Global Crypto Mining News in November:Pool review of transactions sparks huge controversy, Multiple decentralized mining pools launched

WuBlockchain
14 min readDec 5, 2023

1.

0xB10C Research reveals that F2Pool became the first Bitcoin mining pool to filter transactions based on U.S. OFAC sanctions. In September and October 2023, there are six bitcoin blocks missing an OFAC-sanctioned transaction and four by F2Pool. The transactions missing from F2Pool’s blocks are likely filtered.

Several reasons could explain why a transaction might be absent from a block. Generally, transactions do not propagate equally through the network, and there is no global mempool to pick transactions from. Each node has its own set of valid transactions. However, for the four transactions that were not included in the block by F2Pool, the authors analyzed the rate distribution of the missing transactions and the included alternative transactions (e.g., the former provides more miner’s fees), and in combination with the space situation of the block (there was enough space to accommodate them but they were not physically included), concluded that this was a case of intentional filtering.

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2.

Cipher Mining released its unaudited production and operations update for October 2023. The company produced about 428 BTC in October, an increase of about 3% in production from the previous month, while the average monthly network hashrate for October increased by about 9% from the previous month. Cipher sold about 466 BTC in October, and had a balance of about 516 BTC as of the end of October, with an end-of-month operating hashrate of 7.2 EH/s.

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3.

Northern Data entered into a loan agreement with a company of the Tether Group, under which it secured a EUR 575 million debt financing facility. The focus of these investments will be on the acquisition of additional sophisticated hardware allowing Northern Data Group’s Taiga Cloud business to further expand its offering as a Generative Artificial Intelligence Cloud Service Provider in Europe.

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4.

Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital (MARA) has started a pilot mining project in Utah that is using methane gas generated from landfill waste to make electricity to power mining operations. “The methane naturally produced from landfills, biowaste, and elsewhere is often stranded, and Bitcoin miners like Marathon are uniquely positioned to help convert this harmful gas into a productive source of clean, renewable energy,” Marathon Chairman and CEO Fred Thiel said.(CoinDesk)

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5.

TeraWulf provided an unaudited monthly production and operations update for October 2023. Self-mined 314 BTC in October. After a planned outage during the first week of October, achieved greater than 95% of targeted self-mining operational hash rate. Power cost averaged $10.8k per bitcoin produced, or approximately $0.034/kWh in October. The lower output in October was attributable to unfavorable network factors, including a significant increase in network difficulty of 9.3 per cent from the previous month.

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6.

Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital has announced that it produced 1,202 BTC during the month of October and chose to sell 961 Bitcoins to cover the associated direct costs. As of October 31, Marathon held a total of 13,396 unrestricted BTC, and the total balance of unrestricted cash and cash equivalents and Bitcoin increased from $471.3 million to $620.4 million.

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7.

Bitcoin mining company GRIID is poised to continue its operations in Limestone, Tennessee until March 28, 2026, pending court approval of its settlement with the local government. Red Dog will pay $12,500 to the local government after the court dismisses the case. Additionally, Red Dog and BrightRidge will share the cost of internet service for Limestone residents living near the mining site. If Red Dog continues its operations after March 2026, it will incur a penalty of $100 per day payable to the county. The settlement, which is expected to take effect at the end of November 2023, is in response to resident noise complaints and allegations of regional rule violations.

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8.

Bit Digital announced its unaudited digital asset production and corporate updates for the month of October 2023. In October 2023, the Company produced 111.6 BTC, a 14% decrease compared to the prior month. Treasury holdings of BTC and ETH were 511.1 and 16,022.5 with a fair market value of approximately $17.7 million and $29.1 million, respectively, on October 31, 2023. The BTC equivalent of our digital asset holdings as of October 31, 2023, was approximately 1,394.4 or approximately $48.3 million. The Company had cash and cash equivalents of $24.4 million as of October 31, 2023.

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9.

Hut 8 mined 112 Bitcoin in October 2023. Currently owning 9,113 BTC, it is one of the publicly traded companies with the largest bitcoin reserves. Additionally, 365 BTC were sold during the month for gross proceeds of C$14.6 million (approximately $10.69 million).

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10.

Core Scientific announces October 2023 production and operations updates. As of month-end, the Company operated approximately 199,000 bitcoin miners for both self-mining and colocation, representing a total energized hash rate of 21.5 EH/s at its data centers in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Dakota and Texas. Core Scientific produced 910 bitcoin in October from its owned fleet of miners. Customer-owned bitcoin miners produced approximately 417 bitcoin in October.

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11.

