The price of bitcoin has dropped by over 80 percent from December 2017 — when it was at its peak, trading around $19,300 — to November when it fell below $3,700. The meltdown has left miners — who process transactions in exchange for new units of cryptocurrency as a reward — in a helpless state. 

Mining has become profitless for both enterprises and individuals who run cryptocurrency mining machines, because of which they are selling off their mining devices at relatively low prices. About 100,000 individual miners have shut down, and about 1.4 million servers have been unplugged since early September. F2Pool, a Chinese mining pool headquartered in Beijing, said at least 600,000 bitcoin mining machines have been shut down globally since mid-November, the Start Online reported Sunday.

Several mining company owners have expressed their dejection about selling off the mining equipment and the recent market performance. “We are entering in the phase when there’s a flushing out of the market. There will be relatively few operations that come out the other side," Malachi Salcido, head of Washington-based mining company Salcido Enterprises, told MyBroadband. Salcido claimed that the company, based in Wenatchee, Washington, was one of the largest miners in North America, with 22 megawatts of power deployed and another 20 megawatts being built. 

Canaan Creative, the world’s second-biggest maker of cryptocurrency mining rigs (as of September 2018), put some of its equipment on sale — at $200 per unit. The AvalonMiner 921 earlier sold for $742 per unit. The sale was to continue till inventory lasted.

“You can think about this [price markdown] as me rescheduling Black Friday by a week,” Steven Mosher, who heads global marketing and sales at Canaan, reportedly said. The company's sale started Nov. 29, almost a week after the Black Friday sale Nov. 23.

Mining equipment vendors at Huaqiangbei — an area and subdistrict of Futian, China, and one of the world’s biggest electronics markets — also felt the heat of the falling cryptocurrency market. “There are almost no shoppers now. We have been idle here for two months," the Start Online reported, citing Liu, one of the vendors. Liu started a mining hardware shop in Huaqiangbei in May, but did not make any profit since even after investing more than 1 million yuan ($1,45,687) in the business. “Here’s a sincere suggestion for those who want to make money with bitcoin: be cautious,” Liu told the Start Online.

Bitcoin Mining Cryptocurrency market downfall has resulted in several miners selling their equipment at significantly low prices as they are facing huge losses. Here, two construction workers inspect the area at the bitcoin mining company Bifarms in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada, March 19, 2018. Photo: LARS HAGBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Not only are mining companies selling their equipment at low prices but some small and medium-sized miners in China have been selling their mining machines in the second-hand market as junk. The miners were not able to cover the electricity cost by mining currencies with their older machines.

A "civil war" surrounding bitcoin cash hard fork has been widely blamed for the market crash. Bitcoin cash, the world’s 5th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, split into two separate forks Nov. 16, among a lot of disagreements in the developer community. One fork is bitcoin cash ABC — headed by Jihan Wu (cofounder of Bitmain) and Roger Ver (CEO of Bitcoin.com) — and the other is bitcoin cash SV, headed by Craig Wright (who claims to be bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto). 

This war has cost bitcoin cash miners losses of as much as $6.1 million in gross revenue since, according to research conducted by cryptocurrency exchange BitMex in November.

Mosher also said the cryptocurrency market drop had an impact on Canaan’s intended initial public offering in Hong Kong this year. Canaan Creative let its IPO application slip early last month, according to data on the Hong Kong stock exchange website. Bitmain, the largest supplier of cryptocurrency mining equipment, still has pending IPO applications with the Hong Kong stock exchange.

At 12:30 a.m. EST Wednesday, bitcoin was trading at a little over $3,900. It has a 1.51 percent dip in the last seven days and there have been no signs of significant recovery.  David Thomas, cofounder of GlobalBlock, a London based cryptocurrency broker, said many were still hoping that possible good news from the Securities Exchange Comission would come shortly with respect to a cryptocurrncy exchange-tradeed fund and this could to give bitcoin a much needed boost.  However, he also siad there was a growing feeling the decision may not be as ground-breaking as some think.

"A sign-off of a bitcoin ETF will open the market up for further ETFs to be agreed and there are many that see a direct correlation to what happened to the price of gold once the first gold ETF was established i.e. a long bull run. There will undoubtedly be positives to come out of an ETF for the wider market in terms of investment however- we are slightly more reticent to think that the effect will be as ground-breaking as some predict, predominantly because I think there is still much to be taken from the adage of buy the rumour and sell the fact," Thomas told International Business Times on Tuesday.