A surprising corporate deal took place last week which will result in a new data centre in Grand Falls, NB, being part of an environmentally sustainable cryptocurrency operation.
Vancouver-based HIVE Blockchain Technologies, which is listed on the TSX Venture exchange, issued a statement Thursday saying it would pay about $25 million in stock for GPU Atlantic, a division of Montreal’s GPU.One. The main asset of GPU Atlantic is a 50-megawatt power facility in Grand Falls with a dedicated cryptocurrency mining operation.
It’s an expansion move for HIVE, which is dedicated to building cryptocurrency-mining facilities that are powered by surplus green energy.
"This is an important strategic acquisition for HIVE that diversifies our business significantly and adds one of the industry's top data centre operators to our ranks, at an opportune time, and at an attractive valuation for our shareholders," said HIVE Executive Chairman Frank Holmes in the statement. "The acquisition provides us with full ownership of a state of the art and operational Bitcoin mining data centre ready to deploy our incoming next generation bitcoin mining hardware with access to some of the lowest electricity costs in the industry.”
HIVE addresses one of the main complaints against cryptocurrencies: they are huge consumers of electricity. For example, a Cambridge University study last month concluded that bitcoin mining consumes more electricity than all of Argentina, according to the BBC.
Hive looks for data centres and mining operations that are powered by surplus green energy, reducing adverse ecological effects of mining cryptocurrency.
GPU Atlantic recently built a new 50 MW power station along with two fully operational data centre facilities ready to host up to 30 MW of HIVE's cryptocurrency mining equipment. The facility can accommodate a third data centre with a capacity of 20 MW, which it plans to open by the end of September.
The statement said GPU Atlantic's in-house software is ahead of the competition and provides seamless and remote control of its facilities and mining equipment.
The acquisition will more than double HIVE's total available power capacity globally to about 100 MW, placing it among the largest of any publicly listed cryptocurrency miners, said the statement.
HIVE, which expects to close the deal in the next three months, will pay for GPU Atlantic by issuing 5 million shares to GPU.One and its minority partner. Several senior GPU.One executives will join HIVE, including GPU Atlantic CEO Gabriel Ibghy.
“This acquisition further enables HIVE to continue in its objective of having control of its destiny, including significant capacity for expansion and flexibility for our future operations,” said Holmes. “We now have a 50 MW data center campus to build up and a home for our new generation of Bitcoin miners.”