In a recent JPMorgan research report, it was revealed that Bitcoin miners are actively branching out into fresh business verticals, including the provision of high performance computing (HPC) services to the rapidly expanding artificial intelligence (AI) industry in a bid to reduce their crypto reliance. The cost of such ventures has been partially covered by the sale of coins over recent periods.
This move towards diversification has seen several Bitcoin mining firms undergo rebranding. Case in point, Hive Blockchain Technologies has morphed into Hive Digital Technologies and Riot Blockchain has evolved into Riot Platforms.
But it’s not just Bitcoin miners who are seeking novel revenue opportunities. Former Ether miners are also demonstrating an inclination towards providing HPC services. This follows the Ethereum blockchain Merge that has resulted in a flood of graphics processing units (GPUs) available on the secondary market, with GPUs previously used for Ether mining losing their utility.
To recoup their investments, some Ether miners have sold or repurposed their GPUs. Uses for the repurposed GPUs include gaming, image and video rendering services, and mining for other proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like ethereum classic, ravencoin, and ergo. Despite these alternative uses, mining these cryptocurrencies has been noted as less profitable than mining ether due to their smaller market caps and doubts surrounding their long-term viability.
Nonetheless, the surge in AI development and the subsequent increased demand for high performance computing presents a potentially more lucrative avenue for the deployment of GPUs that were once used for Ether mining.
In addition to business diversification, Bitcoin miners are also spreading their geographical boundaries. Notably, Russia is fast becoming a global leader, sitting in second place, behind the U.S., in terms of Bitcoin mining power consumption.
While branching out to new areas could lead to bigger profits and reduce overreliance on a single source of revenue, it raises the question whether they can compete with established players in these new fields. Moreover, it may lead to tighter regulations as authorities might monitor their activities more strictly. Regardless, the diversification is a clear pointer to the kind of flexibility and versatility the world of blockchain technology enables.