How To Prepare for Halving. Miners Survival Guide
On November 15th, EZ Blockchain CEO Sergii Gerasymovych hosted a webinar about Bitcoin halving. Sergii is considered a thought leader in Bitcoin mining and has seen the last two halving events and survived two crypto winters. He is sharing his expertise and ideas regarding practical tips about how to prepare for the biggest crypto event in 2024.
His webinar focused on Bitcoin mining and halving events, who will stay in the game after 2024 halving, what miners can do to prepare, mining equipment and whether it’s time to buy more, and why miners should work with EZ Blockchain.
What is Bitcoin Halving?
Typically, bitcoin halving is an event that happens around once in four years, and that’s when the reward block is slashed in half. The amount of Bitcoin admitted into circulation becomes 50% lower, making Bitcoin so attractive.
The third halving was the biggest change to the whole micro, micro level of the Bitcoin industry. That’s when Bitcoin started running to a very high number, and it started to attract people from many industries. There started talks about establishing Bitcoin futures and options began to trade on exchanges. Bitcoin became more institutionalized and that’s mostly what drove its price to $69,000.
So, what’s going to happen to miners? What will become of mining companies, big or small, after that event?
And how will it influence them?
Well, the most important part is that now Bitcoin miners, instead of 6.25 Bitcoins per block gonna start making 3.1.25, and that’s a big difference.
So, suppose you look into perspective here, for any miner to stay in business with the same crypto mining equipment, the same inputs on power, and the exact operating cost today. In that case, the Bitcoin price during the halving has to be around $70,000 to make the same profit that you guys are making now.
Through the last couple of years, we have seen what the halving does to Bitcoin miners. It is sometimes brutal because many companies or players don’t survive.
Who Will Stay in the Game After 2024 Halving?
Most people who don’t survive have high hosting fees or electricity costs. They have debt, don’t have a strong operational team, and their equipment is inefficient.
So obviously, only those who have a very reasonable electricity cost and hosting fees, are low on debt and have a strong operational team will be able to stay in the game. It’s one of the most important parts to have efficient equipment.
Unfortunately, the Bull Run of 2021 to 2022 has driven the cost of crypto mining equipment to insanity. Many people did buy the cryptocurrency mining equipment on the top, so that means that those players are still sitting with that equipment. They have not sold it because that equipment has not made any money yet and is far from making any money, and that’s a big issue. They will not survive the halving if they don’t throw more capital, small or big.
So, What Can We Do to Prepare?
The most important aspect for companies is that operational costs must stay low.
The costs matter for survival through tough times, bad times, and good times. The margins can be so low that sometimes you will not be able to operate, and in the bitcoin mining business, the most important part is to stay online. If you stay online, you can always catch a high Bitcoin price and keep mining. But if you turn off the facility, bringing you back online is very tough.
Bitcoin Mining Operational Costs?
According to JP Morgan’s recent report on Bitcoin, the industry operating cost is equal to miner power consumption plus data center power consumption multiplied by power price plus other operational costs. It seems pretty straightforward, and it is. However, the biggest drivers of running a cryptocurrency mining farm are miner power consumption and price. The power price could be so volatile that it can change your margins in Bitcoin mining at any minute.
Demystifying Bitcoin Mining Costs
In reality, bitcoin mining is a very low-margin business, contrary to popular belief.
It’s not really virtual money; it’s very hard work from infrastructure development and operation, electrical power lines development, land development, and running operations.
Besides the power cost you can control only by having a good power contract or hosting contract with your counterparty who offers you hosting services, it’s very important to focus on other operational costs. The costs matter because there are so many details in how you run a particular facility where your mining equipment is being hosted.
So there are facility maintenance operational costs such as spending money on network operation, changing filters, changing fans, upgrading electrical breakers, and controlling board plans that are always breaking. We need human capital to do that work.
Further, it’s not enough to put the miner on the shelf. You have to configure your miners, maintain their uptime, ensure the internet is flowing correctly, and, most importantly, ensure that all changes when you have not three miners online but up to 30,000. The networking scale becomes different, meaning the problems are different, and the approach should differ.
Additionally, when you have networking and electrical equipment operators, you need team leaders who manage all those people. With a larger operation, the team management focuses on making all work efficient.
