Uzbekistan Wants Bitcoin Miners to Go Solar, Pay No Income Tax


  • Argo Blockchain stock surged up to 10% after saying its new flagship mine in Texas is ready to generate crypto next week
  • The London-based company has borrowed nearly $100 million from NYDIG in the past few months to acquire mining rigs for the site

Argo Blockchain says its new crypto facility in Texas is fully energized and ready to start mining next week.

Argo celebrates the milestone with an inauguration ceremony at the facility on Thursday afternoon. The company’s London-listed stock surged up to 10% on the announcement and currently sits about 7% above its previous close. 

The 320-acre Dickens County plot, Helios, will serve as Argo’s flagship bitcoin mining operation moving forward. Argo has two smaller facilities in Quebec.

Argo projected costs of up to $2 billion to get Helios online last November, financed by debt offerings and offloading some of the bitcoin it mines every month.

In fact, word broke of a $70-million loan from crypto service provider NYDIG Wednesday, cash Argo will use to acquire more mining rigs — bringing the total loan above $97 million. Argo’s market capitalization is around $370 million.

“I’m extremely grateful to everyone who has been involved in the planning and execution of Helios,” CEO Peter Wall said in a statement. “We started construction on the facility in July 2021 and it is a tremendous achievement that the site will commence mining operations in less than 12 months.

The UK firm said the 20,000 Bitmain S1PJ Pro mining rigs bought last September are still being delivered and installed. Argo will continue receiving and installing the Bitmain machines in batches between May and October of this year but didn’t specify how many rigs were already housed at the site.

Argo also signed a different deal with fellow mining org Core Scientific in March that sees the two companies swap thousands of ASICs. Argo intends to exchange its less powerful Antminer S9s – which were housed at Core Scientific – for more Bitmain S1PJ Pro machines.

Some of Core Scientific’s rigs have already been installed, with the rest to be delivered and set up throughout July. Argo will also be one of the first to receive Intel’s new mining chips, which are pegged as more efficient than some off-the-shelf ASICs currently available.

Right now, Argo wields 1.605 exahashes per second (EH/s), equivalent to about 0.7% of Bitcoin’s hash rate. Marathon Digital Holdings, the largest crypto mining company by market value, maintained 3.9 EH/s as of March – more than double Argo’s current capacity. 

Over the next few years, Argo says its new site will eventually harness 800 megawatts (MW) of electricity. This would surpass the 750 MW planned to flow through rival Riot Blockchain’s Texas site in Rockdale, some 350 miles away.

Argo’s Helios will make do with just 200 MW for now, one-fifth of its targeted energy expenditure. The company reckons this will still boost its overall maximum hash rate by 243% to 5.5 EH/s by the end of the year. 

If that happens, Argo could handle a hash rate of more than 20 EH/s overall, equal to around 9% of the Bitcoin network’s current capacity.


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  • Blockworks

    Editor

    David Canellis is an editor and journalist based in Amsterdam who has covered the crypto industry full time since 2018. He’s heavily focused on data-driven reporting to identify and map trends within the ecosystem, from bitcoin to DeFi, crypto stocks to NFTs and beyond. Contact David via email at [email protected]



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