Blockstream is looking to expand its mining operations. As detailed in a press release shared with the BTC Times, the Bitcoin infrastructure company has purchased $25 million worth of WhatsMiner Bitcoin miners from Shenzhen-based manufacturer MicroBT, which the firm plans to deploy across its mining facilities in North America over the course of the year.
Blockstream has been mining bitcoin since 2017, when it launched its operations in a pursuit of preserving the decentralization of Bitcoin mining. At the time, a year-long dispute related to Bitcoin's scaling roadmap raised concerns regarding the centralization of ASIC manufacturing, hosting, and pools, as a number of mining companies sought to control network governance decisions. The attempt was eventually shut down by a grassroots movement launched by Bitcoin users.
In August 2019, Blockstream publicly revealed its enterprise mining solutions aimed towards corporate customers looking to get involved in Bitcoin mining at scale. Called Blockstream Mining, the operations provide institutional clients with colocation and management support. Blockstream's publicly disclosed customers include LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman as well as the Fidelity Center for Applied Technology.
The miner purchase brings Blockstream one step closer to filling its mining data centers, which boast over 300 megawatts of total capacity. If stocked completely with the latest ASIC miners, the facilities could produce six exahashes of hash power, which, at press time, would represent around four percent of Bitcoin's global hash rate.
Blockstream is actively contributing to the migration of hash rate distribution away from China and towards other parts of the world, having established its centers in Georgia in the U.S. and Quebec in Canada. Its Quebec operations take advantage of the region's hydropower market, which has attracted large numbers of commercial Bitcoin miners in recent years.
Blockstream CEO Dr. Adam Back commented that by scaling up, the firm is responding to accelerated institutional demand as a growing number of corporations is "looking to get involved in the Bitcoin gold rush." Dr. Back therefore anticipates that Blockstream Mining will "continue to grow aggressively throughout the next year.”