Leading Public Bitcoin Miner Core Scientific to File for Bankruptcy
The major publicly listed Bitcoin (BTC) mining company Core Scientific has admitted it could run out of money by the end of the year, and that bankruptcy is a possibility.
The company’s liquidity position has taken a major hit this year, as prices of Bitcoin have plummeted from a peak of around $69,000 late last year, to just over $20,000 as of today. Bitcoin miners are often highly leveraged and their margins are extremely sensitive to the price of Bitcoin.
In addition to the falling spot prices, miners have also suffered from rising energy costs this year. This was also pointed to in an SEC filing from Core Scientific on Thursday, along with litigation costs related to bankruptcy proceedings for the crypto lender Celsius (CEL).
Core Scientific stated in the filing that it will not make payments that are coming due in October and early November relating to financing for equipment. It added that it will now explore “potential strategic alternatives” with regards to its capital structure, and said this includes hiring strategic advisors and possibly restructuring its current capital structure.
Already, the company has engaged the law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as legal advisers, and PJT Partners LP as financial advisers to assist in evaluating these strategic alternatives, the filing said.
Core Scientific’s liquidity position is currently facing serious pressure, with the company now only holding 24 BTC and approximately $26.6m in its reserves, per the filing. That compares to a holding of 1,051 BTC and approximately $29.5m in cash as of the end of last month.
“The Company anticipates that existing cash resources will be depleted by the end of 2022 or sooner,” the filing noted, while adding that “substantial doubt exists about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern for a reasonable period of time.”
If Core Scientific files for bankruptcy, it would likely become the first publicly traded crypto miner to do so, Brian Dobson, an analyst at Chardan Capital, told Bloomberg in a comment. “This is going to weigh on all of the publicly traded crypto miners,” the analyst, who still has a ‘buy’ rating on Core Scientific, said.
Core Scientific’s shares fell heavily on Wall Street on Thursday, ending the day down by 78.13% to $0.2209 per share. The fall continued in pre-market trading on Friday, with the shares being down 4.5% compared to yesterday’s close as of press time.