Marathon Digital, currently the largest public bitcoin mining operation by realized hashrate in North America, said it is expanding its footprint to Paraguay by utilizing 100% renewable energy. The firm said in a release that it has set up a joint venture with Penguin Infrastructure to launch the bitcoin mining operation near Paraguay’s landmark Itaipu Dam, which has an installed generation capacity of 14 gigawatts of hydropower. In addition, Marathon closed in October with 17.63 EH/s in realized hashrate.

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12.

Cipher Mining purchased 1.2 EH/s worth of the latest generation S21 Bitmain mining rigs for $14/TH. Executed agreement to acquire a new site in Texas with a conditional ERCOT interconnection approval for up to 300 MW of energy consumption.

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13.

Marathon Digital reported its financial and operational results for the quarter ended September 30, 2023. The Company recorded net income of $64.1 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, during the three months ended September 30, 2023. Revenues were $97.8 million for the quarter, significantly above third quarter 2022 revenues of $12.7 million, as a 467% increase in bitcoin production was amplified by 32% higher average bitcoin prices during the current year period. Gains on digital assets were $31.7 million in the quarter.

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14.

Riot Platforms reported financial results for the three-month period ended September 30, 2023. Total revenue for the reporting period was US$51.9 million, up 12% year-on-year. Riot mined a total of 1,106 Bitcoin during the quarter. The company’s mining costs dropped to $5,537 per Bitcoin. Riot finished the quarter with $290 million in cash on hand and 7,327 Bitcoin, representing a combined total of nearly $500 million in liquidity. Riot expects to achieve a total self-mining hash rate capacity of 12.5 EH/s in the fourth quarter of 2023. In addition, between September 30 and November 6, Riot sold a further 10.2 million common shares, raising an additional $100 million.

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15.

Failed crypto lender Celsius Network LLC won bankruptcy court approval of its plan to transform into a creditor-owned Bitcoin mining firm. The plan to transform into a creditor-owned bitcoin mining company would redistribute about $2 billion worth of bitcoin and ethereum to Celsius creditors along with equity in NewCo. Celsius lawyers said the platform could begin distributing assets early next year. The company said the transition plan must also be approved by the SEC, and if the proposal falls through, Celsius could turn to liquidation.

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16.

Hut 8 Mining has provided an update on the proposed business combination pursuant to which Hut 8 and U.S. Data Mining Group, Inc. dba USBTC will combine in an all-stock merger of equals. The combined company will be named “Hut 8 Corp.” (“New Hut”) and will be a U.S.-domiciled entity. The final transaction is expected to close before the end of 2023.New Hut also plans to list on the NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol HUT.Previously in September, the Supreme Court of Canada approved its merger plan.

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17.

Michael Saylor’s business software company, MicroStrategy, holds more than 158,000 BTC, worth approximately $5.7 billion at current prices, or 80 percent of MicroStrategy’s $7.1 billion stock market capitalization, for a surplus of more than $1.1 billion. In addition, Marathon Digital, the second largest institutional holder of Bitcoin, currently owns 13,000 Bitcoins.(CoinDesk)

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18.

According to @JMellerud’s analysis, Canadian bitcoin miner Bitfarms currently has an energy-efficiency ratio of 35 J/TH, which, when halved in the first half of next year, will cost $32,900 to mine each bitcoin; if the energy-efficiency ratio is raised to 25 J/T, the cost of mining each bitcoin will be reduced to $23,500.

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19.

TeraWulf announced its unaudited interim financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2023 and provided an operational update. Self-mined 994 BTC, up 9.5% sequentially; revenues of $19.0 million, up 22.6% sequentially; adjusted EBITDA of $9.0 million, up 18.5% sequentially; expects to pay down approximately $7.0 million of debt with cash generated in the third quarter of 2023, with $5.5 million of that amount repaid in October 2023; ordered 18,500 units of the Antminer S19j XP for a total price of $75.4 million, of which $53.4 million has been prepaid.

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20.

Analysts at Wall Street investment bank HC Wainwright said in a report that the recent sell-off in Bitdeer Technology Group can be attributed to specific technical factors, which were caused by some early investors closing out their positions after the October 11th expiration of the shareholder lock-up period agreement. Bitdeer’s current business fundamentals remain strong and sentiment in the BTC market continues to improve, while Bitdeer recently announced a partnership with NVIDIA, the report said, rating BTDR stock a buy with a $20 price target.

21.

Bitcoin miner Mawson has reported Q3 financial results, with output of 246 BTC, up 35 percent sequentially, revenue of $11.3 million, up 7 percent sequentially, gross profit of $3.6 million, up 3 percent sequentially and down 64 percent year-over-year, and net loss of $16.2 million, compared to $17.7 million in the previous quarter and $8.2 million in the same period last year.

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22.

