Erik Weijers, 18 days ago
Marathon Digital, the American Bitcoin mining powerhouse, has joined forces with Zero Two, a firm from Abu Dhabi. Together they will build the first substantial liquid-cooled Bitcoin mining operation in the Middle East.
Immersion mining, or mining with liquid cooling systems, works by submerging mining equipment in fluids — not just water but engineered fluids. This cools the miners and the heat can be transported and used for other industrial purposes, such as (in the Netherlands) heating a greenhouse. In countries with a hot climate, immersion cooling will be me more feasible than air cooling.
The two facilities in Abu Dhabi - construction is already on its way - will be good for a total computing power of 7 exahash per second. That's almost 2% of current worldwide hash power. Assuming the current hashrate and block reward, the facilities would generate around 15 BTC per day.
Here's the interesting part: Abu Dhabi's 850 million dollars sovereign wealth fund is the financial backer of the project. Why is this significant? It means that yet another nation state will be engaging in Bitcoin mining through corporate entities. This appears to have become a real trend.
The trend of nation state backing of Bitcoin mining gives some credence to the idea proposed by author Jason Lowery, namely that nations will become engaged in a 'softwar', a non-violent form of war where they compete for hash power and thus BTC. A more down-to-earth way of saying this is that nations simply leverage cheap energy sources and convert it into money.
The Abu Dhabi mining won't be powered by sustainable energy sources, at least not exclusively. A positive side note though is that the facilities will help to stabilize the country's power grid. After all, miners can shut off in a second, whenever the country has a spike in energy demand. In Texas, during a blizzard, miners did just that and helped the electricity grid staying stable. Of course, in Abu Dhabi, the power needs of the country will likely be higher in extreme heat!
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