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Japanese Bitcoin Mining Firm GMO Stops Mining Bitcoin Cash

Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:34 PM
Josiah Wilmoth
Last Updated March 4, 2021 3:34 PM

GMO Internet, a leading Japanese bitcoin mining firm, has informed investors that it has stopped mining bitcoin cash, documents purportedly distributed by the company show.

Those documents, made public by “The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast” host Trace Mayer, indicate that the Tokyo-based GMO mined 0 BCH in July, down from a high of 287 in February.

However, it’s possible GMO will resume mining BCH if its profitability increases in the future. The firm’s bitcoin cash mining operation has been highly-sporadic, and it also mined 0 BCH in April before mining 37 and 62 BCH over the next two months.

GMO’s bitcoin mining operation, however, has been characterized by a steady increase in BTC revenue. In July, GMO mined 568 BTC — worth $3.8 million at the present exchange rate — up from 528 the month prior and just 21 in Dec. 2017.

Earlier this year, GMO said that it hoped to scale its mining operation to 3,000PH/s by December. However, that now seems unlikely, as declining cryptocurrency profits have squeezed miner profit margins and reduced the incentive to invest in new hashpower. Indeed, GMO mined with 384PH/s in July, which made it the first month this year that it did not bring new devices online.

In June, GMO unveiled the B2, first bitcoin mining chip wholly-developed by a Japanese company. The device, which also featured the world’s first 7nm chip, quickly sold out. GMO is now accepting preorders for the B3, which the firm claims can achieve a hashpower as high as 33TH/s, compared to the 14TH/s offered by the Antminer S9, Bitmain’s flagship mining rig.

Bitmain, as CCN.com reported, is currently planning the cryptocurrency industry’s largest-ever initial public offering (IPO). However, the China-based firm, which once had a market share as large as 85 percent, is facing increasing competition from GMO and others, leading market research firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. to speculate in a recent report that the ASIC designer has lost its competitive edge.

“I respect Bitmain,” GMO CEO Masatoshi Kumagi said in June, perhaps presciently, “but we will top them.”

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