Spil the bitcoin computing network expands, it is growing te the footsteps of the cloud computing industry. Locations with cheap land and power are attracting large bitcoin mines, which are often deployed near major cloud gegevens centers, and sometimes inwards their gegevens halls.
A case ter point: Central Washington state. Bitcoin ASIC Hosting said it is programma to build out Two.Five megawatts of gegevens center capacity ter the Wenatchee area, adding to an existing 1 megawatt of colocation space for bitcoin mining customers. And it’s not alone. MegaBigPower, which operates one of North America’s largest bitcoin mining operations, is programma a major expansion that could add more than 20 megawatts of capacity ter Central Washington. Seattle-based HashPlex has also announced plans to deploy capacity te that part of the state.
Bitcoin ASIC Hosting already hosts some customers ter leased space ter a Dell gegevens center ter Quincy, the petite farming community ter Grant County that has emerged spil a magnet for cloud computing infrastructure.
Microsoft and Yahoo have built some of the world’s most advanced gegevens centers te Quincy, which is also huis to gegevens centers for Intuit, Sabey Gegevens Centers, and Vantage Gegevens Centers. The region is now emerging spil a hotbed of activity for bitcoin hashing centers packed with high-density servers crunching transaction gegevens. The growth of the two industries ter Central Washington demonstrates how bitcoin entrepreneurs can benefit from piggybacking on cloud growth.
The lure of cheap, clean power
Why are thesis power-hungry server farms flocking to Central Washington? The region’s supply of cheap hydropower from dams along the Columbia Sea is the key to its appeal. Rates for hydro power ter Quincy and Wenatchee can run spil low spil Three cents vanaf kilowatt hour, placing it among the cheapest locations ter the continental U.S.
Yahoo and Microsoft each acquired land ter Quincy te 2007, a time when their webpagina selection efforts were focused on finding optimal locations for Internet-scale investments ter land, power, and servers.
Affordable power wasgoed the key attraction for Bitcoin ASIC Hosting, which wasgoed launched ter 2012 by Seattle-area bitcoin entrepreneurs Allen Oh and Lauren Miehe. They got into the cryptocurrency spel by running mining equipments ter their homes and garages, but eyed an chance to build a business suggesting gegevens center space optimized for virtual currency miners.
“It wasgoed amazing to learn that wij lived an hour from the place with the cheapest power prices te the country,” said Oh. “Wij felt like we’d won the lottery. Wij were among the very first ones to go out there and lease space. We’ve helped cultivate some positive practice with the PUD (public utility district) and contractors. Being there and wiggling mitts is significant.”
Location spil ‘business chance’
Dave Carlson, who runs MegaBigPower, wasgoed another Seattle-based entrepreneur who has focused his operations ter Central Washington.
“Someone ter the industry tipped mij off to the utterly cheap power and real estate te Central Washington,” said Carlson. “That wasgoed all it took for mij to realize I had a significant business chance. But it wasn’t effortless at all. The difficulty at the time wasgoed that if anyone had heard anything about bitcoin, it wasgoed most likely only bad things. I truly had to work hard to find a landlord to make the system work.”
Carlson set up a mining facility ter a warehouse near Wenatchee ter July of 2013. His operation has grown to Five,000 square feet and more than Three megawatts of power. There’s slew more te the pipeline, spil MegaBigPower is preparing several fresh facilities te its Central Washington operations, including a 23 megawatt hashing center and another webpagina that could support 12 megawatts.
Carlson also quickly learned the importance of strong relationships with the local utility. “It became fairly capital-intensive to build out the power,” he said. “I had to work with the local PUD to bring te spil much power spil they could manage. It wasgoed a fresh build.” The expansion required fresh transmission lines, fresh poles, two large transformers, and trenches to the building.
Carlson said the utility districts were familiar with gegevens centers, but bitcoin wasgoed fresh territory. “They have realized that it’s for real.”
“The PUDs get a ton of calls,” said Oh. “Last year it wasgoed once a week. Now they’re being flooded with calls seeking detailed power information. I think they’re a little more reserved about who they talk with, given the low kasstuk rate (of actual customers).”
Hashing center or gegevens center?
The bitcoin network infrastructure is split inbetween gegevens centers and no-frills hashing centers featuring high-density hardware and low-reliability power infrastructure, often housed te former warehouses. Both types of facilities can be found ter Central Washington.
MegaBigPower goes after the hashing center vormgeving proefje. Carlson has built out his mining equipments ter former warehouses, using commercial shelving and keeping his mining gear cool with large ventilatoren that were originally used te the dairy industry. “The only thing wij borrowed from gegevens centers wasgoed the power distribution and using rack PDUs,” said Carlson.
Bitcoin ASIC Hosting goes with a traditional gegevens center treatment, using raised floors, with UPS and generators for backup power. “Wij want to scale up and provide capacity, but wij also want to operate at a standard where wij could pivot to hosting other kinds of hardware,” said Oh. “Just like the bitcoin market, the colo market is going to be volatile.”
While other bitcoin firms have voiced rente ter expanding ter Central Washington to tapkast its cheap hydro power, Oh said being an early follower of the cloud pioneers has placed his company for success.
“Word is getting out, and it’s raising the profile of this area,” said Oh. “It helps to have connections. Local officials indeed do appreciate those who are serious about it.”