Bitcoin mining stocks surge as the cryptocurrency rallies towards $40,000

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Critics argue that the energy-intensive bitcoin mining process is bad for the planet. Lars Hagberg/Getty Images

Shares of cryptocurrency mining companies soared in early Monday morning trading as bitcoin staged a rally to a six-week high above $US38,000 ($AU51,671).

Marathon Digital Holdings and Riot Blockchain both jumped 18% premarket. Crypto mining peers including Bitfarms (up 17.6%), Bit Digital(16.5%), and Hive Blockchain (16.7%) also gained. Meanwhile bitcoin leapt 15% and all other major coins were in the green.

The stocks tend to move in the same direction as bitcoin, though many of them have outperformed the cryptocurrency in 2021. Marathon and Riot have jumped 165% and 65% year-to-date, respectively. As of Monday morning, bitcoin is up roughly 30% in the same time period.

Riot Blockchain CEO Jason Les told Insider shares of his company often serve as a proxy for investors looking to get exposure to bitcoin and bitcoin mining without going through the hassle of directly owning the coin.

“The stock has performed very well this year, in line with the bitcoin market improving substantially,” he added. “But also in line with the real substantial operational expansion that we have been executing on this year.”

Many mining companies outside of China have also faced a surge in demand from Chinese miners looking for space to house mining operations after the region banned the practice.