If you want to join in the bitcoin frenzy without simply buying the digital currency at today’s inflated prices, then bitcoin mining is another way to get involved. Today, Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) announced that it has commenced bitcoin mining at its new facility in Quebec, sending shares skyrocketing nearly 60%.
The bitcoin network is designed to produce a certain number of new bitcoins every 10 minutes. Now that the bitcoin mining has become so widespread, the network has become much stingier about handing out bitcoins to miners. In order to control how frequently bitcoins are generated, the network requires miners to solve more and more difficult problems to confirm transactions — which means that miners must have more and more powerful equipment just to keep up. These days, in order to have a chance at being profitable, miners need to adopt one of two approaches: 1) buy specialized hardware (aka a bitcoin mining rig) or 2) join a cloud mining pool.
On February 8, 2018, Marathon announced it had purchased 1,400 Bitmain Antminer S9 miners and on February 15, 2018 the company announced it had leased 26,700 square feet of data center space in Quebec, Canada. The Company is pleased to announce the completion of its installation and the commencement of operations which are expected to utilize approximately 2.0 MW and deliver approximately 19 Ph/s of ASIC mining capacity. The Antminer S9s are presently mining Bitcoin, but are able to mine other digital assets/cryptocurrency using the SHA256 algorithm.
Marathon is seeking to add up to an additional 3.9 MW of power. If successfully completed, this is expected to provide capacity for up to 2,800 additional Antminer S-9s that if acquired, could be located at this facility.
MARA CEO Merrick Okamoto stated, “Today’s announcement represents a milestone for the Company. I’d like to thank everyone that worked so hard to make this day a reality for our shareholders.”