New-look Hut 8 eyes AI-related opportunities after merger
Fresh off a combination with US Bitcoin Corp., Hut 8 labels building its presence in AI infrastructure and compute as a key focus
Hut 8 Mining CEO Jaime Leverton | DAS New York 2022 by Blockworks
Fresh off the close of its merger with US Bitcoin Corp., crypto mining firm Hut 8 is looking to boost its standing in the growing artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure and computing markets.
Hut 8 Chief Strategy Officer Mike Ho said on a Monday call with analysts that the firm is currently positioned to meet demand for high-density data center infrastructure. It is actively seeking additional opportunities to invest in “the immense growth potential of AI,” he added.
The company’s stock price was up about 15% on the day, as of 12:30 pm ET Tuesday.
Hut 8’s ongoing focus on the evolving segments comes after Hut 8 acquired five Canada-based data centers in early 2022 through its buy of wireless connectivity company TerraGo.
Its plan was to use the data centers’ unused cloud space for gaming rendering, NFT storage, node infrastructure management and general storage for exchanges.
Interior Health tapped Hut 8 in June for high-performance computing services. Revenue stemming from that deal was set to start coming in this quarter, executives previously said.
“There is a clear opportunity to leverage our capabilities across the data center infrastructure and software value chain to build a presence in nascent markets like AI infrastructure and compute,” Ho told Blockworks in an email.
The company is not the only one doubling down on artificial intelligence. Hive Digital Technologies rebranded in July to reflect its use of Nvidia graphics processing unit (GPU) chips that the firm called “a vital tool” for AI, machine learning and advanced data analysis.
A big move before the halving
Hut 8 CEO Jaime Leverton, in a statement, called the merger “the largest M&A transaction that has ever transpired within our industry.”
The new-look crypto miner now has 7.5 exahashes per second (EH/s) of installed self-mining capacity at six sites across Canada, New York, Nebraska and Texas.
It still trails large North American competitors Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms, which had energized hash rates of 19.2 EH/s and 11.7 EH/s, respectively, as of Oct. 31.
“The combined company will be not only one of the top 10 in terms of bitcoin production but also one of the most diversified bitcoin mining operations, including self-mining, hosting, power generation and high-performance computing services,” BlocksBridge Consulting founder Nishant Sharma said just before the deal closed.
The merged firm indeed has more revenue streams as well as “uncorrelated fiat-based business units,” Leverton said during a Monday call with analysts.
Hut 8 has increased its fiat-based revenue from roughly 19% — for the 12 months ended June 2023 — to about 30%, the CEO added.
“Both sides of our business also have a strong track record of forging blue-chip growth partnerships to scale both rapidly and cost-effectively as we’ve done with our joint venture at King Mountain, Texas — and as we’re planning to do with our stalking horse bid for four energy sites in Ontario,” Leverton said.
New Hut will manage 220 megawatts (MW) of hosting infrastructure at its King Mountain site in Texas and 680 MW of energy under its managed services division — a unit that helps mining sites owners with operations via management software.
Competition among large miners is heating up ahead of the next bitcoin halving — an event slated for April that industry watchers expect could separate winners and losers in the space.
Riot Platforms’ latest deal with MicroBT could lead to the company growing its hash rate to more than 100 EH/s over the long term. Bitfarms also recently bought more miners as part of “a transformative fleet upgrade plan,” while Marathon Digital continues to expand geographically and diversify its mining methods.
“Our immediate goal is to drive operational synergies and optimize returns across our existing infrastructure platform,” Ho told Blockworks. “At the same time, we continue to monitor opportunities for both organic and inorganic growth.”
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