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Bitcoin Miners Face Challenges Amid Rising Costs and Lower Rewards

Bitcoin Miners

Bitcoin miners are currently navigating a challenging period marked by rising operational costs and lower rewards. Despite these difficulties, industry analysts suggest that the situation is not catastrophic. The miners are “treading water” rather than capitulating to a full-scale bear market scenario, according to recent analysis.

Current State of Bitcoin Mining

James Check, the lead analyst at Glassnode, recently discussed the current state of Bitcoin mining in a video posted on June 21. He noted that the Bitcoin network is experiencing a “hash ribbon inversion,” where the 30-day moving average of the hash rate crosses below the 60-day moving average. This inversion signals a period of increased mining difficulty and is often indicative of operational challenges such as higher costs or lower Bitcoin prices.

“We are in a period of hash ribbon inversion, and blocks are coming in about 14 seconds slower than they should,” Check explained. This slowdown reflects a reduced hash rate, with approximately 5% of the mining hash rate currently struggling. However, Check emphasized that this percentage is not alarming, suggesting that while some miners are likely distributing their holdings, it is not indicative of a “complete and total firesale.”

Impact of the Bitcoin Halving

The recent Bitcoin halving on April 20 has also contributed to the current challenges faced by miners. This event, which occurs every four years, cuts mining rewards in half. Following the April 20 halving, rewards were reduced from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block. This reduction has made it more difficult for miners to maintain profitability, particularly as operational costs continue to rise.

According to data from Blockchain.com, the Bitcoin network’s hash rate is currently 586 exahash per second (EH/s), down 2% over the past 30 days. This decline suggests that some mining firms have turned off unprofitable mining rigs, further contributing to the reduced hash rate.

Financial Pressures and Miner Strategies

Despite these pressures, analysts believe that many Bitcoin miners are managing to break even. Check noted that miners might be “treading water,” mining enough Bitcoin to cover their operational costs. “Miners might be treading water up here; they may not be full-scale bear market level capitulating, probably just treading water. They mine ten Bitcoin, they sell ten Bitcoin,” Check said.

Other analysts have echoed this sentiment. For example, Panos, a prominent crypto analyst, observed in a June 18 post that “Bitcoin miners are selling most of their coins to pay the bills.” This strategy of selling newly mined Bitcoin to cover expenses is currently prevalent among miners.

Transaction Fees and Future Innovations

An emerging trend in the Bitcoin mining industry is the increasing reliance on transaction fees as a significant revenue stream. In a recent post, Check highlighted that transaction fees are becoming a larger proportion of miner revenues. “Miners must adapt and adjust to fees becoming their primary revenue stream, forcing the industry to further innovate and apply efficient capital management,” he wrote.

This shift towards transaction fees underscores the need for miners to innovate and optimize their operations to remain profitable. Matthew Sigel, the head of digital assets research at VanEck, noted that nearly all Bitcoin miners are selling 100% of their coins to maintain liquidity. However, some companies, like CLSK, are managing to hold onto their Bitcoin while using their USD balance sheets to acquire new capacity, demonstrating diverse strategies within the industry.


While Bitcoin miners are undoubtedly facing significant challenges due to rising operational costs and reduced rewards, the situation is not yet at a crisis point. Analysts suggest that miners are managing to break even, albeit with difficulty, by selling mined Bitcoin to cover expenses. The recent hash ribbon inversion and reduced hash rate reflect the current operational struggles, but they do not signal a complete collapse.

The industry’s reliance on transaction fees is increasing, prompting the need for further innovation and efficient capital management. As Bitcoin continues to evolve, miners will need to adapt to these changing dynamics to maintain profitability and navigate the ever-shifting landscape of cryptocurrency mining.

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Evie is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs.

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