U.S. blockchain and AI infrastructure provider Core Scientific has expanded its fleet of state-of-the-art crypto miners to over 77,000, comprising the largest-ever grouping of Bitmain Antminer S19 rigs outside of China.
Core Scientific, which offers a mix of hosted crypto-mining and data-science computation, ordered the miners earlier this year. The company announced Thursday it has now procured an additional 59,000 S19 and S19 Pro Antminers.
The new order will bring the total computational power hosted with Core Scientific to 7.26 exahash per second (EH/s) while using approximately 250MW of electricity, said Taras Kulyk, the firm’s senior VP of blockchain development.
“We are truly a global player with this order, which is a magnitude of scale larger than anything that’s been done in North America today” said Kulyk.
One of Core Scientific’s closest U.S. rivals, Nasdaq-listed Marathon Patent Group (MARA), recently announced it was buying some 10,000 Antminers, which will bring the firm’s total hashrate to 2.56 EH/s.
The new units will be spread across Core Scientific’s existing facilities in North Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky, Kulyk said. A large chunk of the energy consumed by the miners will be renewable power. Core Scientific’s facilities cover over 100 acres and the firm is now looking for more space to house the new rigs.
Core Scientific’s bullish news comes as the price of bitcoin hits all-time highs and the stocks of listed crypto mining companies surge upward. (Core Scientific remains privately held.)
While the U.S. hashrate is certainly on the increase, China far and away dominates crypto mining with around 65% of global hashpower. According to Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, U.S. and Canada combined account for just 8.5% of the pie. But North America has more publicly traded mining companies than anywhere else and a muscular reach towards institutional investors.
Recently, Core Scientific announced a deal with Digital Currency Group mining subsidiary Foundry to receive some $23 million in financing to build out mining equipment for Core and its clients. (Digital Currency Group is also the owner of CoinDesk.)
A further coup for Core Scientific happened back in September when it became Bitmain’s “cooperative repair center” for mining equipment in North America. That’s a big deal because it saves having to box up tons of computers and ship them to China.
“When you have 77,000 units, to have to unpack and ship them somewhere else for repair is a direct impact to your bottom line,” said Kulyk.
Bitmain is experiencing a spike in demand for the latest Antminers, which are sold out until July 2021.
“There’s absolutely a massive supply crunch right now,“ Kulyk said. “We are oversubscribed, even with this order.”