What happened

Shares of CleanSpark (NASDAQ:CLSK) rose 166.5% in December, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. The energy grid technology specialist's stock soared in conjunction with a rally for the price of bitcoin. 

CLSK Chart

CLSK data by YCharts

CleanSpark acquired bitcoin mining company ATL Data Centers in December, marking its first major foray into the cryptocurrency space. CleanSpark saw an opportunity to use its technology to improve energy grid efficiency to bolster the profitability of mining bitcoin, and it looks like the acquisition is already paying off in a big way. 

A bitcoin logo on a circuit board.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

CleanSpark paid $19.4 million to acquire ATL Data Centers, and bitcoin's pricing surge has made the purchase look like a very smart move. Mining bitcoin involves solving a series of complex equations and is deliberately energy intensive, and combining CleanSpark's technology for improving microgrid energy efficiency with a bitcoin mining operation has the potential to be quite profitable, so long as the price of the cryptocurrency remains high. 

Bitcoin rallied to a new high in December, surpassing the previous peak it had hit in 2017. The cryptocurrency closed out the month priced at roughly $29,000 per coin. It's now priced at roughly $37,340 per coin. 

Now what

CleanSpark stock has continued to post significant gains early in January's trading. The company's share price is up roughly 21% in the month so far.

CLSK Chart

CLSK data by YCharts

CleanSpark published an update on its bitcoin mining operations on Jan. 5, reporting that the sale of mined bitcoins had generated $873,000 in revenue since the acquisition of ATL Data Centers on Dec. 10. 

CleanSpark's stock will likely trade in conjunction with bitcoin pricing in the near future, but there could be many other applications for its energy efficiency technologies. The global market for microgrids is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 28% from 2020 through 2029 and reach approximately $40 billion at the end of the projection period, according to a study from Navigant Research. 

CleanSpark now has a market capitalization of roughly $700 million.

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