Japan-based GMO Internet, an internet and technology conglomerate, has officially kicked off its cryptocurrency mining operation. The company has not disclosed the exact location of the new mine but acknowledged that it is based somewhere in Northern Europe.
GMO formed its first mining unit in September 2017 and planned on making it operational sometime during the first quarter of 2018.
This is not the first-of-its-kind investment by the company in the rapidly expanding realm of virtual currencies. It has launched several other cryptocurrency-related ventures since 2016, including an exchange platform and a bitcoin-focused payroll service, among others.
Note that while it’s possible to mine cryptocurrency using an ordinary computer, you need highly sophisticated machines with massive computing power to turn it into a profitable business. Not only that, but you also need consistent and stable power supply not just to keep the mining systems up and running, but also to prevent the hardware from overheating to oblivion. This is one reason why GMO is increasingly focusing on its own research and development on superior-performance mining chips.
The publicly listed firm hinted that as of today, the mine is drawing all its electricity from hydropower and geothermal sources. The net computing power of the facility is likely to be somewhere around 500 petahashes per second (PH/s).
The whole process is being powered by a slew of cutting-edge 7nm chips. The company said that it is also collaborating with an “alliance partner” to expedite the ongoing R&D process aimed at accomplishing high-level computer performance for mining.
GMO did not name the alliance partner but said it possessed the requisite semiconductor design technology to help the company achieve the goal. It further stated that it plans on increasing the size of its mining operations, expanding the business in phases.
Apart from running the mining facility, GMO also plans on offering cloud mining and build “next generation mining boards.” The cryptocurrencies derived through mining will be supplied to the company’s bitcoin exchange, thereby boosting liquidity.
“After the company has gained a certain level of operational experience, it will work on initiatives including provision of a cloud mining service and selling next-generation mining boards equipped with mining chips,” the company said.
The mining facility has racks, state-of-the-art air conditioning, as well as high-level firefighting and security mechanisms. Earlier in September, GMO had announced that its mining facilities would primarily rely on renewable energy; a promise the company has since lived up to.