Argo Blockchain Hires Derivatives Trader to Navigate Market Rout, Sells BTC to Reduce Loan

The miner saw gains in bitcoin production in June, but its profit margin narrowed.

AccessTimeIconJul 7, 2022 at 9:10 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 7, 2022 at 2:37 p.m. UTC

Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

Bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain said it hired an in-house derivatives trader to better navigate a market rout that in June saw the price of bitcoin by its biggest monthly amount in 11 years.

The company also sold 637 BTC at an average price of $24,500 to pay for operating costs and a loan from Galaxy Digital, it said in a statement on Thursday.

Crypto miners have been selling bitcoin as their revenues have slumped along with the bear market. Argo said that it has been using derivatives to limit downside risk since the fourth quarter of last year and hired a full-time trader to improve its "capabilities within risk and treasury management."

As of the end of June, London-listed Argo had $22 million balance outstanding with Galaxy Digital, according to the statement. The firm signed the $30 million loan collateralized by bitcoin in December, according to its annual earnings report.

Argo's profit margin narrowed to 50% in June from 55% in May and 75% in April. The company has been hit by higher electricity costs at its Helios facility in Texas and the bitcoin (BTC) price drop. The miner revised its margin figure for May from 62% as it took into account newly received invoices.

Last month, Argo's revenue rose 10% to £3.38 million ($4.35 million) as it produced 46% more bitcoin than the previous month because of increased hashrate and uptime.

Argo is one of four companies that have ordered new crypto mining chips from Intel. The others are Hive Blockchain, Griid Infrastructure and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey's Block (formerly Square).

Intel has shipped its Blocksale chips, Raja Koduri, executive vice president and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics at Intel, tweeted on June 29.

Argo shares were little changed in London as of 09:10 UTC.

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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

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