out, as other big miners continue to roll out.
I think we’ll eventually get back to a place where, potentially before the next halving, we’ll see the global hashrate, north of the mid-300s, something like that. This will be very interesting for this industry. I think the price of bitcoin needs to move a lot to compensate miners for the impact of the halving in early 2024.