NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — China’s full-blown crackdown on cryptocurrencies has begun. The Wall Street Journal reported that Huobi Global, which is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said it would close all user accounts in mainland China by the end of the year, days after the country’s central bank declared all crypto-related transactions illegal. The exchange will also gradually retire existing accounts in China by the end of 2021 to ensure the safety of its customers’ assets. Yet, despite the crackdown, prices for Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptos, have risen more than 7% and 15%, respectively, from their low points on Friday, when China’s new ban was reported, according to Fundstrat Global Advisors. Cryptocurrency miners are adapting to the new conditions by moving to countries that are open to digital currencies and mining. ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH), Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA), Bit Digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: BTBT), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), SOS Limited (NYSE: SOS)
Mining is set to become much easier and more profitable for North American crypto miners, thanks to the Chinese government’s aggressive crackdown on the industry. “For the last 18 months, we’ve had a serious growth of mining infrastructure in the U.S.,” said Darin Feinstein, founder of Blockcap and Core Scientific according to CNBC. “We’ve noticed a massive uptick in mining operations looking to relocate to North America, mostly in the U.S.” In addition, Forbes indicated in a report that China’s recent crackdown on cryptocurrency mining is a move that’s expected to help shift the industry’s center of gravity from Asia to North America.”
ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH), transitioning to “BlockQuarry,” pending name change, reported earlier last week that an update for, “current and prospective shareholders on core performance metrics, timeframe for hosting deployment, and corporate identity.
Performance Metrics. Mining is fully underway in Pennsylvania, and nearing full capacity on hashrate. Final adjustments and updates are being implemented into month end to push performance up to peak potential, at which time the Company’s PA mining operations will be producing mining revenues that will contribute to an overall monthly revenue run rate of $1.5 million at current cryptocurrency pricing.
In addition, the Company anticipates a breakout record quarter for the three months ending September 30, 2021. However, the fourth quarter should be a much more significant breakout in financial terms given that it will be the first quarter featuring a full three months of mining at peak capacity as well as the start of revenues from hosting operations.
Hosting Power Deployment. Management conducted site visits to its primary Southeastern US cryptocurrency mining hosting site earlier in the week. Based on that visit, the project is on schedule and the Company believes it will meet its approximate target for deploying the first 20 megawatts of power at the site around the end of October. This will begin the process of scaling up hosting operations to the full 200 MW that the project is designed to deploy to the Company’s hosting clientele.
Corporate Identity. The Company is still awaiting final approval of its corporate name and stock symbol change from FINRA. As communicated in the Company’s August 3 release, ISW Holdings has officially filed for a corporate name change to “BlockQuarry Corp.” The Company also filed to change its trading symbol. Both filings are now actively going through FINRA, and more details will be announced when FINRA has completed its due diligence process.
Management Commentary. ‘We will unquestionably log our best quarter in Company history – by a wide margin – when the books close at the end of the month,” noted Alonzo Pierce, ISWH CEO. “But that will likely be dwarfed by what rolls in over coming quarters. We have made a few final adjustments and updates that are being implemented right now that will take us to full capacity in terms of achievable hashrate in Pennsylvania. That will bring us to a topline run-rate of approximately $1.5 million per month, which may double again beginning midway through the fourth quarter as we begin to ramp up hosting revenues.'”
Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) announced earlier this month unaudited bitcoin (“BTC”) production and miner installation updates for August 2021. As of September 1, 2021, Marathon’s mining fleet has produced approximately 1,757.9 newly minted bitcoins during 2021. As a result, Marathon currently holds approximately 6,695 BTC, including the 4,812.66 BTC the Company purchased in January 2021 for an average price of $31,168 per BTC. On September 1, 2021, the fair market value of one bitcoin was approximately $49,800, implying that the approximate fair market value of Marathon’s current bitcoin holdings is approximately $333.4 million. “During August, the total network’s hash rate increased more than 15%, and during that same time, we increased our bitcoin production by 6% month-over-month to 469.6 BTC,” said Fred Thiel, Marathon’s CEO.
Bit Digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: BTBT) and Blockfusion USA, Inc. reported earlier this month that the Companies have entered into a strategic co-mining agreement (the “Agreement”). Pursuant to the terms of the Agreement, Blockfusion will provide certain premises and services to Bit Digital for the operation of a 35 MW bitcoin mining system for a term of 2 years, with automatic one-year renewals. This partnership is expected to facilitate an increase in Bit Digital’s hashrate of up to approximately 1.2 Exahash (“EH”). Bit Digital expects to complete the first (of four) phases of miner equipment deliveries for installation on or about September 15, 2021. Bryan Bullett, Bit Digital’s CEO, commented: “This strategic partnership with Blockfusion represents the latest example of our creative, value-oriented approach to sourcing clean power, with a veteran partner with shared values, structured on attractive terms. In particular, the ROFR provisions of our Agreement provide Bit Digital optionality to acquire interests in, or the entirety of, Blockfusion, while receiving credit for our Infrastructure Investment. Absent a Strategic Transaction, Bit Digital will receive a refund of its investment. In our opinion, such a deal would be difficult to replicate in today’s tight market for power and hosting in North America.”
Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) announced earlier in June its May production and operational updates, including its unaudited Bitcoin (“BTC”) production for May 2021 and its latest miner delivery status. The Company plans to continue to provide monthly operational updates and unaudited production results through the end of 2021. These updates are intended to keep shareholders informed of Riot’s mining production as it continues to deploy its expanding miner fleet. On May 26th, 2021, Riot announced it completed its previously announced acquisition of Whinstone U.S. (“Whinstone”). Whinstone’s Bitcoin mining facility in Rockdale, TX is the largest Bitcoin mining facility in North America, as measured by its 300 MW in developed capacity. The Company announced its plans to immediately commence further development of additional capacity at Whinstone in order to rapidly bring the property to its current capacity of 750 MW. This expansion will be driven by Whinstone’s industry leading development team of over 100 employees.
SOS Limited (NYSE: SOS) reported back in June that it has entered into a joint venture agreement with Niagara Development LLC (“Niagara Development”), a New Jersey limited liability company, for a joint venture to be based in Niagara, Wisconsin. The joint venture, FD LLC, is expected to carry out crypto-currency mining operations and construct an international standardized Digital Super Computing Custody Operation Center. Under terms of the agreement, Niagara Development will be responsible for providing up to 150MW of electricity, including electricity generated from renewable sources, and construction the Digital Super Computing Custody Operation Center. SOS will be responsible for the management, operations and financing of the joint venture. SOS remains committed to its block-chain strategy and strive to become a sustainability leader in the industry.
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