Hut 8 Shuts Down Alberta Bitcoin Mine Amid Energy Crisis

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Hut 8 Mining Corp, a leading player in the cryptocurrency mining industry, announced the immediate closure of its Bitcoin mining facility in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. The decision comes in the wake of escalating energy costs and power disruptions, severely impacting the site’s profitability. This move is part of Hut 8’s broader strategy to navigate through the challenges posed by the current energy crisis affecting the cryptocurrency mining sector.

Hut 8 Pauses Drumheller Mining Due to Costs

The Drumheller site, responsible for mining approximately 1.4% of Hut 8’s Bitcoin, consumed about 11% of the company’s hash rate, highlighting a significant imbalance between input and output. CEO Asher Genoot cited a combination of elevated energy costs and voltage issues as key factors behind the shutdown. In a strategic pivot, Hut 8 plans to relocate its Bitcoin miners to its Medicine Hat facility, also located in Alberta. Despite the shutdown, the company will maintain its lease on the Drumheller site, leaving the door open for a potential reactivation if market conditions improve.

The closure is set against a backdrop of increasing electricity prices in Alberta, which have surged by 1,000% per kilowatt hour (kWh) since 2017, as per data from Energyrates.ca. This escalation, compounded by a provincial government crackdown on new cryptocurrency mining projects over power usage concerns, has put additional pressure on mining operations. The sector is also bracing for the upcoming Bitcoin halving event, which is expected to reduce mining rewards by 50%, further complicating the profitability equation for miners.

Financial Performance and Market Challenges

Hut 8’s financial performance has mirrored the broader challenges facing the cryptocurrency market. The company reported a 57% decline in revenue for the first nine months of 2023, amounting to CA$55,184 ($40,757), largely attributable to falling Bitcoin prices. Despite these setbacks, Hut 8 remains a significant player in the Bitcoin network, contributing to 1.3% of its overall processing power.

In addition to operational challenges, Hut 8 has faced scrutiny in the financial markets. On January 19, the company’s stock experienced a sharp 23% decline following allegations of legal issues involving its partner, USBTC, in a $725 million merger deal. Hut 8 has refuted these claims, denouncing the report as filled with inaccuracies and speculative claims. The turmoil has led to a change in leadership, with former CEO Jaime Leverton resigning on February 8.

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The post Hut 8 Shuts Down Alberta Bitcoin Mine Amid Energy Crisis appeared first on CoinGape.

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