Beijing-headquartered Chinese cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain Technologies, one of the largest crypto mining hardware manufacturers in the world, has recently seen its bitcoin mining hashrate drop by a whopping 88%.
The noticeable drop was revealed through a hashing power disclosure the company releases every month. As of May 7, Bitmain’s hashrate running the SHA-256 algorithm – which both bitcoin and bitcoin cash are based on – dropping from 2,072 PH/s to just 237.29 PH/s.
The company notably manufactures equipment that it sells to others, but uses some of its machines to mine for itself. Bitmain reportedly started disclosing its hashrate back in July of last year, at a time in which it had slightly less than 1,700 PH/s. Its hashrate increased to 2,339 PH/S by October of last year, but then dropped to less than 1,700 PH/s.
This drop occurred in March and coincided with an overall decline in the Bitcoin network’s total hashrate, a decline seen since November of last year when BTC’s price dropped to less than $4,000. Bitmain’s hashrate then climbed again in April, before seeing the 88% drop.
The drop saw Bitmain’s share of the Bitcoin network’s total hashrate drop from 4% to 0.4%, at a time in which bitcoin’s price has been recovering, so much saw it recently moved over the $6,000 mark, according to CryptoCompare data.
The hashrate drop also comes at a time in which miners in China are gearing up to take advantage of the coming rainy season’s cheap hydroelectric power. In March, it was reported Bitmain was set to deploy 100,000 ASIC machines to mine using hydropower.
Speaking to CoinDesk, a Bitmain spokesperson didn’t reveal exactly why the firm’s hashrate decreased, but stated:
It is [in the] natural course of the mining business where the hash rate owned by one body at one instant may be owned by someone else at another instant
This statement could be related to Bitmain’s cloud mining service, BitDeer, which rents some of its flagship AntMiner machines to retail customers. On its website, most mining contracts are sold-out. It’s also possible Bitmain has been renting its hardware to other companies.