A study by an analytic company Diar showed that bitcoin miners' revenues for the first six months of 2018 amounted to a record $4.7 billion. However, an ever-growing competition and an increasing computational complexity make bitcoin mining less profitable for smaller players.
It is noteworthy that the figures for the first half of 2018 exceed the figures by $1.4 billion for the whole of 2017. Despite this, small bitcoin miners who are forced to pay for electricity at retail prices, in September for the first time in recent years, went into minus.
“It’s unlikely then that the recent tapering out of the Hash power to last. With big mining operations on low electricity costs running at anywhere between 50-60% gross profit from Bitcoin revenues, the market has a lot of room left to grow and, profits to squeeze. But Bitcoin mining has, at least for now, and most likely in the future, moved into the court of bigger players with deep pockets,” analysts explain.
According to Diar, only large pools can still earn from bitcoin mining. At the same time, analysts explain that even Bitmain pools practically do not bring profit to their owners, and the company is thriving due to sales of Antimer ASIC, whose share in 2018 was 95% of gross revenue. Moreover, in order to reduce electricity costs and preserve the profitability of its farm, Bitmain will be forced to distribute its computing power between different countries. In particular, in the first quarter of 2019, the company plans to open three new data centers in the United States.
At the same time, China, with an average cost of about $0.08 per kWh, remains one of the few countries where the cost of electricity still makes it possible to mine bitcoin. However, at the current rate of bitcoin, the cost of equipment, staff salaries and other expenses even here make for the small enterprises the extraction of the first cryptocurrency is almost unprofitable.
Mining is one of the main components of the crypto industry. In the period of active growth of cryptocurrencies, it was one of the most profitable ways to earn money. But this time has passed and today the market regularly puts anti-records. Earlier, Jon Peddie Research (JPR), an analytical company, released the results of a study on the market of discrete video cards. The study notes that the crypto boom has passed resulting in a drop to normal values in the delivery of graphics for desktop computers. Sales of discrete graphics cards for mining systems are getting smaller, so analysts decided not to mention this segment anymore in their reports. Experts believe that the market for discrete video cards for mining as such is no longer there.
In a recent financial report, Nvidia also reported a decline in company revenues as a result of falling demand for cryptocurrency mining devices. According to the company, the revenue from sales of GPU in the second quarter amounted to $2.66 billion, which is 40% more than the same period last year. However, compared with the previous quarter, this figure is 4% less.
Also recently, Iceland, in which a mining boom occurred earlier, reported that in the near future, the country's crypto industry will move from mining to pure blockchain business. Iceland's popularity among miners was primarily due to the low cost of electricity. The favorable climate conditions for mining have played their role, which allows saving on cooling systems, as well as liberal legislation. However, now the hype on mining has subsided. But at the same time, the growth of bitcoin mining in Iceland contributed to the rapid development of the local energy sector, IT companies and data centers. As a result, the country currently has a rather developed blockchain and IT infrastructure, which will stimulate the development of blockchain business in the country.
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