Canadian bitcoin mining firm HIVE Digital has signed a purchase agreement for 4,800 units of Bitmain’s Antminer S19k Pro in a bid to optimize its mining fleet. The company said in a release on Tuesday that the equipment is expected to be delivered within 30 days. The purchase will add about 652 PH/s of computing power and is part of HIVE’s goal to upgrade its mining fleet efficiency from 38J/TH to 23J/TH. HIVE bought another 3,100 units of S19XP over the past six months.

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23.

Bitcoin mining firm Hut 8 said its third-quarter net loss more than doubled and revenue fell 46% from a year earlier as it mined fewer coins due to a higher network difficulty, operational issues and the suspension of some operations. The Toronto-based company’s loss widened to C$53.6 million ($39 million) from C$23.8 million, while sales slumped to C$17 million from $31.7 million in the year-earlier period, according to a statement on its website. The number of bitcoin mined in the quarter tumbled to 330 from 982.(CoinDesk)

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24.

India’s Supreme Court turned away a petition that sought to direct the government and relevant authorities to frame guidelines for regulating the trading and mining of cryptocurrencies. The Court’s order stated that its real purpose was to seek bail in the pending proceedings against the petitioner, thereby rejecting the course of action. The petitioner is Manu Prashant Wig, a director of Blue Fox Motion Picture Limited, an entity behind CEX Tokenz Limited, who is presently in judicial custody on the charge of “inducing people to invest in a scheme”.(CoinDesk)

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25.

The Supreme Administrative Court in Warsaw has been secretly housing crypto mining rigs in the ventilation ducts. Prosecutors hope to charge those responsible with electricity theft. The firm responsible for maintaining Poland’s Supreme Administrative Court building has been fired. Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that a top official building in Poland turned out to house illegal crypto mining rigs. Two years ago, the IT guy at Warsaw’s police headquarters turned out to be siphoning electricity to power his own crypto mining operation.(Protos)

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26.

Bitfarms has entered into a prepaid contract with its Argentinian private power producer to receive power at Rio Cuarto at the rate of 2.1 cents per kWh plus VAT for the months November 2023 through April 2024, which benefits from seasonally lower natural gas prices in Argentina. With Argentina currently contributing 23% of global hashrate, this 6-month fixed price agreement will significantly lower blended cost of power. The average cost of electricity for the first year of operations in Argentina is expected to be approximately 2.5 cents per kilowatt hour (including taxes), thereby reducing the Company’s average cost of electricity.

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27.

Tether’s new CEO, Ardoino, said in an interview that the company plans to spend about $500 million over the next six months to become one of the world’s top bitcoin miners, which it will do by building its own mining facilities and taking stakes in other companies. Ardoino said Tether is building bitcoin mines in Uruguay, Paraguay and El Salvador, with each mine having a capacity of between 40 and 70 MW, but declined to specify a timeline for achieving that goal. with a capacity of between 40 and 70 MW, with the goal of increasing the total share of computing power running the Bitcoin network to 1%, but declined to specify a timeline for achieving that goal. Ardoino added in an emailed statement that Tether expects to generate 120 MW of power from its direct mining operations by the end of 2023, and expects to reach 450 MW by the end of 2025.Ardoino also said that it is working on its own mining facilities in Uruguay, Paraguay, and El Salvador, and that it is working with other companies to build its own mining facilities.

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28.

Mr. and Mrs. Cheng, who run a chain of medical and aesthetic clinics in Taiwan, have invested at least 10 million Taiwan dollars in setting up cryptocurrency mining farms in eight locations in Taichung City. Mr. and Mrs. Cheng started stealing electricity in 2021, and the amount of electricity stolen exceeded 150 million Taiwan dollars for more than two years. The Taichung District Prosecutor’s Office investigated the case and prosecuted Zheng and his wife and five others for aggravated theft and burglary.

29.

Greenidge finalized the sale of a 22-acre mining site with 44 MW of capacity in Spartanburg, SC, to NYDIG. This deal marks the resolution of all outstanding secured debts Greenidge owed to the bitcoin asset management firm. In 2023, Greenidge achieved a reduction in its financial obligations, slashing $85.3 million from its debt. This substantial repayment accounts for more than half. Greenidge still has $72 million of unsecured debt due in 2026.(Bitcoin.com)

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30.

Bitcoin mining services firm Luxor Technologies is starting a new business to ease hardware shipping challenges miners face when buying mining machines and expanding operations globally. The new unit, Luxor Logistics, will focus heavily on streamlining complex customs regulations in different regions by customizing transportation and delivery services, lowering the time required for shipping mining rigs for miners. The firm said it has already completed shipping over $245 million worth of equipment to more than 30 countries. Last year, digital-asset mining and staking firm Foundry also started a similar service to make the delivery of bitcoin-mining computers more efficient.(CoinDesk)

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31.

