Bitmain, which recently broke ground on a massive bitcoin mine at a former Alcoa plant in Texas, will have competition for that “world’s largest” mantle.
A project broke ground this month that would start at 300 megawatts and expand to 1 gigawatt by the end of next year, dwarfing Bitmain’s mine that contemplates expanding from 25 MW to 50 MW to only 300 megawatts in its largest phase.
Data center developer Whinstone US, which owns a bitcoin mine in Louisiana and has been building in the Netherlands and Sweden, assembled the Rockdale project in partnership with GMO Internet, Japan’s version of GoDaddy.
A week after the ground-breaking on Nov. 7, Whinstone US agreed to be acquired by Germany’s Northern Bitcoin, which runs a bitcoin mine in Norway on renewable resources.
In the all stock deal, Northern Bitcoin will issue 3,720,750 new shares to Whinstone US shareholders, according to Northern Bitcoin’s head of communications.
On Wednesday, shares in Northern Bitcoin (ETR: NB2) jumped 42% to €23.60, valuing the company at about €180 million.
The data center will cost $150 million to build and furnish, Whinstone estimated when it unveiled the jobs-ready project to much locale fanfare on Nov. 1.
The mine would ramp up to full capacity through 2020, with 300 megawatts of power slated to come online in the first quarter and the full 1 gigawatt scheduled for the fourth quarter.
In fact, the dueling mining projects share a common landlord. Both inhabit real estate owned by Aluminum giant Alcoa which purchased the 33,000+ acre plot of land in the 1950s and turned the area locally known as Sandow Lakes Ranch into an industrial hub.
Northern Bitcoin said two listed companies have signed on as its first clients and they “will use a significant portion of the capacity for Bitcoin mining,” but the company declined to name them.
In a joint statement announcing their merger, Aroosh Thillainathan, co-founder of Whinstone US, said the deal could “shape the future course of the global mining industry” and Mathis Schultz, CEO of Northern Bitcoin AG, said the merger “catapults” his firm launched in 2018 to the top of the pack faster than planned.
In July, Whinstone’s previous proposed merger fell through after Hydro66 Holdings Corp., a Swedish data center builder, completed its own capital raise and backed out of the deal.
The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.