Cryptocurrencies have lost over $2 trillion in market worth since the apex of a significant rise in 2021, dropping to below $900 billion. Since hitting an all-time high of around $69,000 in November, the value of Bitcoin, the biggest digital currency in the world, has decreased by more than 70%. Additionally, a number of high-profile business and project disasters during the previous year have shook the industry. Like, in November, one of the biggest crypto exchanges in the world, FTX, went down.
All of this started in May with the collapse of terraUSD, which also resulted in the collapse of Three Arrows Capital, a hedge fund focused on cryptocurrencies. Along with problems specific to the cryptocurrency industry, rising interest rates have also impacted pressure on risky assets like equities and cryptocurrency.
Miners were impacted by worsening changing market conditions as investors grew cautious about risky assets. In addition to the market situation, miners had to deal with expensive electricity and exceptionally high mining difficulty. Due to the record-high mining difficulty that was reached in 2022 as a result of the rise in hash rate, several miners found it difficult to remain profitable. As a result, the miner’s daily earnings have dropped significantly to $16.173 million from $63.548 million on November 10, 2021.
For several mining companies, the debt-to-equity ratio more than tripled, indicating higher financial leverage. The greatest debt-to-equity ratio is held by publicly traded miner Core Scientific (26.7), followed by Greenidge, Stronghold and Argo (18, 11.1, and 8.7 respectively).
As a result, miners like Core Scientific (CORZ) with significant debt-to-equity ratios declared bankruptcy. While Stronghold Digital Mining and Greenidge Generation (GREE) adjusted their debt obligations.
Just as the year was about to start, Greenidge also drew political ire from Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren when she questioned the company’s Dresden plant’s greenhouse gas emissions, which she alleged to have climbed more than ten times between 2019 and 2020. She added that mining firms like Greenidge and others consumed just as much energy as nations like Denmark, Chile, and Argentina.
The profitability of miners declined in 2022 as a result of the negative attitude. The profitability of Bitcoin is expressed in terms of dollars per terahash, or TH, each second. Bitcoin mining generated $3.39/TH per second at its peak in 2017, but by 2022 it had fallen to $0.104/TH. In 2022, prominent public mining businesses saw significant losses that increased by nearly 90% on average.