As Bitcoin miners head into the new year, uncertainty exist as miners are unsure of the impact the halving will have on their overall earnings as the block reward subsidy gets cut in half. The uncertainty hasn’t halted the growth of crypto mining as throughout the fourth quarter of 2019, BTC continued to set new records for its network hash rate, a sign that BTC’s weak price performance didn’t dissuade miners. During this period, ASIC miner manufactures continued releasing more updates on their most popular mining rigs.
We spoke with Peter Wall, vice president of operations at Argo Blockchain Plc (LON: ARB), to get his thoughts on what the industry can expect in 2020 and how Argo is positioning itself to remain successful.
CoinGeek: With mining difficulty increasing, what is your strategy on managing your fleet of miners? How frequently are you phasing out older models in favor of next-gen mining rigs and out of the most recent entries into the market, which are you looking to purchase?
Peter Wall: New machines are mostly revisions to the latest generations. The Antminer 17 series of mining machines – which came out this year – do the vast majority of our mining work, and we expect them to be at the leading edge of efficiency for 3-5 years, just like previous generations of Antminers. That being said, we are constantly evaluating our current machines and newer models available.
Additionally, the biggest impact on efficiency is the chip size. 100% of our SHA-256 mining is done on 7nm chips while most of the market is still using the older generation, 16nm chips. This means we do not have the same urgency to phase out older models when adding new hardware.
CoinGeek: Lately, several miners have begun setting up new operations in Texas, Russia, and Central Asia. Do you have plans to expand into those areas? How is the business going in the regions that you are currently in?
Peter Wall: Business operations in Canada are going very well. We have no plans…