Peter Thiel and Others Pony Up $50M for Wind and Solar Powered Crypto Mining in Texas
Layer1 is building a chips-to-substation crypto mining facility in Texas that will run on renewable energy.
Never mind that crypto mining is best undertaken in cool climes – Iceland, for instance. But Layer1 has an ace up its sleeve – a proprietary new technology for cooling the chips that mine cryptocurrencies. So the Layer1 crypto mining facility lies 150 miles west of Midland, Texas.
Layer1 will combine cheap power in Texas with wind-derived renewable energy to reduce the key cost of electricity in crypto mining. Another advantage of Texas: lighter regulation.
The plan likely makes economic sense because top-flight VC Peter Thiel, early-stage investor Shasta Ventures, along with other industry players, committed $50 million in funding for Layer1.
Crypto Mining in Texas: Independent and self-sufficient
Layer1 will run its own power sub-station and use renewable energy from wind and solar sources in West Texas. Co-founder Alex Liegl told Fortune he has ambitions of making Layer1 the biggest Bitcoin miner in the world. He intends to control all critical aspects of the operation, such as mining, power supply, and cooling.
Currently, the Chinese are the largest crypto miners in the world, because they take advantage of cheap state-supplied power. However, Liegl has farmed out the manufacture of his custom-designed mining chips to a Chinese semiconductor company.
So can Layer1 crypto mining in Texas give the Chinese competition a run for their crypto?
“From an ideological perspective, for Bitcoin to grow into its multi-trillion potential, it needs a U.S. company to lead,” says Liegl. “This ideology resonates with Peter [Thiel] and our other investors.”
[Related Story: Why McAfee Expects Bitcoin to Touch $1 Million by 2020]
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