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Miner Weekly: Noise, Theft and Bitmain’s Waning Monopoly

Also, what is a mullet miner?

This article first appeared in Miner Weekly, BlocksBridge Consulting’s weekly newsletter curating the latest news in bitcoin mining and data analysis from TheMinerMag. Subscribe to receive in your inbox once a week.

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July isn’t even half way through, but the bitcoin mining world has already seen a flurry of activity, ranging from hardware and infrastructure developments to crime, noise issues, and community protests. If you’re finding it hard to keep up, here’s a quick digest of the notable headlines from the past few weeks.

Bitmain’s monopoly is threatened??

Core Scientific made headlines this week with its partnership with Block Inc. and ePIC Blockchain, where the chip and system designers will supply a modular mining platform of 15 EH/s for Core’s infrastructure. This partnership is noteworthy as it reverses the typical approach of building infrastructure tailored to specific ASIC miner models. While the results remain to be seen, this is another instance of a major mining company ordering substantial hashrate from a source other than Bitmain.

Core Scientific has historically procured its mining fleet entirely from Bitmain, which is now a major shareholder and hosting client of Core Scientific. Similarly, Riot used to order machines almost exclusively from Bitmain but it made a bulk preorder last year from MicroBT. Meanwhile, Marathon is betting big on Auradine, and Bitdeer is advancing its ambitious ASIC roadmap.

Mullet miners deleverage

Over the past week, public mining companies continued to deleverage their financial positions. Terawulf paid off all its remaining loans, totaling approximately $77 million. Core Scientific reduced its convertible notes by $260 million through a mandatory conversion. Both companies have shown strong stock performances over the past month following news of their expansion into the AI space.

Public mining stocks have now essentially split into two camps: pure-play mining operators and those with a hybrid model of bitcoin mining plus AI/high-performance computing. As friends at Cathedra Bitcoin described it, it’s Trad Miners vs. Mullet Miners now.

Noise complaints

Bitcoin mining was again at the center of a mainstream media investigative story, this time by TIME. The story revisited complaints and reported health issues from residents in Granbury, Texas, which they attributed to noise from the Granbury mining site that Marathon acquired from Generate Capital. 

Marathon declined TIME’s interview requests, stating it wouldn’t comment publicly until “Constable Shirley’s ‘unwarranted’ citations against the plant had been resolved.” David Fischer, the site manager for the Marathon site, faced a dozen noise citations from Hood County Constable John Shirley, who alleged the site exceeded the 85-decibel level based on his readings.

After a two-day trial this week, Fischer has been acquitted of all the noise charges, according to a local news report. Hood County Attorney Matt Mills said the jurors determined that Fischer shouldn’t be personally responsible. “We may proceed later against the company itself,” Mills was quoted as saying.

Marathon isn’t the only public mining firm facing backlash from local residents. Homeowners in North Tonawanda, New York, protested outside the city hall against Digihost this week. A two-year ban on new mining operations appears set to pass next week while the city addresses noise issues at the Digihost site.

Theft on the rise?

News of stolen bitcoin miners emerged on two consecutive days, a rarity, especially at the time when bitcoin’s hashprice is nearing all-time lows.

On June 27, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested a 27-year-old man allegedly in possession of stolen bitcoin mining computers worth $580,000. This came just three months after the LAPD arrested three men in March, recovering bitcoin miners worth $7 million.

On July 1, the Baton Rouge Police Department in Louisiana uncovered an abandoned facility containing 247 bitcoin mining machines worth $850,000, stolen from McKee, Kentucky, leading to an arrest. 

What’s even more alarming is that we also heard from a close industry friend who said nearly 900 of their bitcoin miners went missing during cargo transportation in the U.S. late last month. Stay tuned for more details next week.

Regulation News

  • Crypto Regulations Under Review in Massena, Nearing Finish Line – North Country Now
  • North Tonawanda Poised to Ban New Crypto Mining Facilities for Two Years – The Buffalo News
  • Dept. of Energy Begins Process of Drafting New Bitcoin Miner Survey – The Block

Hardware and Infrastructure News

  • Bitcoin Hashprice Hits All-Time Low Amid July 4th Sell-Off – TheMinerMag
  • S19 Pro Miners at Risk as Bitcoin Hashprice Hits New Low – TheMinerMag
  • ‘Phoenix’ Mines 90% of Bitcoin Cash Blocks Over Two Days – TheMinerMag
  • Bitcoin Miner Hut 8 to Expand 205 MW in West Texas – TheMinerMag
  • Block, Core Scientific Unveil Plan for 15 EH/s Bitcoin ASICs – TheMinerMag

Corporate News

  • Ex-Directors Allege Fraud at Northern Data – Financial Times
  • Private Equity Giants Are Circling Bitcoin Miners on AI Allure – CoinDesk
  • Bitfarms Adds Board Director in Response to Riot Stand-Off – TheMinerMag
  • Bit Digital to Bridge TradFi and DeFi at EthCC Mixer – Decrypt
  • Bitfarms Appoints CEO as Riot’s Takeover Escalates – TheMinerMag
  • Marathon Staffer Cleared of Bitcoin Mining Noise Citations – TheMinerMag

Financial News

  • Bitcoin Miners Tout AI Revenue Boost Post-Halving – TheMinerMag
  • Core Scientific Set to Reduce $260M in Bitcoin Mining Debt – TheMinerMag
  • TeraWulf Pays Off $77.5M Debt to Reduce Bitcoin Mining Costs – TheMinerMag


  • CleanSpark Acquires Griid, Northern Data IPO and ASIC Theft – The Mining Pod
  • ‘We’re Living in a Nightmare:’ Inside the Health Crisis of a Texas Bitcoin Town – TIME
  • Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Drop Suggests BTC Price Is Nearing Bottom – Decrypt
  • Bitcoin Blockspace As Electrical Markets With Leo Zhang – The Mining Pod