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Bitcoin’s Hashrate Up 80% From Last Year As Mining Profitability Improves, Says JPMorgan

A recent analysis from JPMorgan Chase and Co. sheds light on the contrasting performances of Bitcoin prices and mining stocks, underscoring the intricate dynamics within the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Despite Bitcoin’s surge to record highs in March, the performance of mining stocks has exhibited greater volatility, raising questions about the sector’s resilience and prospects moving forward.

According to JPMorgan analyst Reginald Smith, Bitcoin’s price experienced a significant uptick in March, reaching an average daily price of approximately $67,600. This marked a substantial 37% increase from February’s average, reflecting the cryptocurrency’s continued bullish momentum. Concurrently, the network’s hash rate, a key metric measuring the computational power utilized in Bitcoin mining and transaction processing, rose to 600 Exahashes per second (EH/s). This represented a notable increase of 23 EH/s from February and an impressive 80% year-over-year growth, indicating heightened competition among miners.

Despite the improved mining profitability, with miners earning an average of $100,400 per EH/s in daily block reward revenue—the highest since August 2022—the looming Bitcoin halving event is expected to introduce further volatility to the stock performance of mining companies in April.

As of March 31, the aggregate market capitalization of the 14 leading Bitcoin miners stood at $20 billion, reflecting a modest 3% increase for the month. Marathon Digital Holdings emerged as the frontrunner with a market cap of $6 billion, followed closely by CleanSpark at $4.2 billion. Notably, Cipher Mining and Wulf Mining exhibited the best stock performance in March, while Bitfarms faced challenges, recording the worst performance among the group.

Despite the fluctuations in stock performance, CleanSpark stands out as the only miner to outperform Bitcoin’s year-to-date return. Marathon reported the highest hash rate at 28.7 EH/s, followed by CleanSpark at 18.9 EH/s. Importantly, the aggregate market cap of miners represents 21% of the nominal value of remaining Bitcoin and 42% of the four-year rolling block reward revenue opportunity.

In terms of valuation metrics, CleanSpark and Riot Blockchain traded at the highest EV-to-current hash rate multiples, while Iris Energy appeared relatively undervalued on that metric.

These developments are poised to spark discussions at Benzinga’s Future of Digital Assets event, where industry experts will delve into topics such as cryptocurrency investments, mining profitability, and the broader implications of the Bitcoin halving for the future of digital assets. This event will provide valuable insights into the evolving landscape of digital assets and the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

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