Bitcoin generated nearly $3 billion for miners in April

August 12, 2021, 5:25 PM UTC

In its first quarterly markets report, ETC Group said Bitcoin generated nearly $3 billion in revenue for Bitcoin miners in April despite price fluctuations and a crackdown from China.

Total transaction fees paid to miners increased more than 750% year over year with $416.6 million paid out in Q2 2021, compared to the $48.5 million paid out in the second quarter last year.

The company, which launched the first Bitcoin exchange-traded product (ETP) in the U.K. in June, noted that Bitcoin revenue was more than the annualized revenue run of both the digital payments company Square in 2018 and e-commerce company Shopify in 2020.

“In the past few months we’ve seen leading cryptocurrencies generate more income through transaction fees than some of the world’s most valuable companies have done in recent years,” said ETC Group CEO Bradley Duke. “We’re seeing increasing adoption of crypto assets, on institutional balance sheets in place of cash Treasuries, and now even in government pension funds.”

Bitcoin’s increase in value in Q2 was brought on by a steady increase in adoption, the report said. This includes both by institutional investors, some of which have replaced cash Treasuries with cryptocurrency, and because of El Salvador and politicians in other countries that are trying to incorporate crypto into their national economies.

There were plenty of positive signs in the second quarter, but the report notes that Bitcoin, which claims to be a currency free from government interference, can still be affected by politics. The Chinese government’s negative stance toward Bitcoin and its crackdown on crypto mining were part of the reason Bitcoin’s price plunged from an all-time high of $63,000 in April to end the quarter at about $35,069.

Another difficulty for Bitcoin in the past quarter has been increased attention on its energy usage, the report said. In 2020, about 63% of the Bitcoin mined in China, where two-thirds of the world’s Bitcoin was mined, was powered by coal-fired power plants. Backlash even prompted crypto enthusiast Elon Musk to withdraw a plan to let buyers buy Tesla cars with Bitcoin.

Along with Bitcoin, ETC Group said the second quarter brought the most significant U.S. dollar value transfer in Litecoin’s history, totaling $28 billion. Ethereum fees have also increased more than 5,000% year over year, the company said in its report.

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