The Austin, Texas-based company is among the hardest hit miners with low Bitcoin prices depressing mining revenue to a record low. Soaring energy costs and more competition among miners have plummeted profit margins. Core Scientific first warned in October that it may have to file for bankruptcy if the company can’t find more funding to repay its debt that amounts to over $1 billion. It had a third-quarter loss of $434 million.
The company held $32 million in cash and 62 Bitcoin as of last month, down from over 8,000 earlier this year. It sold the bulk of its Bitcoin holdings in the second quarter as the token’s prices plunged by over 60% and heat waves across the US sent power costs soaring. That has made it more difficult for the miner to raise additional liquidity from equity sales and debt financing with lenders scaling back and investors exiting the volatile market. The company’s shares have tumbled almost 99% this year to around 16 cents.
Core Scientific anticipates that existing cash resources will be depleted by the end of 2022 or sooner and failed to repay some of its debt in October. It will potentially seek relief under the applicable bankruptcy laws. The insolvency could have a broad impact on the mining industry given the company’s scale.
The miner contributes to nearly 10% of the computing power to secure the entire Bitcoin network by validating transaction data and earning rewards in the token. It has 243,000 servers and more than 40% of them are in hosting agreements, where Core Scientific provides data center space and related services to run mining machines for its clients including other large-scale miners that do not have their own hosting sites. Some of the clients have started legal proceedings against Core Scientific this month, alleging the miner failing to make or return payments, according to the company’s third-quarter report.