Crypto mining is a power-intensive process, and right now, mining farms and enthusiasts are struggling to break even as digital currency prices build out a bottom.
Since the beginning of 2018, prices of major cryptocurrencies have fallen drastically. Bitcoin’s price, in particular, has declined by more than 65 percent. As such, it would be easy to assume that there’s a correlated drop in cryptocurrency mining, but this isn’t the case.
Instead, the industry is witnessing rising hashrates across the board. Bitcoin’s hashrate statistics indicate steady growth despite price suppression and a plunge in transaction volume.
A higher hashrate is an indicator of miners’ optimism in the market and an eventual recovery. Miners seem to be giving zero regards to the costs of mining at today’s cryptocurrency rates, even as analysts indicate that the break-even point for mining is well above today’s prices.
According to Genesis Mining CEO Marco Streng, big players are edging out basement amateurs because of an economies of scale advantage, and in many cases, more efficient miners. This efficiency has consistently increased mining difficulty amidst tumbling digital currency prices. Competition in the sector has forced companies and miners to become much more innovative.
TMGcore, a blockchain technology company, has taken mining to the next level. The company, which has been operating in East Texas, is reportedly utilizing Two Phase Liquid Cooling Immersion technology to reduce cooling costs by up to 90 percent.
The process, as reported by Fox News, involves immersing custom ASIC boards in a fluorochemical coolant called 3M Novec. As the chips on the board boil, they create vapor, which gets into contact with cooling coils connected to cooling towers.
The coils turn the vapor into cool water, which is then pumped back into the system. According to TMGcore’s chief operating officer, Taylor Monnig, consistently cool temperatures are maintained and air-conditioning only runs during the months of June, July, and August. The project is presently focused on bitcoin mining.
According to the report, TMGcore is also set to launch a mining pool dubbed LEGACYII in 2019 which will run on renewable energy.
Years ago, it was possible to profitably mine using personal computers, and many home-based and dorm room operations saw significant success. Now, however, well-funded entities have invested millions in incredibly sophisticated mining technologies and bought up extraordinary powering resources, enough to push out small players due to rising hashrates.
In January, Russian businessman Aleksey Kolesnik made headlines when he bought up two power stations in Perm for an estimated $3 million. The facilities were for the purposes of setting up a crypto mining and data center.
And in April, two companies in Australia, Hunter Energy and IOT Group, set their sights on a decommissioned coal power plant with a plan to jump-start the project and provide energy to blockchain companies.
Although the project has yet to come to fruition, this and other related projects are testaments to just how far industry participants are willing to go to get a competitive advantage even during turbulent times.