Argo Blockchain mines 25% less Bitcoin due to winter storm at Helios

Publicly-listed Bitcoin (BTC) mining company Argo Blockchain saw a significant drop in mining activity in December due to a winter storm in Texas.

On Jan. 11, Argo released its first operational update since selling its flagship mining facility Helios to Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital. The company said it mined 147 Bitcoin or BTC equivalents in December, compared to 198 BTC in November 2022.

As of Dec. 31, Argo held 141 BTC, with its December mining revenue amounting to $2.49 million, the firm said. Argo’s total debt was approximately $79 million, and its bank balance was about $20 million.

According to the announcement, the decrease in the amount of mined BTC was mainly due to Argo curtailing mining operations at Helios in response to a major winter storm in Texas.

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In late December, the United States Energy Department declared a power emergency in Texas, citing a shortage of electricity due to the impact of severe winter weather. Amid a massive temperature drop accompanied by high winds, the demand on the Texas power grid reached an all-time winter peak in excess of 74,000 megawatts (MW).

Argo CEO Peter Wall pointed out that the company’s mining results were lower than expected because the firm had to reduce power usage on the grid due to extreme weather conditions.

Related: Bitcoin miners see mixed successes in tackling debt-fueled overexpansion crisis

During the winter storm, Argo joined other Texas Bitcoin miners in reducing power usage by an estimated 1,500 MW, Wall said, adding:

“After the winter storm and associated freezing temperatures had subsided, we safely brought Helios back online and resumed operations.”

Wall mentioned that Argo eventually decided to sell its Helios facility to Galaxy Digital, announcing the $65 million deal on Dec. 28. The transaction aimed to reduce Argo’s total debt by $41 million and improve liquidity and operating structure.

Despite the sale, Argo will still continue mining at Galaxy-owned Helios facility. Argo’s total hashrate capacity continues to be 2.5 exahashes per second, the announcement notes.

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