Bitcoin Halving Has Miners Prepping as Marathon Aims to Beef Up Rigs

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Bitcoin Halving Has Miners Prepping as Marathon Aims to Beef Up Rigs
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Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital Holdings is preparing for the halving

In a Tuesday statement, the publicly traded company announced the acquisition of two Bitcoin mining sites for $178.6 million. The datacenter sites are based in Texas and Nebraska. 

The move will add 390 megawatts of capacity, the company said, and it is expected it will reduce the cost per coin mined by around 30%.

The Bitcoin halving is an event which occurs roughly every four years. The event is baked into the Bitcoin protocol and ensures that miners—those who keep the network secure and process transactions—have their rewards cut in half. Instead of 6.25 BTC for each block they process, miners will be rewarded with 3.125 BTC. 

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The halving of rewards is meant to keep Bitcoin inflation in check. There will only ever been 21 million Bitcoin minted, but the halving makes it so the available supply entering the market is slowed down periodically.

“We have spent the past year strengthening our balance sheet by increasing our cash position, adding to our bitcoin holdings, and reducing our debt to prepare for the halving and to ensure we can capitalize on accretive opportunities as they present themselves,” Salman Khan, Marathon’s chief financial officer, said in a press release.

Fred Thiel, Marathon’s chairman and CEO, added that the acquisition will give the firm the “opportunity to reduce our bitcoin production costs at these sites, to capitalize on energy hedging opportunities, and to expand our operational capacity.”

The upcoming halving, which will be the fourth of its kind since the cryptocurrency network launched in 2008, is expected to happen in April. 

As with previous halvings, the lingering question on the minds of investors is once again: Is the halving priced in? Some believe the halving will be a bullish indicator for the market because the asset will become scarcer; others are saying the price of Bitcoin will largely remain unchanged because would-be buyers know it’s coming and can prepare accordingly months in advance.

Experts previously told Decrypt that miners have already started buying more efficient machines to prepare for the event. 

Marathon Digital is the second-biggest holder of Bitcoin out of all public companies which have invested in the asset. The company has 13,396 BTC on its balance sheet—today worth $567 million.

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