Green Bitcoin Mining Crashes, taking Australian Billionaire with It

Green Bitcoin Mining Crashes, taking Australian Billionaire with It

An Australian software billionaire and climate change activist may have suffered a blow after the share price of a "green" bitcoin mining company he invested in plunged 94%.

Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes owns shares of Iris Energy. Iris Energy is a sustainable mining company based in New South Wales that boasts of using renewable energy to power its data centres and mining equipment. The company listed on Nasdaq last year at a valuation of $28 a share.

However, the company's shares are now trading at just $1.68 because of the company's inability to repay the debt it needed to buy Chinese equipment from Bitmain Technologies.

Iris shares fell 18 percent Monday to a low of $1.55 a share, according to the Daily Mail. The move came after U.S. creditors, particularly New York Digital Investment Group, demanded repayment of more than $107.8 million in loans.

Iris's inability to keep up with debt payments is not surprising, as co-founder Daniel Roberts told Nasdaq earlier this month that the company had "insufficient cash flow to meet its debt financing obligations."

"Limited recourse facility financing arrangements have been a focus for us recently," Roberts said (via the Daily Mail).

He added: "We remain committed to exploring a way that might allow the bank to recover its capital investment, however, we are also mindful of the current market and these arrangements have been deliberately structured to minimise any potential impact on the group as a whole during a prolonged market downturn."

Cannon-brooks, who is estimated to be worth around $8.5 billion, is known for his environmental stance. The entrepreneur has previously been active in SunCable, an ambitious project to supply solar energy from Australia to Singapore, and has also worked extensively with the Australian government to guide the country's green agenda.

Many major miners are now in trouble
Iris isn't the only bitcoin mining company struggling right now.

According to an October survey by Protos, large bitcoin miners in the U.S. are under increasing financial pressure, forcing them to sell bitcoin faster than they can mine it.

Take your bets: How many bitcoin miners will survive the winter?

Read More: Stressed-out bitcoin miners can't sell falling bitcoins in time

In fact, due to the current liquidity crisis in the industry, bitcoin miners' daily income is at 2020 levels, or about $13.53 million per day, but they are still being forced to sell bitcoin at levels not seen since 2016.

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