Core Scientific Declares Bankruptcy as Crypto Winter Lingers

Core Scientific Declares Bankruptcy as Crypto Winter Lingers

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(Bloomberg) — Core Scientific Inc., one of the largest miners of Bitcoin, became the latest crypto company to file for bankruptcy as the industry reckons with a plunge in digital-asset prices. 

The Austin, Texas-based company listed $1.4 billion of assets against $1.33 billion of liabilities in its Chapter 11 petition, which was filed in the Southern District of Texas. The company’s shares, already down 98% this year to trade at a fraction of a dollar, lost a further 40% on Wednesday morning.  

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Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows a company to continue operating while it works out a plan to repay creditors. Core Scientific said in a statement that it intends to reach a restructuring agreement with a group of convertible bondholders and continue operating its mining and hosting business. 

The company contributes about 10% of the computing power to secure the entire Bitcoin network. It had 243,000 servers for Bitcoin mining with 143,000 for self-mining. It has provided hosting services to the largest miners in the industry. 

In court filings, the company attributed its bankruptcy to falling Bitcoin prices, soaring energy costs and the July bankruptcy of Celsius, one of its largest hosting customers. 

The company also over-committed on construction costs to build out its mining operations and owed around $275 million on equipment financing debts that it wasn’t paying significant amounts on before the filing. 

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Core Scientific is among a handful of Bitcoin mining companies that went public in 2021 through special-purpose acquisition companies before crypto prices fell. However, the “crypto winter” and energy cost hikes have wrecked havoc on the industry, and many major miners now face liquidity crunches.

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A slew of crypto companies have sought bankruptcy protection this year as slumping token prices continue to weigh on the sector. Compute North Holdings Inc., a provider of data services for miners and blockchain companies, filed for bankruptcy in September, while Voyager Digital Ltd. sought court protection in July. Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange filed for bankruptcy in November under a cloud of alleged mismanagement, a move that forced lender BlockFi Inc. to follow suit soon after.

Among Bitcoin miners, Greenidge Generation Holdings Inc., once one of the largest public Bitcoin miners in the US, warned Tuesday that it may seek bankruptcy protection while entering into debt restructuring talks with lender New York Digital Investment Group. 

(Updates with additional details throughout.)

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