(Bloomberg) -- Long-time Bitcoin holder Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. last month sold the token for the first time as its price soared, a step the crypto miner said would help fund operating costs.

The firm disposed of 1,500 coins in January and said in a statement that it would continue to sell some of its Bitcoin holdings this year. The largest cryptocurrency jumped nearly 39% last month, the most since October 2021. 

“Marathon may continue to sell a portion of its Bitcoin holdings in future periods to support monthly operations, manage its treasury, or for general corporate purposes,” it said in the statement.

The Les Vegas, Nevada-based company is one of the few miners that refrained from selling any coin reserves when the crypto market crashed in 2022. Battered by low Bitcoin prices and soaring energy costs, most mining firms made an about-face on their holding strategy and sold coins to aid liquidity.

Marathon’s stock sank almost 90% in 2022 as the digital-asset sector unraveled. This year the shares have more than doubled amid a resurgence in risk appetite and crypto prices. Shares of Marathon fell 5.5% to $7.56 as of 9:53 a.m. in New York. 

Marathon is one of the largest publicly traded crypto miners and has tens of thousands of servers across the US. It held 11,418 Bitcoin at the end of January, of which 8,090 are unrestricted. The miner ended the month with $133.8 million in unrestricted cash on hand.

(Updates share price.)

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