The CEO of Bitcoin BTC/USD mining company Marathon Digital Holdings Inc MARA, the world’s second-largest holder of Bitcoin among publicly-listed companies, is speaking out about the impact of the FTX fiasco.
In an exclusive interview with Benzinga, Fred Thiel was asked if the FTX bankruptcy may create opportunities in the crypto industry. “If anything has increased the fear factor across the investors in the industry who are, you know, now very concerned about crypto holdings. So it is going to cool some interest in holding crypto,” he replied.
“I think anytime a large player in the industry is negatively impacted, it creates fear. So from an opportunity perspective, you know, essentially, FTX was the largest competitor of Binance. Now, that’s gone,” Thiel noted.
The Marathon Digital CEO acknowledged that some exchanges may be positively impacted by the fallout of the FTX bankruptcy. “If anything, [it] may create opportunities for Coinbase Global Inc COIN, Kraken, and Gemini to pick up U.S. institutional trading volume because U.S. investors will not necessarily want to run the risk of trading on Binance,” he added.
Last week, Marathon Digital reported its third-quarter earnings. During the announcement, Thiel said that the company added 616 BTC to its holdings in the quarter, with another 615 BTC purchased in October alone. The company currently holds 11,300 Bitcoin worth around $205 million.
Thiel said that the company holds a significant number of Bitcoin on its balance sheet and doesn’t have notable debt.
“We hold a lot of Bitcoins on our balance sheet, which obviously negatively impacts our balance sheet. The good thing is that we don’t have a lot of debt, so we don’t have equipment that has been financed,” Thiel said.
Talking about the crypto market and Bitcoin’s performance, Thiel said, “We mine Bitcoin, and we have not been a seller of Bitcoin. It is painful to see the price of Bitcoin dropping. We have been through these winters before. The good thing is that you are cleaning out and creating a truthful capitulation.”
When asked about the Bitcoin price and if it is profitable to mine, Thiel said, “It very much depends on each miner’s circumstances. You know, Bermuda and Luxor both published data that shows their estimates for each miner and their breaking point. So I would refer you to those documents. For example, Core Scientific is unprofitable in their Bitcoin mining. That is one of the reasons why they are in their liquidity frenzy. Other players like Argo might be in trouble as well,” he said.