Hut 8 CEO weighs in on the bull and bear markets from a mining perspective

In January 2023, during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) conference in Davos, Switzerland, Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8, a crypto mining company that trades as a public company, chatted with me by the fireplace at Crypto Summit. on the Promenade. Leverton laid out some of her views on the recent turmoil in the cryptocurrency market and reflected on how Bitcoin (BTC) mining is doing during the current turbulent period for the industry.

Throughout 2021 and 2022, the crypto industry saw significant growth followed by bear market struggles, bankruptcies and job cuts. Leverton took over as CEO of Hut 8 Mining just over two years ago and has experienced ups and downs on the front lines.

Jaime Leverton, Hut 8 CEO (left) and Cristina Lucrezia Corner (right) during Crypto Summit 2023 in Davos

Clearly, all of us in crypto have experienced volatility,” Leverton said when asked about her thoughts over the past couple of years as she guided Hut 8 through the ups and downs of the crypto industry. “I think the mining industry in particular has had some pretty big fluctuations over the last two years,” she added, noting that “2022 was really the perfect storm in terms of the bitcoin mining industry.” She continued:

“We had an all-time high hash rate, a sluggish price for bitcoin and an energy crisis that quickly set in amid one of the biggest bull markets we have seen, in particular for the crypto mining industry. We have seen over 20 new mining companies go public. At its peak, in North America alone, we had about 40 publicly traded bitcoin mining companies.”

Leverton noted that Hut 8, a pioneer in the bitcoin mining sector for government entities, entered the Canadian market in 2018 and then Nasdaq in 2022. According to the CEO of Hut 8, the crypto bull run in 2021 has attracted significant capital inflows into digital asset mining, which has boosted leverage.

“Then you couple that with the perfect storm I mentioned that happened in 2022 – the industry was really shaken up and the people who took on a lot of leverage as we saw it struggled and so we are now in a launch period. To see some consolidation in space, we’re starting to see more companies just starting to diversify their portfolios, which we did at Hut – we started doing that in the bull market as well.”

Leverton made it to Cryptooshala’s annual list of the 100 most influential players in the crypto industry. In the 2023 ranking, she ranks 73rd.

Later in an interview, Leverton discussed what bitcoin mining is all about. “I think the most fascinating conversation we need to have about bitcoin mining is actually its promise,” adds:

“The beautiful thing about bitcoin mining is I was a founding member of the Bitcoin Mining Council and we actually released our latest report earlier this week which shows that the energy consumption of the bitcoin industry via blockchain is now 58.9% renewable sources, and that continues to improve quarter after quarter.”

The 58.9% figure comes from a report detailing the results of the Bitcoin Mining Council survey for the fourth quarter of 2022. released in January 2023. Energy use has been a hot topic in the crypto space and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has expressed interest in the topic. According to another interview with Cryptooshala, one of cybersecurity engineer Michel Hazzachi’s arguments is that the mainstream banking world is superior to Bitcoin in terms of power consumption.

Hut 8 Merger Would Have Happened Even Without FTX Or Crypto Turmoil, CEO Says

“What excites me and our space is how bitcoin mining can really fundamentally push the boundaries of renewable energy innovation and investment,” Leverton said, adding:

“We only saw an explosion of bitcoin miners who started using methane, flare gas, landfills to generate energy and prevent this carbon from being released into the atmosphere.”

According to Leverton, “The beauty of bitcoin mine is that it doesn’t need to be connected to power lines, so you can mine bitcoin right where the energy waste is generated.” She noted that miners are starting to take off in rural communities in Africa and added that they have decided to go self-financing, which is “the most exciting thing happening in mining in 2023 and 2024.”

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