- A report by Galaxy Digital reflects on 2022 and the path ahead for Bitcoin miners.
- Investors are looking to deploy up to $1.1B into hosting and mining businesses in 2023.
- The Lightning Network may see more use this year as miners explore ways to earn additional yields.
CEO Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital has a grim outlook for Bitcoin miners in 2023. According to a report released by the New York-based crypto investment firm, financing will be hard for businesses operating in the mining and hosting space.
A string of bankruptcies and scandals paired with record high energy prices and network hash rate made 2022 the perfect storm for Bitcoin miners, says Galaxy Digital. Growth has become a secondary priority as survival takes the top spot. The issues that plagued 2022, including a discouraging regulatory environment and ever-growing FUD, will continue in 2023.
As per the report, publicly traded mining firms defaulted on 11.59 EH of hash rate through ASIC-backed loans in 2022. The defaults may have helped conserve cash but eroded investors’ confidence in the mining sector. “Miners won’t have the same access to funding through capital markets in 2023 as they did in 2021 and early 2022,” the report stated.
However, another source of investment has presented itself in 2023. “Distressed mining funds” provide capital to fund the operational expenses of mining firms in exchange for hosting capacity or profit share. Five different funds have indicated that they are looking to deploy more than a billion dollars into the hosting and mining space.
Binance, Maple Finance, and Applied Blockchain are among these funds that represent a total of $1.1 billion of potential capital for Bitcoin miners in 2023. It remains to be seen whether the funds will be used to acquire ASICs or as a last resort to finance struggling miners.
The Lightning Network provides a unique opportunity for miners to earn an additional yield on their Bitcoin holdings. By utilizing this technology, miners can earn returns in a way that minimizes counterparty risk, all while supporting the broader Bitcoin ecosystem. Node operators on the Lightning Network can earn a significant return on investment, with an annual percentage yield of up to 5% by leasing channel liquidity. However, this is currently on smaller volumes.