Executive Summary: We are intrigued by Hut 8 Mining’s business model. By growing its bitcoin balance over time and covering its operating expenses by lending out its bitcoin hoard, generating so-called fiat yield, Hut 8 Mining is effectively a bet that a combination of growth in the price of bitcoin and growth in its bitcoin hoard will provide a major boost to its net asset value (‘NAV’) over time. Should the price of bitcoin tank, however, that would weigh negatively on its business, though things would likely not be as bad as it first appears given that Hut 8 Mining is set up to make money in almost every bitcoin pricing environment. As long as there is investor demand out there to borrow its bitcoins, and that broad interest in cryptocurrencies holds up well going forward, Hut 8 Mining should be able to continue growing its revenue as it grows the amount of bitcoin it can lend out on average per quarter. Obviously, of course, the firm would do better if the price of bitcoin stays the same (currently at roughly USD$64,700 for one bitcoin as of this writing) or increases. From our perspective, Hut 8 Mining is better positioned to capitalize on the cryptocurrency craze, in our view, than many of the other firms out there that are mining and continuously selling off their bitcoin holdings or actively buying bitcoin on the open market seeking to flip those alternative digital assets for a profit down the road (the “greater fool theory” in action). We are keeping an eye on Hut 8 Mining, though in this particular case, we must caution that the intrinsic value of alternative digital currencies like bitcoin is zero. The value is entirely in the eyes of the beholder.
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