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Marathon Digital and Zero Two Forge Partnership for Immersion Bitcoin Mining in Abu Dhabi

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Marathon Holdings
Marathon Holdings

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Marathon Digital Holdings, a crypto mining company, has recently announced a partnership with digital assets infrastructure firm Zero Two to establish a large-scale immersion Bitcoin mining facility in Abu Dhabi.

Marathon Digital and Zero Two Unveil Joint Venture in Abu Dhabi

This joint venture will be located in Mina Zayed and Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates and will consist of two mining sites with a total capacity of 250 megawatts. To power these facilities, Marathon and Zero Two plan to utilize excess energy from Abu Dhabi’s grid, aiming to enhance the base load and sustainability of the operation.

Crypto mining has historically faced difficulties in Abu Dhabi due to the region’s desert climate, which is known for its average annual temperature of around 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit).

Marathon Digital acknowledged the feasibility concerns and revealed that they have collaborated to develop a specialized immersion solution for cooling the mining rigs at the proposed facilities. This indicates the adoption of a liquid-cooling approach to address environmental conditions.

Fred Thiel, Chair and CEO of Marathon Digital, expressed pride in the project’s progress, highlighting the successful co-development and implementation of the full immersion solution. Additionally, proprietary mining software was created from scratch to ensure flexibility, resilience, and optimization.

Zero Two and Marathon Digital will jointly own the mining venture, known as the Abu Dhabi Global Markets JV Entity. The distribution of ownership will allocate 80% to Zero Two and 20% to Marathon Digital. The objective of both companies is to have the Abu Dhabi facilities up and running by 2024, targeting a combined hash rate of approximately 7 EH/s.

Coinbase, a prominent US-based cryptocurrency exchange, coincidentally explored the potential of the region during this time. CEO Brian Armstrong and other executives visited the UAE to evaluate its suitability as a strategic hub for the exchange’s international operations.

Armstrong engaged with policymakers and participated in the Dubai FinTech Summit, signalling the growing interest in the UAE as a significant player in the crypto industry.

Marathon Digital Faces SEC Subpoena Over Alleged Securities Law Violations

Marathon Digital Holdings has recently announced that it is currently facing a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regarding potential breaches of securities regulations.

The company revealed this information through a formal submission, indicating that it received the SEC’s subpoena on April 10, 2023, which primarily centres around transactions involving associated entities. Marathon Digital acknowledges that the SEC is conducting an inquiry to determine if any infractions of federal securities laws have taken place.

Marathon

To address this matter, Marathon Digital is fully cooperating with the SEC. The investigation revolves around the company’s data centre facility located in Hardin, Montana. It is worth noting that this is not the first time Marathon Digital has been subject to a subpoena from the SEC. The initial subpoena was disclosed by the company in November 2021.

Marathon Digital has also acknowledged that its disclosure controls and procedures were deemed ineffective at the reasonable assurance level as of March 31, 2023.

The company identified several material weaknesses in its accounting practices, including areas such as consolidation, impairment of digital assets, disposal of property and equipment, and principal versus agent considerations in revenue recognition.

These weaknesses raise concerns regarding the possibility of material misstatements in the company’s consolidated financial statements and disclosures not being detected or prevented in a timely manner.

While Marathon Digital has refrained from commenting further on the matter, investors have shown some apprehension in light of the subpoena and the identified weaknesses in the company’s financial controls.

Marathon Digital Reports Q1 Financial Results and Positive Outlook

Marathon Digital Holdings has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2023, along with its response to the SEC subpoena. Despite the ongoing regulatory scrutiny, the company demonstrated resilience and progress during the period.

In the first quarter of 2023, Marathon Digital incurred a net loss of $7.2 million, which demonstrated progress when compared to the corresponding period in the prior year.

Mara Stock

The company’s revenue for the quarter stood at $51.1 million, showing a slight decrease from the previous year. This decline was primarily attributable to reduced Bitcoin prices, which offset the rise in Bitcoin production.

Marathon Digital reported a record-breaking production of 2,195 Bitcoin in Q1 2023, representing a substantial increase of 74% compared to the first quarter of 2022. This achievement contributed to gains from the sale of Bitcoin, totalling $17.6 million, which were allocated toward funding the company’s operating costs.

Fred Thiel, Chairman and CEO of Marathon Digital, expressed optimism about the company’s performance and the industry as a whole. Despite the challenging year that tested the resilience of the crypto market, Marathon Digital demonstrated growth in hash rate, cost reduction in mining operations, and an improved balance sheet.

The company remains committed to reaching its hash rate goal of 23 EH/s, aiming to achieve it by the middle of this year.

Investors responded positively to Marathon Digital’s Q1 performance, with the company’s stock (MARA) seeing an almost 9% increase, closing at $10.22. This reflects confidence in the company’s ability to navigate regulatory challenges and capitalize on the opportunities presented by the evolving cryptocurrency landscape.

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