A cryptocurrency hosting facility that will be locating north of Jamestown is expected to begin operations by the end of this year.
“We think that it could not have been a better fit,” said Regina Ingel, executive vice president of operations for Applied Blockchain Inc. “The people in Jamestown have been warm and welcoming to our team. They have been asking the most fantastic questions. They are really engaged and excited. We really look forward to partnering with this beautiful community for the long term.”
Corry Shevlin, business development director with Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp., said it is a “terrific project.”
“Anytime we get a boost to our economy is a good thing,” he said. “It is obviously a pretty sizable investment into Jamestown and Stutsman County.”
The hosting facility will be co-located with a substation owned by Otter Tail Power Co. located about 7 miles north of Jamestown on N.D. Highway 20. Ingel could not name the utility partner citing an agreement in the contract.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Tuesday, Sept. 14. Ingel could not say how much it will cost to build the facility.
Applied Blockchain delivers cryptocurrency mining and infrastructure solutions to its customers, according to its website. The company has partnered with Bitmain, SparkPool and General Mining Research.
Applied Blockchain will mine Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrency assets, Ingel said.
“There are some other altcoins that have been picking up traction in the recent months that clients of ours would be interested in,” she said.
Ingel said mining refers to a bunch of computers that break complex mathematical algorithms to help mine cryptocurrency. Miners are rewarded with whatever cryptocurrency they are mining.
Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that can be used for payments or held as an investment similar to the stock market. Cryptocurrency is not a government currency.
Applied Blockchain announced its entrance into the cryptocurrency hosting business on July 30 after it closed on a $32.5 million private placement by Bitmain, which is a producer of products for blockchain and artificial intelligence applications, according to Applied Blockchain’s website. The $32.5 million covers the cost of acquiring land, construction of facilities, component procurement and other project costs related to Applied Blockchain’s hosting business in North America.
Applied Blockchain will employ about 30 people on site to monitor the equipment 24 hours per day at the hosting facility near Jamestown.
Shevlin said JSDC has not run a model to determine Applied Blockchain’s economic impact in Stutsman County.
“I imagine it would be fairly significant,” he said.
Applied Blockchain has an agreement with an unnamed utility partner to provide for up to 100 megawatts of power for five years.
Applied Blockchain expects its first 50 megawatts of capacity to be operational this year and the next 50 megawatts in the beginning of 2022.
Ingel said Applied Blockchain was set to build its hosting facilities in China, but the country’s crackdown on cryptocurrency forced the company to build the facilities in the northern U.S.