• 2021 saw a influx of resources acquired through cheap debt, used by BTC miners to grow their ASICS.
• By the end of 2022, Marathon, Hut8, and Riot had the largest total BTC holdings, with 12,232 BTC, 9,086 BTC, and 6,952 BTC, respectively.
• Bit Digital recorded the most growth in reserves, with a 134% increase in nine months.
In 2021, Bitcoin (BTC) miners took advantage of the influx of resources acquired through cheap debt to grow their Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICS). ASICS are specialized computers used to mine BTC, and miners used the resources to continuously increase their BTC holdings until May.
However, the bear market that started in May of 2022 brought immense pressure and led to distribution across miners. The Russian-Ukraine war drove up energy costs, and the BTC price dropped, while the hash rate increased, which heated up the competition for block space. This ultimately led to a decrease in BTC holdings for miners in the second half of the year.
At the end of 2022, Marathon, Hut8, and Riot emerged as the top three companies with the largest total BTC holdings, with 12,232 BTC, 9,086 BTC, and 6,952 BTC, respectively. Marathon’s holdings accounted for 27.7% of the combined BTC pool of the top nine mining companies, while Hut8 and Riot accounted for 20.4% and 17.5%, respectively. Interestingly, Bit Digital recorded the most growth in reserves, with a 134% increase in nine months.
Overall, the BTC volume in exchanges did not see much growth throughout the year, with only less than 60,000 BTC sent to exchanges. This suggests that miners were more focused on keeping the BTC they had mined instead of selling it, likely a result of the bear market.
It will be interesting to see how the holdings of BTC mining companies have changed in 2023. With the BTC bull market happening right now, miners may be more inclined to sell their BTC, which could lead to an increase in the BTC volume in exchanges.