Argo Blockchain (LSE: ARB) will work with ePIC Blockchain, a Canadian blockchain hardware manufacturer, to design and build crypto mining rigs using Intel's new second-generation bitcoin mining chips, Argo said Tuesday.
The announcement comes as Argo's stock has been sliding on the London Stock Exchange over the past six months, with other publicly-traded miners experiencing a similar downturn as bitcoin has declined sharply in value and margins have tightened. Even though Argo upgraded its hashrate outlook for the year in April, it saw a 25% drop in bitcoin mined in May.
The ePIC partnership is an extension of a 2021 deal in which Argo Blockchain agreed to buy $8 million worth of ePIC's mining rigs, CEO Peter Wall said in a taped message posted on Argo's YouTube channel on Tuesday.
Wall compared building custom mining machines to buying a Dell computer as opposed to an Apple MacBook, saying it's cheaper on a dollar per terahash basis and allows Argo to have granular control of the rigs.
"It's a game changer," the CEO said in the video.
Intel's mining semiconductors could break an effective duopoly on the mining rig market in which two manufacturers – Bitmain and MicroBT – reign supreme.
Block (SQ), Griid Infrastructure and Hive Blockchain (HIVE) are set to be the first customers for Intel's new mining chips.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, 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. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.