Marathon Digital mines $16M in Kaspa to diversify from Bitcoin

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Bitcoin (BTC) mining heavyweight Marathon Digital revealed it has mined $16 million worth of Kaspa (KAS) — a token designed to address Bitcoin’s scalability problem — since September to diversify from Bitcoin.

In a June 26 announcement, Marathon Digital said the move allowed the firm to “capitalize on the higher margins” possible with Kaspa mining machines, which are up to 95% in some cases.

“By mining Kaspa, we are able to create a stream of revenue that is diversified from Bitcoin,” explained Marathon’s chief growth officer, Adam Swick.

“Marathon was uniquely positioned to mine Kaspa and to capitalize on the higher margins that exist for those who can deploy Kaspa ASICs today.”

Source: Marathon Digital

Marathon has mined 93 million KAS tokens since it deployed its first batch of Kaspa miners in September 2023. KAS tokens have surged 420% since then, while Bitcoin has increased 135%.

Marathon has purchased roughly 60 petahashes of KS3, KS5, and KS5 Pro ASICs to mine Kaspa tokens. Half of that is currently operational, while the remainder will be installed sometime in the third quarter.

Kaspa mining isn’t a pivot

However, Maraton’s Vice President of Investor Relations, Robert Samuels, stressed that the miner is not changing its main focus from Bitcoin.

“Kaspa will represent just 1% of our energy capacity once fully deployed,” said Samuels in a June 26 X post.

“Let’s not try and spin it any other way. To say we are ‘pivoting’ is wrong and irresponsible.”

Marathon has mined 9,761 Bitcoin — worth $594.9 million — since September, meaning its Kaspa mining operations have only made up a small fraction of the firm’s total mining revenue.

Despite this, KAS tokens rallied 2.4% since Marathon broke the news, taking its price and Marathon’s total KAS stack to $0.172 and $16 million, respectively.

Related: Bitcoin miner Hut 8 lands $150M investment amid AI boom

CoinGecko data shows that Kaspa is the fifth largest proof-of-work cryptocurrency with a $4.1 billion market cap. While 24 billion KAS tokens are in circulation, the supply will be capped at 28.7 billion.

The seven largest proof-of-work cryptocurrencies by market cap. Source: CoinGecko

Like Bitcoin, the network Kaspa is a layer-1 protocol that facilitates transfers using its native token, KAS.

However, Kaspa implements a Direct Acyclic Graph-derived architecture — “BlockDAG” — where blocks are added to the network simultaneously rather than linearly.

It results in a fast block rate — about 1 block per second — which is orders of magnitude faster than Bitcoin, which takes approximately 10 minutes to build a block.

Kaspa is still far from being a Bitcoin competitor, however. Bitcoin currently sees anywhere between 700,000 and 1 million unique active addresses interact with the network each day, while the Kaspa hovers around the 20,000 mark.

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