Tech

Ed Drake

Mining firm Argo Blockchain jacks up capacity to save stock price

Argo Blockchain, the London-listed cryptocurrency mining company, has invested in 1,000 new mining rigs in a bid to shore up its ailing financial performance.

The company disclosed the purchase of 1,000 Bitmain Z11 miners, despite posting a loss in the region of £4.1 million ($5.3 million) in its 2018 accounts.

In a press release published to the London Stock Exchange website on Wednesday, the embattled firm said the new mining units had begun production in the last week, and would help improve the financial outlook for future accounting periods.

Argo hopes the move will help push the firm towards breaking even in the second half of 2019, after dismal trading in recent months following the collapse in Bitcoin Core (BTC) prices.

Jonathan Bixby, executive chairman at Argo Blockchain, said that with the new hardware now on board, the firm was optimistic of breaking even this year. He explained:

“Argo expects to turn EBITDA [earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] break-even in the second half of this year. We strongly believe that the cryptocurrency market has considerable long-term potential to become a major asset class and that the correct strategy is to continue to invest in mining infrastructure at current prices.”

In the release, Argo also indicated it was considering purchasing a further 1000 Bitmain AntMiner S17s, which would cost an additional £1.7 million ($2.2 million). These could be made available for production from July, the report added.

Argo Blockchain is far from alone in finding life difficult in the crypto mining sector. Listed Canadian mining company Hut 8 also released an earnings report this week, reflecting losses of almost $140 million from its mining business.

The downwards trend of BTC prices has led many mining firms to cut back, including laying off staff, selling hardware and closing down mining facilities to preserve capital.

Leaning in to the adverse conditions, Argo Blockchain hopes to offset low margins with greater volume.

It comes at a time of ongoing unrest at the company, after major shareholder Frank Timis launched a bid to fire the firm’s board over concerns about the firm’s performance.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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