Crypto lender Celsius’ plan to reorganize into a crypto mining company has hit a snag in SEC approval, with discussions “going back and forth” between the SEC, Celsius’ creditor committee, and Fahrenheit over information about assets held by Celsius. The SEC wants to see all parts of the company to decide what they will do with the information, people familiar with the matter said. The news comes after Celsius received approval from a bankruptcy court judge for a plan to transform itself into a creditor-owned bitcoin mining company.

According to court documents, Celsius will transform into a new company focused solely on bitcoin mining. In the coming weeks, the debtors plan to file a motion with the bankruptcy court requesting approval of modifications to the previous plan to reflect the new mining NewCo deal. The Debtors do not believe that these modifications will require a resolicitation of the Plan. In addition, the Debtors continue to anticipate a January 2024 distribution to creditors.(Coindesk)

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32.

Core Scientific, a bitcoin mining company, announced the launch of a $55 million equity interest offering to all record holders of the company’s common stock. The equity offering is being made pursuant to the Third Amended Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization and related disclosure statement of the Company and its debtor subsidiaries. The plan, which is expected to result in the Company’s recovery from bankruptcy in early 2024, is designed to fully restructure the Company’s balance sheet and significantly reduce its debt. The Equity Offering will close on December 11, 2023.

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33.

Abu Dhabi-based bitcoin mining and colocation service provider Phoenix Group announced that it has raised $370 million in an initial public offering (IPO). The company claimed in an announcement that the IPO was oversubscribed by 33 times, adding that a stronger demand came from retail investors, who oversubscribed by 180 times. Phoenix started the public raise on Nov. 16 on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) and closed the round on Nov. 18.

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34.

Canadian bitcoin mining firm Bitfarms has raised $44 million in a private placement. The publicly traded mining operation said in an announcement that it expects to close the raise on Nov. 28 by issuing 44 million common shares to certain institutional investors in the U.S. The placement also comes with warrants to buy additional up to 22 million shares at an exercise price of $1.17 with an exercise period of three years. The private placement follows the $31 million in equity financing that Bitfarms raised in Q3 and $37 million in the first half of this year.

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35.

HIVE Digital announced that it has entered into a property transfer agreement with Turis AB dated November 23, 2023 to acquire a data center and the real property on which it is situated, located in the city of Boden, Sweden. This new data center is located in Boden, Sweden, in close vicinity of existing data center. The company will use it to plug our incoming new generation ASIC servers and increasing our Bitcoin production.

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36.

London Stock Exchange and Nasdaq-listed Bitcoin mining and technology company Argo Blockchain has appointed Thomas Chippas as its new CEO and Director, effective immediately. Following the appointment, Chippas is eligible to receive up to 2.85 million units relating to Argo’s American Depositary Shares vested over a three-year period, contingent upon continued employment and meeting certain performance criteria. He was also the founder and CEO of crypto trading platform ErisX, which was acquired by CBOE at the height of the bull market in October 2021. CBOE subsequently reported a $460 million write-down on the acquisition in 2022.(The Block)

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37.

DEMAND said it launched the first Stratum V2 bitcoin mining pool, which allows individual miners to build their own block templates, enabling pool users to choose the transactions themselves to be included in a block, rather than letting traditional pool operators choose which transactions to include in a block, “making the mining ecosystem more decentralized and bitcoin more resistant to censorship “

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38.

Bitfarms has placed a firm purchase order for 35,888 Bitmain T21 miners at a price of $2,660 per unit with deliveries scheduled from March 2024 to May 2024. Once the installation is up and running, it is expected to increase the company’s operating capacity to 391 MW and increase the miner’s efficiency to 23 w/TH. Bitfarms said that it will have sufficient liquidity to fulfill the order with the recently completed financing. Concurrently, Bitfarms has secured a purchase option for an additional 28,000 Bitmain T21 miners.

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39.

Canaan Announces Unaudited Third Quarter 2023 Financial Results. Revenues for the third quarter were $33,319,000; mining revenues were $3,264,000; and revenues from the sale of mining machines were $29,755,000. As of September 30, 2023, 860 bitcoins attributable to the company were held, an all-time high, and the company had cash and cash equivalents of $40.574 million.

40.

OCEAN, a decentralized bitcoin mining pool, announced the closing of a $6.2 million seed round led by Jack Dorsey, with participation from Accomplice, Barefoot Bitcoin Fund, MoonKite, and others. OCEAN seeks to maximize disintermediation, eliminating the risk of miners and the undue influence of mining pools on miners. It also expects to launch additional phases of Bitcoin decentralization improvements and upgrades in 2024.

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WuBlockchain

Colin Wu, Chinese journalist, won 2013 China News Award