Leave all your troubles behind

QUARTZ writes:

In the ongoing boom in bitcoin, mining companies are scrambling to mint as much of the currency as they possibly can. But their enterprise is being hindered—by covid-19 and China’s crypto crackdown, but also by snarls in the global supply chain.

Specifically, the stopped-up channels of global trade and commerce have delayed shipments of “miners,” the PlayStation-sized computers that run day and night to mine bitcoin.

This intrusion of the real, physical world into the realm of the virtual has bitcoin mining companies chartering jets to move their miners, training themselves to repair faulty computers, and waiting impatiently for ports to release their imported machines.

And in this crypto bull market, delays are critical. “Every day that a miner is not online is a missed revenue opportunity,” said Charlie Schumacher, a spokesperson for Marathon Digital Holdings, a Las Vegas-based mining firm.

The cost of a bitcoin mining computer has tripled

For Marathon, 2021 has been a big year; by mid-year, it had ordered nearly 130,000 miners from Bitmain, a Chinese manufacturer shipping the machines out of its factory in Malaysia. The advance orders proved to be a wise decision, Schumacher said. Marathon locked in an average price of around $3,000 per machine, but given how the value of bitcoin has soared, an order placed today will run to nearly $10,000 per machine…

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