Ultimately, power costs usually equal 85 to 90% of all costs, but there is another 10%, and this would be the other operational costs. Therefore, it’s important to stay focused and ensure these costs stay in line. Because you can have the cheapest power in the world, for example, 3 cents per kWh, but if your operational cost equals another 2 cents per kWh, then your cost of power is not really 3 cents. It goes to 5 cents.
After 2024 halving, many miners will become unprofitable, but not all will be unprofitable to turn off immediately. Usually, there is a period when miners will accumulate enough Bitcoin and hold with the hope the price goes up so they can sell those Bitcoins and power their costs. However, that strategy doesn’t work because you usually have no idea how long the price stays where it is, and it may never go up.
So, running at a negative level is always a problem, and many mining companies with all the equipment, high input power costs, and very high operational costs will be running negatively. But since there is again a human emotional factor here, they will run for at least a month or two close to negative or maybe at negative to see what happens.
The market participants who have updated their equipment for a new one would be in a good spot. But it depends on which cost they update that equipment because, at the end of the day, bitcoin mining is a business like everything else. If you spend $1,000 to make $300 and then spend another thousand dollars to keep making $300, that doesn’t do anything for you.
The Solution. How To Prepare For Bitcoin Halving?
What’s important is to ensure that if you have all the equipment you need, it runs as long as possible at a low power cost until it actually breaks.
“I think that those market participants who do not have equipment higher than a hundred tera hash per second will not make money within the 6 months after halving, unless, of course, Bitcoin price goes up.”
But if the Bitcoin price goes up, there will be more demand and fewer rewards to share amongst everyone. So, if you are a new miner, the only mining equipment that you should buy is with an efficiency of less than 21 Joules per tera hash. That equipment will be very competitive, and you will stay in a game for quite some time.
Not only that, you will be able to stay afloat even if the price goes down after halving, and the price of that cryptocurrency mining equipment is not that high anymore.
How Should You Approach the Upcoming Halvings Differently Compared to Previous Cycles?
Don’t Just Wait for Your Mining Equipment
First, you should not wait for your equipment for a long time. You don’t spend money upfront and wait for equipment in six months. Your return on investment doesn’t start when your equipment arrives. It starts the moment you get money out of the bank account. So, if you started today and your equipment arrives in 6 months, you have not made money for six months. Between those 6 months, cryptocurrency prices may go up or down.
Mine More Efficiently
Also, you need to stay within 21 Joules per tera hash because new equipment doesn’t mean the best results. New equipment is good because it mines more Bitcoin, but at the end of the day, remember, it’s business; you have to calculate your return on investment.
You want to think about efficiency in terms of how many Joules per tera hash and cooling the chip. Between 2021 and 2022 was the era of immersion hype. Immersion cooling is great on the operational level but is very expensive on the capital expenditure level.
It makes sense to mine in immersion only if you want to overclock your machines. If you have machines with special software and special control boards that allow you to squeeze as much as possible from that, that’s the best way to do immersion cooling, and EZ Blockchain offers both of those services.
We provide hosting in air and immersion cooling infrastructure, but air cooling is easier. It’s easier to set up, quicker, and, most importantly, three times cheaper, and we can work with more types of equipment in the same facility.
Should I Buy More Equipment and When?
All of that depends. What is your strategy? What is your strategy to get into new business? Is your strategy to survive with what you have or is your strategy to do this for fun?
For every answer to each question, there is a different strategy.
“There is a lot of positive sentiment, and I think bitcoin has become much stronger after the FTX saga than any other crypto asset because it has something behind it. It has infrastructure behind it, it has people behind it, and it is finite.”
“Bitcoin is not printing from thin air, so it always makes sense to buy more equipment, obviously, depending on your budget. When you do buy more equipment, you need to make sure that equipment is the right equipment for your specific stretch.”
Why Work with EZ Blockchain?
- We have been in this hardware and crypto mining business for a long time.
- We provide the lowest industry prices for Bitcoin mining
- We operate facilities on a large scale, and develop facilities quickly, and we have had six years of experience in doing that.
- We are a professional data center operational team, and we are the only company with a specifically assigned engineering department focused on uptime and hash rate.
- We are the suppliers of low, low-cost, clean power. Our facilities are very much diversified.
- We have locations in Georgia, South Carolina, and Kansas.
- We’re building more facilities across the country; most importantly, we control our destiny.
- We have our own mobile data systems supply chain, which helps us be very effective during tough times.