Who are the biggest bitcoin mining companies?
By Alejandro Arrieche and Peter Henn
Edited by Jekaterina Drozdovica
Bitcoin mining companies took a hit in 2022, with the price of bitcoin (BTC) getting impacted by a bear market.
The performance of the exchange traded fund (ETF) Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners (WGMI) showed the extent to which the value of the crypto mining business was affected. It lost more than 80% of its value over the course of the year, with its price at the end of 2022 coming in at $4.47, compared to its February 2022 launch price of $26.20.
However, WGMI isn't the only public company associated with mining the world's largest crypto. So what are the largest public bitcoin mining companies and how are they coping? Here we take a look at the biggest bitcoin mining stocks by market capitalisation.
What is bitcoin mining?
Bitcoin mining involves solving mathematical equations to process transactions on the blockchain and earn rewards. By doing this, new BTC tokens are created and miners are compensated for their efforts, equipment and electricity bills as they take part in the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism.
Some sophisticated hardware is needed to mine bitcoin profitably as the difficulty of the puzzles increases to reduce the speed at which the asset’s supply expands. The largest bitcoin mining companies own thousands of devices that can solve the problems faster than a human. The total value of the BTC they receive in return is considered to be the company’s revenue.
The cost of running large bitcoin mining companies includes the electricity needed to power the devices, maintenance for the mining farms’ expensive cooling systems, personnel and other operating costs typical to any business.
In 2022, bitcoin mining entered one of its worst bear markets since the digital asset made its appearance in 2009 as a deterioration in macroeconomic conditions across the world, coupled with a series of crypto market crashes, such as the collapse of the Terra ecosystem and the Celsius Network, along with the bankruptcy of the FTX exchange, saw the coin sink below $16,000 in late November, its lowest price in more than two years. .
Largest public bitcoin mining companies
So what are the largest bitcoin mining companies? Below are some of the biggest bitcoin mining companies by market capitalisation as of 7 February 2023, according to data from CompaniesMarketCap.
Riot Blockchain (RIOT)
Riot Blockchain (RIOT) is, in terms of its market cap, the head of the list of top bitcoin mining companies. The business also offers its facilities to other large-scale mining businesses so they can establish their own farms by taking advantage of the firm’s proprietary infrastructure.
Riot’s primary mining location is in Rockdale, Texas. The firm operated 30,907 mining rigs by the end of 2021, and had 4,884 BTC tokens in reserve that were valued at $159.54m at the time.
By the end of this year, the company produced $213.24m in revenue, most of which came from its proprietary mining operation. It also booked a net loss of $7.93m, had no long-term debt, and boasted $312.32m in cash and equivalents.
Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA)
Marathon Digital (MARA) is the second stock on the list of bitcoin mining companies. The firm is a former uranium and vanadium exploration business turned to bitcoin mining after the firm merged with Global Bit Ventures back in 2017. By the end of 2021, the company reportedly accounted for 2.1% of the global bitcoin hash rate.
Marathon has facilities in South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana and Texas. The company aims to power its bitcoin mining facilities with renewable sources of energy by the end of the 2022 fiscal year.
By the end of 2021, Marathon had reserves of 8,115 BTC, including 4,794 it held in an investment fund. These holdings were valued at approximately $346m at that point, but are possibly worth much less now as the value of BTC has declined sharply in 2022. During this same period, the firm generated total revenues of $150.46m, but incurred a loss of $85.09m.
In addition, Marathon had long-term debt of $728.40m on total assets of $760.09m, including $268.52m in cash and equivalents. This appeared to be the most indebted bitcoin mining company on the list.
Canaan (CAN) is a Chinese company that has established a subsidiary in the Cayman Islands to be able to offer its common shares to US-based investors via American Depositary Shares (ADS). The firm has manufactured crypto mining rigs since 2013 for bitcoin mining companies under the Avalon brand.
So far the company has developed nine mining rigs, including the first generation of its A1246 units, which was released in 2020. The miner also produces AI-powered applications.
By the end of 2021, Canaan had 346 employees, produced revenue of $1.42bn – most of which came from the sale of its flagship mining rigs – and booked a net loss of $1.02bn. The company also reported no long-term debt and had cash and equivalents of $421.23m.
Hut 8 Mining (HUT)
Founded in 2017, Hut 8 (HUT) is one of North America’s oldest cryptocurrency mining companies. The firm is headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, and, apart from its main mining operation, also offers processing services to institutions.
According to its website as of 11 November, the firm had three digital asset data mining facilities, five multi-tier data centers for high-performance computing, more than 400 customers for its advanced computing solutions, and 7,078 BTC tokens in reserve as of 31 May 2022.
By the end of 2021, Hut 8 generated revenues of $173.77m and net losses of $72.71m. In addition, the firm had long-term debt of $24.2m and cash and equivalents of $140.13m.
On 7 February 2023, however, Hut 8 announced it would merge with American firm Bitcoin Corp.
Cipher Mining (CIFR)
Cipher (CIFR) is the last on our list of the five largest bitcoin mining companies. Cipher is a fast-growing industrial-scale firm with operations in the US. In February 2022, the firm started running its first facility in the country and had plans to activate another two to four sites that could be fully powered by renewable energy.
Cipher is a pre-revenue company. In 2021 full-year, the firm booked net losses of $72.15m, had no long-term debt, and reported cash and equivalents of $209.84m. The company went public in August 2021 via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) called Good Works.
In August 2021, it signed agreements with Bitmain Technologies and SuperAcme Technologies to acquire 27,000 and 60,000 miners respectively. Cipher’s mining operations will be based in Alborz, Texas, where its first facility has been built.
The bottom line about bitcoin mining companies
Note that the current list of the largest bitcoin miners is subject to change as the prices of individual shares fluctuate. Hence, this data shouldn’t be used as a substitute for your own research. Always conduct your own due diligence, studying the company’s fundamentals and technicals in detail, looking at the latest news and a wide range of analyst commentary.
Remember, past performance does not guarantee future return. And never trade money you cannot afford to lose.
How many bitcoin mining companies are there?
The list provided by CompaniesMarketCap, as of 7 February 2023, tracked the value of the 16 biggest public bitcoin mining companies. There could be other publicly-traded mining firms that have not made the list because they are too small. In addition, there are many crypto mining companies that are private entities whose shares have not been listed on the stock exchanges.
What are the famous bitcoin mining companies?
Should I invest in bitcoin mining companies?
Whether bitcoin mining stocks are suitable for you would depend on your risk tolerance, investing goals and other personal factors. Remember, bitcoin (BTC) is highly volatile and companies that mine it are subject to the price swings of the cryptocurrency veteran. Always conduct your own due diligence before investing. And never invest money you cannot afford to lose.
Markets in this article
Bitcoin / USD
Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc
Riot Blockchain, Inc.