by Alejandro Navarro

Summary

As we kick off the year, we want to highlight some key points for the industry. 2021 will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most important years for the crypto mining industry. The year was marked by the great mining migration, energy shortages, the incredible hash rate rebound and a landmark number of miners going public. In summary, 2021 was a year to build up operations and 2022 will be the year of execution. We will probably see more consolidation and differentiation between miners, especially the publicly listed ones.

Network Hash Rate

Last year the network hash rate dropped abruptly from 180 EH to 80 EH. Then picked up over the remainder of the year to current levels hovering around the 170 EH – 180EH range. The spike in mining over the last year, following the China mining ban led to a three-legged phenomenon: 1) Chinese miners relocating 2) New players coming into the space like energy companies and 3) existing miners ramping up their operations.

Over the course of last year and now this year, new capacity will continue to be installed (or reinstalled) as new facilities finish being built. The question that everyone is asking is, what is the hash rate going to be at the end of this year? Industry experts’ best guess is based off of announced expansion plans by publicly traded miners or large about-to-be-public miners. However, not all large miners make their plans public, especially those outside North America and with the lowering of the entry barrier, new micro miners are coming in and it is undetermined what the number is going to be at the end of 2022. All in all, the common estimate for the network hash rate difficulty out there is between 250 EH – 350 EH.

Profitability Per TH

As more miners join and the network hash rate difficulty increases, profitability will fall. 2022 will be marked by miners striving to be as efficient as possible to be able to hold on to lofty margins as much as possible in an increasingly competitive environment. As such, cutting costs will be crucial but so will hardware and software innovation. Anything that can push up mining rigs’ hash rate will be paramount. Due to this, we expect immersion mining to pick up and perhaps a hardware manufacturing challenger company. After all, miners are incentivized to cut the cost of rigs as much as possible and whoever manages to invest and/or create a North American based manufacturer may gain a huge advantage in the market. Needless to say, solving for the microchip shortage is vital.

Differentiation

At a quick glance, all publicly listed miners seem relatively similar. 2022 will be the year that miners differentiate. To date, the major differentiator is energy source and footprint. Moving forward we expect miners to start generating a higher yield with their Bitcoin, this may come through partnerships or even the establishment of trading desks, hedge funds, and DeFi protocols.

Fractional Ownership

The correlation between the price of BTC and mining rigs is widely known, as the price continues climbing, so will the price of mining rigs. For small miners aspiring to build up, lead times on machines will likely remain, pushing them to look for new ways to obtain hash rate. This may make way for fractional ownership of mining rigs. Inherently it will be tied to buying and selling of hash rate, an area which is poised for exponential growth this year, albeit with large regulatory hurdles. Nonetheless, it’s going to be an exciting year!

The opinions expressed in the CrossTower Classroom are those of the author(s) and not necessarily that of CrossTower. We appreciate diverse perspectives of our employees and we thank them for having a voice.

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CrossTower Inc. provides this content for general information purposes, to better inform you on your digital asset investment journey. We do not provide investment recommendations or provide tax advice. Please consult your investment professional or tax advisor if you require assistance in these areas.

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