Japan’s GMO, SBI Ink Contract with World’s Largest Crypto Miner Northern Bitcoin AG
Whinstone Inc., an affiliate of the Frankfurt based Northern Bitcoin AG, has revealed that it has inked a contract with Japanese financial service provider SBI and internet company GMO to operate a new Bitcoin (BTC) mining facility, estimated to become the world’s largest.
The two Japanese giants have accepted in principle to handle cryptocurrency trades at a never before seen, new mining centre of unparalleled magnitude, now being established in Rockdale, Texas.
Whinstone, established in 2014 and having mining centres in Sweden, the US and the Netherlands, merged with Northern Bitcoin last November as the latter unveiled plans to establish “the largest data center in North America and the largest Bitcoin mining facility in the world,” covering more than 40 hectares.
The partnership is yet to be affirmed by SBI and GMO. The operations of Northern Bitcoin AG will begin with a starting capacity of 300 megawatts and gradually raised to 1 gigawatt by the end of 2020.
Such a facility would be triple the size of China’s Bitmain Technologies Ltd., currently the world’s largest crypto mining site functioning at earlier aluminum smelting facility of Alcoa at Rockdale.
The smelting facility, shutdown in 2008, was the core of the town’s booming aluminum sector in the 1950s. Alcoa’s smelting facility, along with Sandow Power Plant, led the economic growth in the area. The Power plant ceased operating in early 2018.
Mike McGlone, Senior commodity analyst at Bloomber Intelligence has pointed out that several cryptocurrency miners are now establishing their mining centres in Texas, taking advantage of low cost, abundance power, primarily wind based.
Last year, wind power represented more than 20% of Texas electricity generation and is anticipated to surpass coal for the first time in 2020, according to BloombergNEF data.
Similar to Northern Bitcoin AG, the US mining firm Layer 1, funded by Peter Thiel and Digital Currency Group, intends to establish a proprietary power sub-station on West Texas to produce solar and wind power for its Bitcoin mining facility.
Cryptocurrency markets saw a lot of volatility in 2019. Taking that into consideration, McGlone had the following to say about the participation of SBI and GMO in the new mining centre:
“Bitcoin is attracting more institutional investors and with the notion of limited supply and mass adoption — Bitcoin is winning this race.”
SBI, on its part, is following a diversifying strategy with regards to cryptocurrencies. The company has been closely involved with XRP and Ripple, with decisions to pay shareholders dividends using the crypto token.
As portion of the joint endeavor, SBI Ripple Asia, SBI, established in 2016, will foster XRP’s adoption in Asian financial markets.