This is a transcribed excerpt of 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 publicly traded bitcoin miner during the bear market and what moves bitcoin miners can make to better secure their future while navigating bear markets.
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P: It sounds like you guys are focused on geographically distributing yourselves so that you are not as much at risk for these kinds of regulatory attacks. This totally makes sense to me. I’m curious, how much of a tailwind did you guys experience from the China mining ban, if at all?
There was such a strong narrative around all of these ASICs leaving China and flowing into other places or entering the market, I’m just curious what your experience of that was, given the position that you’re in.
Fred Thiel: Yeah, we had a great tailwind that was counterweighted, if you would, by the fact that our hardened facility had continual operational issues. I don’t have to go into those because we’re now fully transitioned out of that site, but it was a coal-fired power plant that just kept breaking. So we got really optimistic, “Great. All this hash rate is coming down, we’re gonna be able to mine a huge ton of bitcoin,” and then all of a sudden, “Oh, the power plant is down again.”
For us personally, we experienced — when the plant was running — great rewards. On some days, we were mining four blocks with the small amount of hash rate that we had, which was excellent.
But eventually, the global hash rate caught up and here we are now, back on trend where we should have been. We’re at about 240 exahashes globally today and I think we’re gonna continue to see that hash rate grow as we continue to deploy, as other large miners continue to deploy.
I think we’ll eventually get back to a place where — potentially before the next halvening — we’ll see global hash rate, north of mid-300s, something like that. That’s gonna be really interesting for this industry. I think bitcoin price has to move a whole lot to compensate miners for the impact of the halving come early 2024.