Riot to Acquire Whinstone, Creating a US-Based Industry Leader in Bitcoin Mining :: Riot Platforms, Inc RIOT

“I would like to see Texas become the center of the universe for bitcoin and crypto,” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said at the Texas Blockchain Summit, where 700 attendees, according to organizers, met in Austin on Oct. 8. There, Republican politicians made the case for the industry alongside a lineup full of entrepreneurs and researchers. The transaction is expected to be concluded in Q2 of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

deal, the site is subject to a long-term lease agreement, with electricity provided through a long-term power supply contract. Riot Blockchain will purchase all of Rockdale, Texas-based Whinstone’s assets and operations for $80 million in cash plus a fixed 11.8 million shares of Riot common stock, according to a statement released Thursday. Whinstone will be the “foundation” of the company’s Bitcoin mining operations, Riot Chief Executive Officer Jason Les said in the statement. Riot anticipates the purchase will make it the largest publicly-traded Bitcoin mining and hosting company in North America, measured by total developed capacity. “With Whinstone we have built and established one of the largest HPC centers in the world with significant potential and scale to further ramp up capacity. Simultaneously, Northern Data will be able to use the cash proceeds from the transaction to focus on, and further implement, its decentralized, multi-site, scalable and ESG-focused strategy.

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“We are excited to be joining Riot, as both Riot and Whinstone share a vision for the future of Bitcoin mining in America,” said Chad Harris, co-founder of Whinstone. “Riot’s strategic vision and resources combined with Whinstone’s infrastructure strength will allow our combined teams to achieve our shared growth plans.” Compute North’s Liska said that demand response programs, which allow customers to reduce their electricity usage when energy prices are high, are one way for the company to balance power generation and consumption during peak demand. The miners, many of whom flocked to the state in recent months to take advantage of Texas’s low energy costs, say they will reduce their energy consumption to help avoid a power failure similar to the one Texas experienced in 2021. That outage left about 4.5 million homes and businesses without power and led to nearly $200 billion in property damage.

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The biggest bitcoin miner in Texas is shutting down ahead of blast of winter weather in the state

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hosting facility

China was once the main hub for mining, with over half of the world’s mining taking place in the country, precisely because its electricity is cheap. But earlier this summer, local governments in China began to shut down bitcoin mines as the country works to develop its own, better-controlled digital currency. The bitcoin hashrate – the processing power used to produce bitcoin – halved after the crackdown.

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Bitcoin mining equipment in three buildings with a total area of 190,000 square feet. Our team is committed to providing unbiased News & Reports related to various Cryptocurrencies, Decentralized Apps, Initial Coin Offerings and Blockchain technology. We strive to help our readers gain valuable, trusted insights through in-depth analysis, high-quality and well-researched News stories and views from the digital currency community experts.

  • The company has more than 10 million users and processes more than $1 billion in transactions each month.
  • In a single stroke, the Whinstone purchase catapulted Riot into the top ranks of all publicly traded Bitcoin miners.
  • Also making the state attractive to miners is that 20% of its energy comes from wind power, making mining in Texas a much greener alternative than mining in China, where about two-thirds of electricity comes from coal.
  • According to Northern Data, the data center is already operational, though it’s unclear whether any Bitcoin mining is taking place there.

Meanwhile, Riot Blockchain has recently closed a deal with Chinese Bitcoin miner manufacturer giant, Bitmain to purchase 42,000 mining machines for a total value of around $138.5 million. Yesterday, the company stated it had ordered about 42,000 BTC miners, which will be shipped in October 2022. In the company’s investor presentation, RIOT Blockchain boasts an overly-specific 88% zero-carbon energy mix for its hosted operations at Coinmint’s Massena, NY facility. However, RIOT does not reveal any specific information about the primary source of electricity for its Whinstone facility in Rockdale, TX.

The company has more than 10 million users and processes more than $1 billion in transactions each month. Bitcoin surged more than 900% in 2017, making it one of the best-performing assets of the year. But some analysts caution that the price of bitcoin is highly speculative and could go down as well as up. Bitcoin miner Riot Blockchain is voluntarily powering down its operations ahead of a new major winter storm. Fortunately, Riot has enjoyed a positive, long-term relationship with Bitmain. The company had previously purchased 2,500 S19 Antminer miners from Bitmain for $6.1 million in October 2020.

At the summit, lawmakers and advocates even explored the idea of using blockchain technology beyond the world of finance. In addition to being used for property taxes, the technology could help secure health care records and even protect elections, they said. Executive Director Luke Metzger noted that some industry advocates suggest they will put their companies in areas with surplus renewable energy. Whinstone U.S. hosts over 25,000 miners, or computers programmed to mine bitcoin. Power runs through large transformers connected to those buildings, where miners line racks upon racks. On the other side of those racks, an evaporative cooling wall pulls ambient air and coolant, dissipating the hot air emitted by the computers like a chimney.

The news sent Dogecoin prices soaring, with one coin worth more than $0.10 on August 8th. The announcement was made during the Stellar Summit in San Francisco, and it is hoped that the partnership will increase the use of Stellar Lumens as a global payment system. Stellar Lumens has already established partnerships with several major banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Santander, and it is hoped that the IBM partnership will further widen the reach of the digital currency. The upgrade, called Constantinople, is set to introduce new features and improve the security of the network. One of the new features is a move to a Proof of Stake algorithm, which is expected to reduce the amount of energy required to run the Ethereum network. Coinbase has been one of the most successful cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.

