It noted that Alcoa was the only major company in the region, until it had to shut its operations. Lee Bratcher, president of the Texas Blockchain Council also said,
“The Rockdale economy was devastated for several years until the bitcoin miners showed up.”
Rockdale’s mining hope
China-based Bitmain’s $500-million investment promise had got another ray of hope for Texas, as it promised to build the world’s largest bitcoin mine in Rockdale. That, as we know, didn’t materialize.
In present times, Bitdeer and Riot Blockchain’s Whinstone, “believed to be the largest single facility, as measured by developed capacity in North America for Bitcoin mining,” are competing to get a lion’s share of the Texas market. We know that Texas is an attraction, with its cheap energy along with crypto-friendly policies.
Points of difference
The CNBC report noted that the location of companies’ facilities happens to be the only similarity between the two. It characterized Bitdeer as “aloof and not open to media.” Conversely, the report stated that Whinstone “thrives on transparency and throws open its doors to media daily.”
In terms of location, Bitdeer’s mine was built over a closed Alcoa smelter with electrical lines, the report noted. Meanwhile, Whinstone’s facility is situated in what was once a “thickly wooded forest.”
Apart from this, CNBC report mentioned that the specifics of how Bitdeer’s bitcoin mining operation works are not much known. However, it did state that Bitmain had shown “keen interest in Whinstone’s shelving and racking system,” as noted by Whinstone CEO Chad Harris.
Explaining Whinstone’s leadership style, the report noted that it is “about improvisation,” and that it doesn’t see Bitdeer as a competition. Moreover, according to CEO Harris, the company doesn’t feel threatened by its neighbor Bitdeer. He said,
“There is no IP in this business. That’s nonsense.”
Interestingly, Whinstone publicly documented the process of building Whinstone mine on social media platforms. The report noted,
“Whinstone has multiple buildings on-site, each stacked 20 feet high with rows of computer hardware…”
Moreover, Harris estimated that the company is “producing more than 500 bitcoin per month at its current capacity.” This comes to around $368 million a year. The firm also claimed to have close to 100,000 machines on site, as per the report.
It is noteworthy that Riot had acquired the Whinstone mine earlier this year for $80 million and has become a leader in the North American region. The United States is estimated to contribute over 35% to the global hash rate.