Japanese internet conglomerate GMO Internet Co., Ltd will invest over $3 million to launch its bitcoin mining operation in the first half of 2018.
Founded in the early 1990s, Tokyo-based GMO is among a slew of major Japanese companies looking to capitalize on the booming demand and appetite for digital currencies. Recent legislative changes in Japan has seen bitcoin now recognized as a legal method of payment in April this year. Come May, GMO launched a digital currency exchange and entered the bitcoin industry, with planned support for other digital currencies in the future.
“We believe that cryptocurrencies will develop into ‘new universal currencies’”, the internet giant stated recently, “available for use by anyone from any country or region to freely exchange “value,” creating a “new borderless economic zone.”
Now, the internet giant is further foraying into the bitcoin industry by announcing plans to launch its open mining operation next year.
In a statement earlier this month, GMO revealed:
We will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe.
Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive process where profits are gained when the mining rewards exceed the cost of mining resources and electricity costs.
GMO says it will invest over 10% of its consolidated non-current assets ($31 million) for the mining operation.
Further details reveal that the mining center will be established in a Scandinavian country with a production target of 500 petahashes per second (PH/s). For the hardware, GMO says it will use mining chips based on 7 nanometer nodes, developed in tandem with an unnamed technology partner with experience in semiconductor design technology. GMO also confirmed it will research, develop and manufacture the mining chips necessary for the operation. In its roadmap, GMO also revealed plans to sell mining boards equipped with the chips.
The internet giant is also entering the cloud mining space, enabling customers to rent mining equipment’s hashrate. The company further indicated that cryptocurrencies mined from its mining endeavor will be used to support its cryptocurrency exchange GMO Coin, providing liquidity to operations.
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