The cryptocurrency mining company, Marathon Patent Group (MARA), bought $ 150 million in Bitcoin for about $ 31,100 per unit during the last price of the crypto asset.
The NASDAQ-listed company announced Monday that it has acquired the cryptocurrency through the institutional bitcoin store NYDIG.
Marathon CEO Merrick Okamoto said in a statement that the acquisition of Bitcoin “accelerates” the transformation of its mining company into an “option to invest in pure Bitcoin” for the hungry Wall Street merchants in crypto.
Wall Street merchants already have several options on this front, some more creative than others. There’s Square, the payment company and owner of 4,702 BTC. And there is Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which has acquired more than 600,000 BTC for its investors, many institutional. (Shades of Gray are owned by the parent company CoinDesk Digital Currency Group).
But NASDAQ’s most indirect exposure car is perhaps the microStrategy business intelligence company, whose semi-regular bitcoin purchases (it currently holds 70,784 coins) have tracked investors and raised MSTR’s share price by 370% since July.
Shares of Bitcoin mining companies have been following the recent rise in the price of the market-leading crypto asset. But Marathon’s investment further strengthens its ties, and seeks to link its appeal more closely to Bitcoin in investment.
While the other public crypto miners Riot Blockchain and Hut 8 (a Canadian company) also hold Bitcoin in their balance sheet, the larger miners have amassed their money by mining and holding, unlike a marathon, using a direct investment model.
The bitcoin mining industry is now going through what Okamoto called an “arms race” for new rigs. More mining machines means more mining power means more potential bitcoin, and a marathon is running to catch up.
Marathon entered 2021 in cash-raising tears as CEO Okamoto soared to win the “arms race” mining rig. Determined to push its rig count over 103,000 next year, the company raised $ 200 million in early January and an additional $ 250 million a little over a week later Okamoto said the capital infusion would fund business expansions.
The company will not reach its target mining capacity any time soon. In the meantime, it is leveraging its cash “to invest in Bitcoin now,” Okamoto said.
Okamoto told CoinDesk that the marathon had $ 425 million in cash before it completed its $ 250 million capital raising. He would not say how much cash the company had left.