In January 2023, during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) conference in Davos, Switzerland, Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8, a cryptocurrency mining entity that trades as a public company, sat with me by the fireplace at the Crypto Summit. on the Promenade. Leverton outlined some of her thoughts on the recent upheaval in the cryptocurrency market and reflected on how Bitcoin (BTC) mining prices during the current turbulent period for the industry.
During 2021 and 2022, the crypto industry saw significant growth followed by bear market struggles, bankruptcies and job cuts. Leverton joined Hut 8 Mining as CEO more than two years ago and has experienced these ups and downs from the front lines.
“Obviously, all of us in crypto have experienced that volatility,” Leverton said when asked about her thoughts on the past few years leading Hut 8 through the ups and downs of the crypto industry. “I think the mining industry in particular has gone through some pretty big swings over the last two years,” she added, adding that “2022 has really been a perfect storm from the point of view of the bitcoin mining industry.” She continued:
“We had a record high hash rate, a languishing bitcoin price, and an energy crisis that quickly emerged against the backdrop of one of the biggest bull markets we’ve seen in the cryptocurrency mining industry in particular. We have seen over 20 new mining companies go public. At our peak, we had nearly 40 publicly traded bitcoin mining companies in North America alone.
Hut 8, a pioneer in the bitcoin mining sector when it comes to public entities, hit the Canadian market in 2018, followed by the Nasdaq in 2022, Leverton noted. According to the CEO of Hut 8, the 2021 crypto bull run has attracted a significant influx of capital into digital asset mining, increasing leverage.
“Then you combine that with the perfect storm that I was referring to happened in 2022 — the industry was really shaken up and people who took on a lot of leverage, we saw a struggle, and so we’re now in a period where we’re starting to see some consolidation in this 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 has been included in Cointelegraph’s annual Top 100 Most Influential Players in the Crypto Industry. 73rd place belongs to her in 2023 edition.
Later in the interview, Leverton discussed what Bitcoin mining is supposed to bring. “I think the most amazing conversation we have to have about Bitcoin mining is actually its promise,” he adds:
“The beautiful thing about bitcoin mining – I was a founding member of the Bitcoin Mining Council and we actually released our latest report earlier this week showing that the energy consumption of the bitcoin industry using blockchain is now 58.9% from renewable sources and that he keeps improving quarter after quarter.”
The 58.9% figure comes from a report detailing the Q4 2022 Bitcoin Mining Council survey results, released in January 2023. Energy consumption was a discussed topic in the crypto space with the CEO of Tesla Elon Musk expresses interest in the subject. One of the arguments made by cybersecurity engineer Michel Khazzaka is that the traditional banking world surpasses Bitcoin in terms of power consumption. another Cointelegraph interview.
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“The excitement for me and our space comes in how bitcoin mining can push the boundaries of innovation and investment in renewables in a really significant way,” Leverton said, adding:
“We’ve only seen an explosion of bitcoin miners who have started using waste methane, flares, landfills to generate energy and to prevent carbon from escaping into the atmosphere.”
According to Leverton, “The beauty of a bitcoin mine is that it doesn’t have to be connected to transmission lines, so you can actually mine bitcoins right where the waste energy is being generated.” Noting that miners are starting to develop in rural communities in Africa, she added, that they’ve decided to self-fund, which is “the coolest thing happening in the mining space in 2023 and 2024.”