Bitmain, the Chinese manufacturer of the world’s most popular bitcoin mining equipment is spreading its wings to the US. According to a statement, the company is already building a facility in Texas that will serve as a blockchain data centre. It will cost $500 million and is set to employ at least 400 people within two years of starting operations somewhere in 2019.
Bitmain will also partner with local schools and colleges to “provide professional and technical training programs that would prepare members of the community for careers with the data center.”
“This represents an investment of more than $500 million by Bitmain over an initial period of seven years into the local, county, and statewide economies,” a press release says.
“The Milam County blockchain data center and cryptocurrency mining facility represents a key component of Bitmain’s strategic investment and expansion plans within North America,” the statement added.
Bitmain raked in more than $1 billion in profits in the last one year and has already made nearly $500 million in the first half of 2018. The company manufactures the Antminer, one of the most popular line of cryptocurrency miners. It also operates Antpool and BTC.com both profitable bitcoin mining pools. At one point it controlled more than half of bitcoin’s hash rate raising concerns over growing centralisation of the mining process.
Some cryptocurrencies have since been created to resist ASIC miners. Along with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitmain is one of many companies that have sprung up in a fairly short time to make huge profits from the enthusiasm. At one point, it could not meet demand for its ASIC miners with prices soaring as a result.
Some counties in the US have banned or are considering banning bitcoin mining mainly over concerns of high energy consumption. Montana delayed a vote on the issue as law makers seek more understanding about cryptocurrency mining.
Bitcoin mining, the process of verifying transactions on the network requires a lot of computing power and therefore high electricity consumption. Some jurisdictions fear that this could drive power costs up or deprive other deserving consumers.