Cryptocurrency investment products and research firm CoinShares estimates that 74.1% of bitcoin (BTC) mining is powered by renewable energy in its bi-annual mining report published on June 5.
The report also claims that “at current prices, the average miner is highly profitable, with even older gear and high-cost producers currently able to make positive ROI.” The paper also notes that bitcoin mining operations are concentrated where there is ample renewable energy supply. Still, the report also notes:
“The renewables estimate is down from 77.8% in our November 2018 report and reflects increased visibility of the industry on our part as well as movements within the industry.”
The correlation between bitcoin mining and renewable energy reportedly makes bitcoin mining “more renewables-driven than almost every other large-scale industry in the world.” The report also notes that since November last year, the total hashrate of the network increased from 40 quintillion hashes per second (EH/s) to 50 EH/s.
This means that — during this period — the growth of the computing power invested in maintaining the network was slower than its 10-year average but in line with the five-year average.
The report also points out that the temporary decrease in hashrate (of about 40%) registered at the end of last year was the first registered instance in which there has been a major and prolonged decrease in the network’s computing power.
CoinShares believes that the recent increase in bitcoin’s hashrate is caused by old mining hardware being powered on again after the higher price rendered them profitable to run, and the deployment of next-generation, more efficient, application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).
Canadian bitcoin mining company Hut 8 made almost $50 million in revenue last year but triggered total losses of almost $140 million. The company’s chief operating officer Andrew Kiguel noted at the time that he believes margins will improve if BTC’s price continues to rise.
Also in March, cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain was reportedly planning to set up 200,000 units of mining equipment in China to benefit from low-cost hydroelectric power in the country.