Bitcoin Miners Are Attractive Partners to Build Artificial Intelligence Data Centers: Bernstein

The broker initiated coverage on miners Iris Energy and Core Scientific with outperform ratings.

AccessTimeIconJul 10, 2024 at 8:26 a.m. UTC
Updated Jul 10, 2024 at 8:29 a.m. UTC
  • Bitcoin miners have secured ample power supplies and operating capabilities and can help companies build AI data centers, the report said.
  • Bernstein initiated coverage of miners Iris Energy and Core Scientific with outperform ratings.
  • The broker remains a bitcoin bull and forecasts the token reaching $200,000 by 2025, $500,000 by 2029 and more than $1 million by 2033.

Bitcoin (BTC) miners are attractive partners to help build artificial intelligence (AI) data centers, due to their available power supplies and operating capabilities, broker Bernstein said in a research report on Tuesday.

Recent AI deals including Core Scientific’s (CORZ) 12-year agreement with CoreWeave and Coatue Management’s $150 million investment in Hut 8 (HUT) have become key catalysts for the sector, the report said.

Bernstein initiated coverage of miner Iris Energy (IREN) with an outperform rating and a $26 price target. The broker also initiated coverage of Core Scientific with an outperform rating and a $17 objective. Iris Energy was trading at $13.40 in early trading on Tuesday, Core Scientific at $9.79.

Bitcoin miners have secured large amounts of power supply, and today control about 6 gigawatts (GW) of power access with a pipeline of up to 12 GW by 2027, the report noted. The miners have a lead in the “large load power interconnect queue” and therefore can help potential partners save time in securing energy supplies.

“Bitcoin data centers are ideal for retrofit due to high power density racks, cooling infrastructure and general data center operating capabilities,” analysts led by Gautam Chhugani wrote, adding that “we expect 20% of bitcoin miner’s power capacity to pivot to AI by 2027 end.”

The five largest U.S. bitcoin miners are expected to continue consolidating scale and to grow to about 25% of the bitcoin global hashrate, with the medium-term option to pivot to AI, Bernstein said. Hashrate is a proxy for competition in the industry and mining difficulty.

The broker remains a bitcoin bull, and forecasts the asset reaching $200,000 by 2025, $500,000 by 2029 and more than $1 million by 2033, and following the successful launch of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the U.S. in January it said its conviction is higher.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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Will Canny is CoinDesk's finance reporter.