By Ben Strack / March 3, 2022, 5:21 pm EST
- Hut 8 Mining recently acquired five data centers across Canada from TeraGo
- The company finalized a multi-year partnership with Enthusiast Gaming Wednesday
One of North America’s largest bitcoin miners is aiming to build out its cloud computing business.
Hut 8 Mining, fresh off a recent acquisition, is looking to diversify its business beyond mining digital assets, Sue Ennis, vice president of investor and corporate development, told Blockworks.
The Toronto-based company mined 289 bitcoins last month and held 6,115 bitcoins on its balance sheet as of Feb. 28. Hut 8 has more than 35,000 mining machines and 109 megawatts of power.
“As the industry has continued to mature, we started asking ourselves…what’s next?” Ennis said.
Hut 8 Mining finalized its purchase of wireless connectivity company TerraGo at the end of January for CAD $30 million, or $23.7 million. The deal brought five Canadian TerraGo data centers to Hut 8.
The idea is to set up scalable cloud services that provide an alternative to cloud computing giants such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Switch, according to Ennis.
Data centers may have up to 40% of unused cloud space at any given time, she said, which Hut 8 plans to use for Web3 and blockchain-based gaming infrastructure.
This includes gaming rendering, non-fungible token (NFT) storage, node infrastructure management and general storage for exchanges, as well as layer-1 and layer-2 protocols.
“We’re sort of doubling down on this Amazon Web Services for Web3 and blockchain gaming,” Ennis said. “We’re still going to be miners, but we’re just focused on building out and getting more deeply entrenched in the actual full ecosystem.”
The company recently struck a multi-year partnership with Enthusiast Gaming. In exchange for the gaming company integrating Hut 8’s content in its communities in games, the crypto company will host Enthusiast Gaming content in its data centers.
“Hut 8 has established itself as an innovative leader by bridging digital asset mining with the traditional data center industry, and is now serving both traditional high-performance applications and applications in the gaming and blockchain space,” Enthusiast Gaming CEO Adrian Montgomery said in a statement.
The alliance bolsters Hut 8’s visibility to Enthusiast Gaming’s 300 million Gen Z and millennial viewers, Ennis said, the majority of whom invest in stocks and crypto.
“It’s the ability [for gamers] to get deeper ties and more attention on our company and what we’re doing, and ultimately hopefully buying our stock in the market, because we’re now where a lot of our retail investors are,” she noted.
The company also has “global ambitions,” Ennis said, including eyeing acquisitions in Dubai and around Asia.
“There are so many entrants who came into this bull market,” she said. “We do think that this year is still going to be a bit volatile, we do think it’ll be a period of consolidation…so, we’re definitely looking and ready to go shopping.”
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Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro and crypto-native funds, financial advisors, structured products, and the integration of digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) into traditional finance. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism. Contact Ben via email at [email protected]