On May 24, Marathon Digital announced plans to build a new bitcoin mining facility in partnership with Compute North.
The new facility will house 73,000 ASIC miners in Texas and will, the firm promises, be approximately 70% carbon neutral. Marathon estimates that its total hash rate will grow to 10.37 EH/s, achieved at a cost of $0.0453 per kWh. Shares of MARA are up almost 5% on the news.
When contacted by The Block, a representative for Marathon declined to specify what the new facility's energy mix will be as well as how the firm plans to hit its benchmarks for carbon neutrality. Back in October, the firm made a similar announcement of a new facility in Montana, in a partnership with Beowulf that has seen a struggling coal-fired plant turned into a lucrative bitcoin mining center.
U.S.-based Bitcoin mining has been on the rise in recent months. While most mining has historically happened in China, new governmental crackdowns have seen the hash rate leave the country.
However, the U.S. has its own compliance concerns to contend with, among which is a regulatory push to reduce coal usage in the country's energy mix. Many of the latest generation of mines are indeed setting up shop in coal plants that had shut down as energy-saving measures made them less necessary. Questions linger as to whether these miners will be able to follow through on promises to offset their emissions.
Another critical regulatory concern facing bitcoin miners in the U.S. is the responsibility for whose transactions they verify. Marathon's pool took the controversial step of validating only whitelisted bitcoin addresses in an effort to comply with sanctions regulations.