China: Cryptocurrency Mining Machines Reportedly Being Sold According to Their Weight

  • Cryptocurrency miners in China are reportedly selling their old ASIC models per their weight.
  • This as cryptocurrency prices have plummeted this year, and energy costs are rising for some.

Cryptocurrency mining machines are reportedly being sold in China according to their weight as miners who haven’t been able to make a profit are seemingly getting rid of their old models to get some of their investment back.

According to local news outlet 8BTC, old ASIC machines like the Antminer S7, the Antminer T9, and the Avalon A741, have reached what’s being called a “shutdown price,” a price in which miners aren’t able to cover the energy costs associated with running these machines.

As such, they’re being sold for scrap metal and other parts. Per local reports, the miners are being sold for as little as one-twentieth of their original value. While large mining operations are still running, small and medium-sized ones in China’s Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia are struggling.

Per the local news outlet, some miners are being sold for anywhere between $15 and $100. Initially, Antminer T9’s – which are currently being sold for little over $200 on Bitmain’s website – were going for over $1,500.

A video posted to microblogging website Twitter by the Managing Director of Danhua Capital, Dovey Wan, shows how the machines are being handled to then be sold:

While some claim the video was taken months ago, at a time in which floods in Sichuan affected cryptocurrency mining operations , the founder of F2Pool and Bixin Pool are said to have confirmed the video’s authenticity.

Notably, at the time of the floods Jiang Zhuoer, the owner of the prominent mining pool BTC.Top, clarified these had “little impact on bitcoin mining farms.” In a subsequent tweet Wan revealed that in China electricity costs are currently up for cryptocurrency miners, as some rely on hydroelectric dams.

Miners haven’t been able to make a profit as while energy costs are up, cryptocurrency prices are down. Bitcoin, the flagship cryptocurrency, saw its price drop from about $13,000 in January to roughly $4,500 at press time.

Per 8BTC, the term “miners sold by kilo” started trending on China’s top search engine Baidu after the founder of F2Pool tweeted out a picture revealing that some machines were being sold according to their weight.

In a Reddit thread where the above video was shared, some users discussed how the market’s downtrend has been affecting cryptocurrency miners. One, in particular, revealed he still uses his miner as “it’s cold and mining is cheaper than running a heater.”

Overstock CEO Sells Shares in His Company to Invest in Blockchain Projects

Patrick Byrne, the chief executive officer of Overstock.com (OSTK), has recently lashed out at investors who questioned his sale of 900,000 of his ‘founders shares’ in the company. Justifying his move, he revealed he needed the funds to invest in blockchain projects.

According to Business Insider, Byrne recently sent a letter to shareholders after the company’s stock prices plunged over 21% this week to their lowest since 2012, after he revealed he sold 500,000 of his shares earlier this week.

On Friday, the CEO revealed he sold an additional 400,000 shares, meaning he sold over 15% of his stake in the company. Although Overstock’s shares recovered on Friday, May 17, Byrne’s letter to shareholders was notable. In it, he wrote:

I simply had to supplement my nominal salary with stock sales in order to fulfill personal commitments to invest personally in blockchain projects such as Medici Land Governance, along with a need to meet charitable pledges.

The CEO added that he doesn’t plan on giving such an explanation again, justifying that he owes shareholders “staying within the law and not making decisions based on inside information, not explanations of my life and projects outside Overstock.”

He noted that the “unanticipated stir” caused by his sale was unexpected, and added “I had no idea that shareholders would demand explanations of why and how I might want to use my cash derived from my labor and my property to pursue my ends in life.”

Byrne is notably Overstock’s largest shareholder, and noted he told investors a year ago he would be making “significant sales” to fund different projects, including those related to blockchain technologies and, presumably, cryptocurrencies.

In fact, the libertarian sold 775,000 of his shares in September of last year, before this week’s sale. The stock’s price has fallen roughly 90% from its record high in January of 2018, when Overstock was benefitting from its cryptocurrency ventures and accompanying the cryptocurrency market’s performance.

In November of last year, Byrne revealed he had plans to sell Overstock’s retail business and go “all-in” on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The CEO’s plan would see the company focus on its fully-owned subsidiary Medici Ventures, which has been invested in blockchain-related startups, after selling its retail business.

Overstock's price performance over the last two yearsSource: Yahoo Finance

Byrne has notably been battling short sellers targeting Overstock, as the firm competes with the likes of eBay and Amazon. Financial analytics firm S3 Partners has estimated short bets against it stand at $157 million, or 50% of its float. This makes it more targeted by short sellers than 99% of companies in the U.S.

Despite the company’s performance on exchanges, Overstock has since launched its tZERO security trading platform, and was one of the first companies to pay a “portion” of its taxes using bitcoin in Ohio.