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The production-weighted cash cost to create one Bitcoin averaged around $4 060 globally in the fourth quarter, according to analysts with JPMorgan Chase & Co.



With Bitcoin itself currently trading below $3 600, that doesn’t look like such a good deal. However, there’s a big spread around the average, meaning that there are clear winners and losers.



Low-cost Chinese miners are able to pay much less - the estimate is around $2 400 per Bitcoin - by leveraging direct power purchasing agreements with electricity generators such as aluminum smelters looking to sell excess power generation, JPMorgan analysts led by Natasha Kaneva said in a wide-ranging January 24 report about cryptocurrencies spearheaded by Joyce Chang.



Electricity tends to be the biggest cost for miners, needed to run the high-powered computer rigs used to process data blocks to earn Bitcoin.


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