Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain's profits surge

·2 min read
An employee works at the data centre of BitRiver company providing services for cryptocurrency mining in the city of Bratsk in Irkutsk Region, Russia March 2, 2021. BitRiver offers hosting services and turnkey solutions for cryptocurrency mining operations to institutional investors including bitcoin mining firms. Picture taken March 2, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov
An employee works at a cryptocurrency mining plant as Argo reported a mining margin of 81%, a sharp rise from 39% the year before. Photo: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Shares in Bitcoin miner Argo (ARB.L) headed 1.9% lower on Monday morning in London even as it said its revenues increased by 180% for the first half of 2021.

Revenue was £31.1m ($43.19m) reflecting an increase in production coupled with an increase in Bitcoin prices. In its first half in 2020 the miner made £11.1m.

Argo has been growing in recent months — it expanded into Texas and completed two fundraises, generating $49.2m.

These fundraisings enabled Argo to invest in new machines and fund working capital requirements, it said.

The firm also reported a mining margin of 81%, a sharp rise from 39% the year before, while the total number of bitcoin and bitcoin equivalent (BTC) mined in the period fell to 883 from 1,669 last year, a change which was attributed mostly to Bitcoin halving in May.

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"We have capitalised on a change in market conditions in the first half of 2021 to deliver strong growth in both revenues and profits, demonstrating that our smart growth strategy is delivering value to shareholders," said Peter Wall, chief executive and interim chairman.

The news comes amid other market movements and follows ethereum's blockchain successfully completing a "hard fork" on Thursday, essentially changing the underlying code that ethereum relies on to run.

The so-called "London hard fork" changes the way transaction fees are calculated on the network and is designed to reduce the pace of growth in the coins.

Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at Bitfinex, said the changes would help attract more DeFi — decentralised finance — projects to operate on ethereum's network.

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