Crypto miners large and small are accumulating bitcoin, creating a “supply shock” to the bitcoin market that has helped drive up prices, Kraken Intelligence said in a new report.
Crypto miners who rely on mining pools appear to be stockpiling bitcoin, with only a small number of the miners taking a profit even as bitcoin recently reached an all-time high, according to the report.
“Both large-scale entities and smaller players, who secure the network via mining pools, appear to be stockpiling bitcoin,” said Pete Humiston, manager at Kraken Intelligence, in an emailed statement to CoinDesk. This “supply shock” seems to have contributed to bitcoin’s price gaining more than 50% for the month to date.
“Hodling,” the crypto term for holding assets, has been a popular strategy among the largest publicly traded miners. The September operational updates from miners including Riot Blockchain, Marathon Digital and Hut 8 shows they all have been hoarding the bitcoins they mined in September.
Some of the miners are using these bitcoins to help further bolster their funding and balance sheets. “We’ve seen publicly listed mining companies, like Argo Blockchain, use bitcoin as collateral in order to secure fresh funding for further capital investment,” Humiston said.
However, smaller miners taking some profit doesn’t necessarily reflect bearishness on their part. Rather, it’s likely helping them buy more mining computers, according to Humiston. “Smaller players could be selling into the bitcoin rally to fund the purchase and upkeep of ASIC mining rigs,” he said.
Regardless of how miners are using their newly minted coins, the fact remains a large number of them are still holding bitcoins they are mining, a practice that has become very lucrative. This is evident from more companies diversifying their businesses into mining, even without any previous ties to the sector.
In turn, this is not only helping the mining sector but the Bitcoin network itself. “We can not only interpret the recent surge in bitcoin mining investment as a further signal of rebounding confidence in the crypto asset space, but also argue that a resilient mining sector reinforces the network’s overall resilience, vis à vis, the primary value proposition of Bitcoin itself,” Humiston said.