The similarities between mining digital currencies and online gambling are many. Let us start with the most obvious, and that is that you need to stake an extensive amount of capital for a random high-risk chance at a huge windfall reward. With LSE-listed Argo Blockchain (LSE: ARB), their bet in 2020 seems to have paid off, leaving them beating out many expectations.
The London-based block reward miner just released its audited 2020 full-year results. For 2020, Argo Blockchain reported increased revenue by 120% to £19.0 million, compared to £8.6 million the prior year. An 85% increase in annual BTC mining production from 1,330 in 2019 to 2,465 in 2020 has buoyed Argo Blockchain’s financial results.
Chief Executive Peter Wall said, “Argo crossed a major inflection point in 2020 in its history by achieving full-year profitability on a 120% increase in revenue, our second consecutive year of triple-digit top-line growth. With a proven management team, world-class mining infrastructure, and strong tailwinds from the industry’s recent growth, the Board looks forward to the future with great confidence.”
Argo Blockchain’s EBITDA climbed as digital currency prices soared in the latter half of the year, allowing the company to deliver its first annual profit of £1.7 million after finishing 2019 with a £0.7 million net loss. Achieved EBITDA rose five times to £7.9 million in 2020 compared with £1.4 million in 2019. Through a series of cost reduction initiatives, administrative expenses dropped by £1.1 million to £2.4 million.
Cash and digital assets held rose to £6.7 million, compared with £1.2 million in the same period a year earlier. As of March 31, 2021, the company held 764 BTC and equivalents valued at £32.6 million based on the digital currency’s price at that time.
Investors should remain wary when looking at block reward miners. While these numbers sound impressive at first glance, the tokens Argo holds have no tangible, fundamental value beyond virtual price speculation. It’s a fragile and volatile industry built on top of fantasy and opportunism.
The entire model of BTC is to hope that someone else comes along and pays you more for them later on. It smells like a new age religion or Ponzi scheme, yet BTC zealots still insist it’s not. BTC maximalist principles require the holder to suspend rational thought, ignore energy waste or believe that government economies built on tangible goods and services might one day collapse.
While it’s easy to think that investing in block reward mining firms and leading-edge tech companies might be similar, they are far from alike.
See also: Equity analyst John Pitts and fintech expert Len Mazur discuss TAAL, Bitcoin and the transaction processing industry
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