Cryptocurrency insiders may be bullish on Bitcoin mining again, as two high-profile mining companies — Genesis Digital Assets and BIT Mining — are the latest to expand their businesses with fresh funding and new hardware purchases.
Genesis Digital Assets, one of the world’s earliest Bitcoin mining companies, has raised a US$125 million round of equity funding to support its expansion plans, according to a company announcement Wednesday.
The company said that it would use the new funds, coming from U.K.-based private equity fund Kingsway Capital, to buy equipment and build new data centers in the United States and the Nordic region.
As part of the deal, Kingsway Capital CEO Manuel Stotz is joining Genesis Digital Assets’ board of directors. “Bitcoin is going to be the most important technology for financial inclusion of the global poor and unbanked and mining provides security to make this possible,” Stotz said, in the statement.
Last month, Genesis bought 10,000 Bitcoin mining machines from Canaan, a Nasdaq-listed Chinese mining rig maker. “Our strategy has always been to grow faster than the rest of the market. Achieving this requires building and launching new data centers, expanding the capacities of our existing facilities, and installing first-class hardware,” Genesis Chairman Abdumalik Mirakhmedov said at the time.
As of July 2021, Genesis took up more than 2.6% of the global Bitcoin hashrate, with its data center capacity mounting to over 150 megawatts, according to the statement. It aims to reach a capacity of over 1 gigawatt by the end of 2023.
Meanwhile, BIT Mining — a New York Stock Exchange-listed company that only months ago changed from being an online sports lottery company to becoming a big investor in cryptocurrency mining — said in a Wednesday statement that it had entered into a purchase agreement to buy 2,500 new Bitcoin mining machines worth of approximately US$6.6 million.
BIT Mining said that the new rigs are expected to be delivered within a week, and that once they arrive, they would be shipped to Kazakhstan to grow the company’s mining operation there. When deployed, these new machines could bring up the company’s theoretical maximum total hashrate capacity by about 165 peta hashes per second, according to the statement.
The new purchase deal follows BIT Mining’s previous machine deliveries to Kazakhstan as it looked to scale up operation in the Central Asia nation, as China continues tightening the vise on the crypto mining sector.
Chinese miners are migrating to countries where they are less unwelcome. Some early favorite destinations for displaced Chinese miners include Kazakhstan, North America and Northern Europe.
BIT Mining, for instance, has deployed 3,819 Bitcoin mining machines with a total hashrate capacity of 172 PH/s at data centers in Kazakhstan, according to the statement. Another 4,033 machines are already shipped there and are in wait to go online, the company said.
BIT Mining, formerly known as 500.com, until recently operated online sports lottery services, but the company announced last week that it had decided to dispose of its lottery business, according to a statement.
Earlier this month, BIT Mining said it had raised US$50 million in a private placement from unnamed institutional and accredited investors to allow it to grow its overseas operations. It has also entered into an agreement to acquire crypto mining machine manufacturer Bee Computing.
Other companies have also taken action recently to expand into Bitcoin mining or ramp up mining operations. For instance, Jasmine Telecom Systems, a publicly-listed unit of Thai telecoms operator Jasmine International, said that it had kicked off plans to deploy 500 mining machines in a data center in the third quarter of this year, with another 5,000 machines set to come online next year, according to the Bangkok Post.
Chinese rig maker Bitmain has also joined hands with Enegix, which runs one of the biggest crypto mining data centers in Kazakhstan, to host its Antminer machines in the latter’s 180 megawatt facility.