Account abstraction on Bitcoin since day 1

Riot Blockchain has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the largest North American bitcoin hosting facility, Whinstone US, for $80 million cash plus a fixed 11.8 million shares of Riot common stock. As Whinstone itself stated, the deal with Riot will obviously provide the latter with the opportunity to not only utilize its existing operational capacity for mining operations but also to scale capacity. As a result, Riot stands good chances to establish themselves as the leading bitcoin miner in the US. Compute North, which hosts bitcoin miners in its data centers, told CoinDesk that it is also closely eyeing the storm. “We are prepared to respond real time to curtail our operations in order to support ERCOT, grid stability and power demand,” Compute North Director of Energy Peter Liska said.

Because for a heavy user of like Whinstone U.S., he said, grid stability is incredibly important. But Texas saw its power grid overloaded during a deadly winter storm earlier this year, raising questions about whether the grid can handle major growth in such an energy-intensive industry. China — where about two-thirds of the country’s electricity comes from coal — has long been the world leader in bitcoin mining. But the government there has recently cracked down on those efforts, in part due to concerns about the industry’s impact on climate change.

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Whinstone CEO Chad Harris takes CNBC on a tour of the largest bitcoin mine in North America. Sign up for First Mover, our daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. On August 7th, 2017, entrepreneur and investor Elon Musk tweeted about Dogecoin. He said that he was “considering” adding the cryptocurrency to his platform, Tesla Motors.

Cambridge University reckons that all worldwide Bitcoin uses 14,300 MWh, or around twenty times that amount, though the global total is growing fast. Riot will be able to continue rapidly scaling its self-mining business with Whinstone’s industry-leading team. Led by Chad Harris, the Whinstone team has become an industry-leading developer and operator of Bitcoin hosting facilities over the past two years, as Bitcoin mining has reached institutional scale. The Whinstone team is comprised of approximately 100 employees who have built Whinstone’s Texas operations from greenfield to commercialization in less than twelve months. The talented Whinstone team, combined with the facility’s substantial expansion capacity significantly de-risks Riot’s future operational and financial growth. According to the press release, Riot Blockchain believes that Whinstone is a “foundational element” of its long-term strategy to become the leading Bitcoin miner in the US.

The first is using his own electricians, engineers, and other workers to build equipment and perform complicated tasks that are usually outsourced. Whinstone fashioned its own “interconnect,” a silvery web of wiring that links the 138,000-volt grid outside its property to its own substation. “It would have taken 16 to 18 months to get one delivered, so we bought all the parts and did it ourselves in a couple of months,” he says. Along with the Argo and Whinstone facilities, BIT Mining, a Chinese mining company, has invested $25m to build a mine in Texas.

At roughly $50 per share, that amount of stock is currently worth $590 million. Harris broke ground in early November, an event immortalized in a photo of the Harris team sporting wacky grins and loaded shovels. A plunge in Bitcoin’s price discouraged investors from backing the project, estimated to cost $150 million. The day Harris started construction, coins were selling at just $4,100, versus $15,000 in early 2018.

Riot Blockchain Buys America’s Largest Bitcoin Mining Facility for $651M

“Ashton came home from college and decided this is what he wanted to do,” says his dad. Even in winter, the computers heated the warehouse to over 100 degrees, slowing their hashrate. To lower the temperature, the team built a 20-foot-tall rectangular wooden box to contain a rack of computers, and devised an exhaust system, using parts bought at Home Depot, to pump the hot air through ducts in the roof. At a Bitcoin conference in Tbilisi, Georgia, Theriot and Ashton met someone in a bar who became fascinated by their description of the contraption, and showed it to reps from a big Japanese conglomerate Harris declines to name.

Located an hour northeast of Austin, Rockdale looks like classic rural America. There are rolling hills, pastures of green grass, hay bales, a Walmart – which Mayor John King says is the main driver of sales tax, a key revenue stream for the city’s annual budget. Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Texas has become a popular destination stateside due to the state’s light regulations and its relatively cheap electricity. In addition to the crude oil The Lone Star State is known for, it also has large quantities of natural gas and can tap into wind energy.

Some analysts are predicting that the Constantinople upgrade could result in a price increase of up to 50%. If this is correct, it would represent a significant increase from the current market price of Ethereum, which is around $280. The Ethereum network is set to undergo a major upgrade on 21 July, with some speculating that the price of Ethereum could see a significant increase as a result. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is planning to go public in the coming months, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The San Francisco-based company has filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission , and is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange . Bitcoin futures rose more than 1% on Monday to around $6,300 as cryptocurrency became more mainstream.

Harris estimates that at its current capacity, it’s producing more than 500 bitcoin per month, which at today’s prices, is about $30.7 million, or $368 million a year. When someone mines for bitcoin, they’re actually lending their computing power to the bitcoin network. In order to mint these new tokens, a global pool of miners compete against each other to see who can unlock a batch of new bitcoin first. Alcoa leases space to Bitdeer and Riot Blockchain, two of the biggest bitcoin mining companies in the country. Rockdale was once home to the largest aluminum plant in the world, run by Alcoa.