Bitcoin Miners Core Scientific, Bitfarms Announce Major Bitcoin Liquidations in June

Aside from being a round number, the US$20,000 vicinity does anecdotally appear to be a key pivot point for Bitcoin prices. The reason: at least two major Bitcoin miners appeared to “throw in the towel” on the digital currency in June.

Specifically, Core Scientific, Inc. (NASDAQ: CORZ) announced on July 5 that it had liquidated 7,202 self-mined Bitcoin during the month of June. The company realized US$167 million from the sale. Core Scientific had sold an additional 2,698 Bitcoin in May 2022. The Bitcoin miner held 1,962 Bitcoin on June 30, 2022 versus 8,058 on May 31, 2022. 

Another miner, Bitfarms Ltd. (NASDAQ: BITF), executed a similar strategy. In June, the company liquidated 3,351 of the Bitcoin it had mined over time, leaving it with 3,144 coins held in custody as of June 30, 2022.

A third miner, Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), may have commenced a similar Bitcoin selling program in May and April when it liquidated 258 and 242 units, respectively, of the cryptocurrency. The company sold a further 300 bitcoin during the month of June.

Marathon Digital Holding, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) have not yet released their Bitcoin transactions for June, while Hut 8 Mining (NASDAQ: HUT), indicated this morning that it had not sold any bitcoin during the month.

Prior to these strategy changes, Core Scientific, Bitfarms and Riot all employed a HODL (hold on for dear life) practice that many retail investors have espoused with respect to their digital currency holdings.

Core ScientificBitfarmsRiot BlockchainMarathon DigitalHut 8 Mining
Number of Bitcoin Held at June 30, 20221,9623,1446,654   7,406
Number of Bitcoin Mined in June 20221,106420 421  328
Number of Bitcoin SOLD in June 20227,2023,351 300  0
Number of Bitcoin Held at May 31, 20228,0586,0756,5369,9417,078
Number of Bitcoin Mined in May 20221,138431466268309
Number of Bitcoin SOLD in May 20222,698225800
Number of Bitcoin Held at April 30, 20229,6185,6466,3289,6736,769
Number of Bitcoin Mined in April 20221,121405508299309
Number of Bitcoin SOLD in April 20220224200
Number of Bitcoin Held at March 31, 20228,4975,2436,0629,3746,460

There are two possible interpretations of the moves by Core Scientific and other miners to turn their backs on their heavily touted HODL strategies. First, Bitcoin miners are presumably well informed participants in the digital currency markets. The miners were operating when cryptocurrency was soaring not many months ago; Bitcoin traded at around US$47,000 as recently as late March 2022. Perhaps their synchronous decisions to liquidate Bitcoin holdings suggests a darker chapter is still to come. (It should be noted that the miners may have needed some of the funds gained from liquidation for other corporate purposes like paying down debt.)

A second, more constructive interpretation is that the miners are much like a stubborn holder of a financial vehicle who stubbornly hangs on while the price plummets, believing he/she knows more than the overall market. Examples of such behavior are legion in the stock market. Many times when the last stubborn investor sells, that sale represents at least a short-term (and sometimes more durable) bottom in the financial instrument.

Of course, it is difficult at this juncture to decide which scenario is more probable. However, other pieces of anecdotal evidence seem likely to be released over the next month or so that could reveal the likely path.  

Core Scientific, Inc. and Bitfarms Ltd. Last traded at US$1.61 and US$1.17, respectively, on the NASDAQ.

Information for this briefing was found via Edgar and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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