Bitcoin mining company Argo Blockchain is on a new adventure as it sets up shop in West Texas, a growing North American mecca for the industry.
“We are really excited about this site,” Argo CEO Peter Wall recently told Bitcoin Magazine. “We purchased a 320-acre plot which has access to 800 megawatts of electrical power. Over the next 12 months, we will build a new 200 megawatt mining facility.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has opened his arms to bitcoin miners, signalling support for new cryptocurrency laws and promoting innovation in digital asset technology for his state.
“We chose West Texas and this site in particular because it offers us some of the lowest electricity rates in the world and the majority is from renewable sources, namely wind and solar,” added Wall.
Argo already has six mining operations in Canada and the U.S. and is celebrating record first quarter revenues in 2021. The company’s mining revenues in March were $9.1 million compared with $6.04 million in February. Argo’s mining revenues were $18.6 million for the first quarter of 2021, the company’s most profitable quarter to date.
As the bitcoin mining difficulty rate climbs and more miners seek to take advantage of increasing price (combined with a recent disruption in Chinese mining), Argo finds itself well placed to take full advantage of this bull run.
The company bought mining equipment in early 2020 before demand skyrocketed. Its preferred miners are Bitmain Antminer S19s and S19 pros. Its latest order came in February 2021 — 4,500 Antminer S19s. Argo has also preordered $8 million worth of specially-designed miners built to its own specifications from ePIC mining technologies.
Terra, A Clean Bitcoin Mining Pool
“I am also thrilled that we are working with DMG to achieve something we believe will be transformational in the crypto space in the creation of Terra Pool, the first Bitcoin mining pool that will be powered by clean energy,” he said in the release.
“Terra Pool will initially consist of both Argo’s and DMG’s hash rate from clean energy, which is mostly generated by hydroelectric resources,” Wall told Bitcoin Magazine. “It will provide a platform for cryptocurrency miners to produce bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in a sustainable way.”
There have been some questions raised about the idea of having two classes of bitcoin — “clean” and otherwise — as well as suggestions that this is mostly a marketing ploy.
Colin Sullivan, CEO of MintGreen, a mining company using only renewables and selling the captured heat from mining equipment to businesses and institutions, has been watching this with interest.
“Some worry that green mining pools create a complex hierarchy of value within Bitcoin,” he told Bitcoin Magazine. “In reality, it simply widens the net for direct Bitcoin investment with a growing number of firms compelled by ESG criteria.”
Asked how the pool was developing, Wall said:
“The mining pool is in its early stages and our teams are currently working together to establish the criteria for other miners to be able to join and how the pool will be governed to ensure all miner hash rates are from only renewable sources. We’re planning on it being fully operational by the end of this quarter.”
Meanwhile, there is no question that investors and investment firms are shopping around for a product that is mined sustainably.
“The industry at large is trending towards low carbon and it’s good to see major players embrace their inner green,” Sullivan said. “Bitcoin mining companies are ambassadors to this new era of money and we have an obligation to be environmental stewards… We at MintGreen have pushed the envelope of green mining to its theoretical maximum and I think Terra Pool is poised to set a similar standard for pools.”