According to some estimates, Bitcoin’s value has dropped to the level where it isn’t profitable enough to mine. Mining for the currency can be rather costly.
“Bitcoin currently trades essentially at the break-even cost of mining a Bitcoin, currently at $8,038 based on a mining model developed by our data science team,” Fundstrat’s Thomas Lee shared in a recent report.
Earlier this month the currency reached a low of less than $7,700. Keeping this in mind, Fundstrat’s model considers the price of equipment and electricity, along with the overhead costs, such as maintaining cooling facilities.
Bitcoin is created by mining for it via a process that takes a lot of energy, and it uses high computing power to solve difficult mathematical equations, which displays proof that an anonymous miner uses the process agreed upon by the network in order to build the blockchain record of transactions. Miners then earn Bitcoins as their reward for successfully completing equations.
If the expense to produce a Bitcoin is more than the reward, miners theoretically have less reason to want to mine for the currency.
Shone Anstey, the co-founder and president of Blockchain Intelligence Group, explains, “In some cases the miners may simply turn off the machines until the price comes back a bit. It’s got to be getting to the point that some of them may be losing money.”
Not to mention the fact that Bitcoin mining also utilizes expensive custom hardware that can cost up to a few thousand dollars, and the need to replace equipment fairly often adds to the mining expense even further. Yet, since December, miners’ earnings have almost been cut in half due to an increased interest in Bitcoin mining.
However, the cost incurred in the mining process varies around the globe, especially in places such as China, which is a major Bitcoin mining market. Miners have access to much cheaper electricity costs there.
Last year, Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $19,000, but since then its value has decreased greatly, by almost half that amount. Only time will tell if the currency can become worth that much, if not more, again.