Feb 03, 2023

Marathon Digital Offloads Bitcoin After 2-Year HODL

Marathon Digital Holdings, the second largest publicly-listed Bitcoin holder, has taken the plunge and sold off some of its Bitcoin (BTC) for the first time in two years.

The company revealed in an update on February 2 that it sold 1,500 BTC in January, worth $35.3 million at current prices. Despite the fact that some crypto miners have been forced to sell their Bitcoin due to financial distress, Marathon’s vice president of corporate communications Charlie Schumacher said this was not the case for Marathon.

Schumacher explained that Marathon had been holding onto its Bitcoin until now, as the firm didn’t want to sell while production was down, and has been bullish on the long-term prospects of the leading cryptocurrency. However, Marathon wanted to have a “war-chest” of liquidity composed of both cash and Bitcoin entering the new year and is looking to continue paying down debt and increasing its cash positions. Schumacher also noted that Bitcoin’s recent uptick in price was a factor in the decision to sell some of its holdings.

January saw Bitcoin rise above the $24,000 price level for the first time since August. Even after the sale, Marathon managed to increase its unrestricted Bitcoin holdings in the month to 8,090 BTC ($189.8 million). In the update, Marathon chairman and CEO Fred Thiel said the improvement in bitcoin production was primarily a result of the team’s ability to work with the new hosting provider in McCamey, Texas, to address the maintenance and technical issues at the King Mountain data center that had suppressed bitcoin production in the fourth quarter of 2022.

When asked how it had managed to avoid selling the main product of its business operations, Schumacher pointed to the firm’s low headcount, consisting of “32 people as of today,” and suggested it was a result of sound long-term financial strategies.

Marathon is the second-biggest publicly listed holder of Bitcoin according to CoinGecko. Its stock has seen a 135% increase this year, reaching $8 according to MarketWatch.

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