Blockchain stocks are having a mini resurgence: bitcoin’s surprise rally has seen the price of the cryptocurrency top $45k for the first time since April 2022. Here is a collection of stocks to watch as demand for bitcoin mining grows even bigger.
- Marathon Digital set a new record in December for the most bitcoins mined in a single month.
- Riot Platforms bought 66,560 mining rigs last month as part of ambitious plans to grow its hash rate.
- Iris Energy bought 248 Nvidia H100 GPUs last August to explore opportunities in generative AI.
The Mining Record Stock
Marathon Digital [MARA] mined 1,853 bitcoins in the final month of 2023, up 56% from November and 290% year-over-year. The Las Vegas-based miner claimed in a press release last week that it believes this is “the highest monthly total ever recorded by a public bitcoin mining company”, and attributed it to an 18% monthly increase in its hash rate, to 22.4 exahashes per second (EH/s). The Marathon Digital share price jumped 12.1% on 4 January in reaction to the news, while it has gained 489.7% in the past year.
The Mining Rig Stock
Riot Platforms [RIOT] produced 619 bitcoins in December, up 12% from November, taking total production for 2023 to 6,626 bitcoins. Nevertheless, this represented a 9% fall year-over-year. The miner bought 66,560 mining rigs from manufacturer MicroBT last month as part of a long-term purchase agreement, which had seen Riot acquire 33,280 mining rigs in June. It also has the option to add 265,000 more, which would take its hash rate from 12.4 EH/s, as of 31 December, to over 100 EH/s.
The Aggressive Growth Stock
Bitfarms [BITF] earned 446 bitcoins in December, up 13.8% from November, taking the total earned for 2023 to 4,928 bitcoins. The Toronto-based miner ended the year with $118m in liquidity, up from $66m in 2022, and $84m in cash. “In 2023, we executed our growth plan and laid the groundwork for aggressive growth in 2024,” said CEO Geoff Morphy in a press release.
The Generative AI Stock
Iris Energy [IREN] mined 399 bitcoins in December, taking the total number of bitcoins mined in 2023 to 4,123. The Australian miner acquired 1.6 EH/s of Bitmain T21 miners during the month, increasing its mining capacity to 10 EH/s. It also bought 248 of Nvidia’s [NVDA] H100 GPUs for approximately $10m back in August, which it intends to use to explore opportunities in generative artificial intelligence.
The Improving Conditions Stock
TeraWulf [WULF] mined 334 bitcoins in December, up from 323 bitcoins in November. This slight improvement was down to “continued improvement leveraging lower winter temperatures across both the Lake Mariner and Nautilus facilities, along with streamlined miner maintenance and healthy transaction fees,” explained Sean Farrell, TeraWulf’s Senior Vice President of Operations, in a press release.
Another Way to Invest in Blockchain
The Global X Blockchain ETF
The Global X Blockchain ETF [BKCH] holds all five stocks as of 5 January. As of 31 December, 73.7% of the portfolio is allocated to information technology (IT) and 23.1% to financials; industrials and communication services are weighted 2.2% and 1%, respectively. The fund is up 214% in the past year through 8 January and up 25.5% in the past six months.
The iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF [IBLC] also holds all five stocks. As of 5 January, IT accounts for 76.9% of the portfolio, and financials 21.6%; the communication and consumer discretionary sectors both have weightings of under 1%. The fund is up 162.2% in the past year and up 31.3% in the past six months.
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