Bitcoin Miner Selling Georgia Facility And Moving To Pennsylvania, Citing Energy Costs
As bitcoin has lost over half of its value this year, one company involved in mining new coins of the cryptocurrency is shedding assets and relocating to lower-cost states.
Mawson Infrastructure Group has agreed to sell its Central Georgia mining facility — including nearly $10M in nearly 6,500 application-specific integrated circuits housed there — for $42.5M to competitor CleanSpark, it announced.
Mawson plans to transfer its Georgia operations to a mining facility in Pennsylvania later this year, “enabling Mawson to take advantage of significantly lower energy prices,” the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.
“Since July we have continued to adapt our business model to reflect lower Bitcoin prices and higher energy costs in the USA. Our direct responses included the activation of our Energy Market Program and our focus on high-margin mining opportunities and jurisdictions," Mawson CEO James Manning said in a statement. “This relocation enables the Company to focus on its largest scale, and highest margin operations, whilst simultaneously reducing overall balance sheet leverage, putting the company in a strong position to navigate the current environment.”
For cryptocurrency miners, electricity is crucial. Miners attempt to discover changes to a random fixed-length block of code called a hash by churning through millions of algorithm combinations in order to discover a specific code. The code allows the miner to mint a new cryptocurrency coin and collect its fee.
But the process uses tons of power. Mining a single bitcoin consumes 1,544 kilowatt-hours of power — or the equivalent of 53 days of power used by the average U.S. household, CNET reported. Georgia's average electricity retail rate was 9.93 cents per kilowatt hour while Pennsylvania's was an average of 9.7 cents in 2020, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Bitcoin, like other cryptocurrencies, has seen a collapse in value this year, going from an all-time high of nearly $69K per coin to a low of below $20K per coin over the summer. Bitcoin was trading at around $19K as of Wednesday, according to CoinDesk.
While Mawson migrates out of Georgia, CleanSpark continues to beef up its mining operations here. The Utah-based firm purchased 5295 Brook Hollow Parkway in Norcross earlier this year for $6.55M and it purchased a College Park data center for $19.4M in December, Bisnow previously reported.