Building in a Bear Market

Building in a Bear Market

If you've been following Carter, someone I think that we can all agree is not lost for words, then you are probably fairly familiar with the mining site build that we have been working on this past year. Executing this build has certainly been a grueling labor of love for everyone involved. One that we are surprisingly still in the middle of ... hopefully the end of the middle. As 2022 comes to a close and we jump into the new year, I wanted to provide a quick update on the site as it stands right now and discuss how current market conditions have both positively and negatively impacted the development of the build. 

Substation in Vandalia, IL

For those of you who are newer to the crew, let's get you caught up. Early in 2022, BBT partnered with Chicago Atlantic to develop and maintain Bitcoin mining facilities throughout the U.S. Our first site, located in southern Illinois, shares property with a local substation. Talk about being close to the source! When complete, this site will be a 5MW containerized implementation housing a variety of S19j Pros and S19 Pros. The physical construction of the site is complete and the containers have been moved into place. We are currently in electrical hookup heaven. And when I say we, I really mean our general contractor. And when I say heaven, well I'm sure you can put two and two together. We have definitely experienced our fair share of setbacks during this phase - a topic that Carter will go into greater detail in on YouTube.   

Man doing maintenance on the outside of a containerized mining unit.

Electrical issues are not the only issues we've experienced that have led to setbacks in our execution timeline. Inclement weather and market conditions have also played a part. Inclement weather is just one of those annoying inconveniences that you have to constantly work around; especially if you live in the Midwest where it's common to experience three seasons in one week. The bear market, on the other hand, has provided long-term, hard-hitting obstacles for our team to work through. The market downturn in 2022 made our team drastically reduce our originally aggressive site expansion plans to err on the side of caution. It also made it increasingly harder to raise additional capital to move forward with current and planned operations as doubt quickly creeped into investors minds. 

As tough as a bear market can be, it hasn't been all bad in relation to the site build. The one blessing the market downturn has given us is the decrease in miner prices. When we first started working on this build early in 2022, ASIC prices were averaging around $12,000 per unit. In recent months when we have been focusing on miner acquisition for this site, miner prices have been averaging around $2,000. When you're purchasing thousands of units, that is the kind of cost savings every CFO dreams about. 

Technician study the wire configuration inside a containerized mining unit.

When asked what recommendations he would give to other miners trying to survive a bear market, Carter said, "...crawl, walk, run...". He emphasized making sure, as a miner, that you take the time to understand "the basic nuance to mining" and that even getting one ASIC or GPU rig up and running will help you appreciate the "level of effort, power requirement, and noise" associated with scaling an operation. Another main factor that he mentioned was operating on a competitive power rate. Whether you have a small or large operation, nothing can replace having a low power cost which directly affects your operations profitability and ability to stay afloat in a bear market. Currently, Carter says that a good target for an all-in power rate is "around 0.03 to 0.04 cents per KWh".

I can't wait to share more details on the build when the site in southern Illinois is finished and operational - hopefully by the end of January 2023 (*knock on wood*). In the meantime, keep following along on YouTube and Twitter.

- Samantha 

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