Two decades-old Canadian companies, Calgary-based exploration services firm Divestco, and Winnipeg-based oil and gas company Bird River Resources, partnered in a massive commercial digital currency mining venture. The partnership by two publicly listed Canadian companies with significant history in fields outside of fintech and digital currencies shows the growth of the digital currency sector in Canada.

Divestco and Bird River Resources will use existing infrastructure to create the digital currency mining operation in Calgary, Alberta. The two companies previously announced plans to create low-cost electricity by converting natural gas.

“Electricity is one of the largest expenses in running a commercial cryptocurrency mining operation,” said Ty Pfeifer, Director of Bird River Resources. “Securing low-cost electricity through our joint cogeneration facility provides us with an impressive competitive advantage.”

The venture will compete with many Canadian startups and global companies moving to take advantage of Canada’s low electricity prices.

It also comes at a time when some provinces are assessing the price of electricity provided to such businesses, or taking action to restrict new operations to protect electricity prices, infrastructure, and supply, in Canada.

Saving millions with existing infrastructure

Bird River Resources was established in 1958 and has traditionally focused on natural resource exploration, before moving towards cogeneration and technology. Bird River’s technology vertical is aimed at the “application of technologies such as blockchain to identified opportunities within the energy and technology sectors.”

Formed in 2000, exploration services company Divestco offer data, software, and services to the oil and gas industry.

“We are able to utilize Divestco’s existing data centre infrastructure, providing an even further substantial cost advantage in bringing our venture to the forefront of Canada’s cryptocurrency mining industry,” continued Pfeifer. “Building a similar data centre would cost in excess of $5 million.”

Divestco will be operating the data centre and digital currency mining rigs. Bird River Resources will be providing the capital outlay for the rigs, in a centre able to hold up to 3,000 digital currency mining rigs.

A global centre for digital currency mining

Canada’s position as a global base for digital currency mining is solidifying with new ventures of this nature and a number of recent mergers and acquisitions.  

Blockchain infrastructure company MiningSky is also looking to open a new digital currency mining facility, this time in Houston, Northern B.C.

“The weather conditions are ideal,” said MiningSky Vice-President of New Business Robert Mullaney. “It’s cold enough where these run that you don’t really need a cooling system. The northwest is already retrofitted for it.”

In other digital currency mining news, Canadian company Bitfarms merged with Israeli company Blockchain Mining Ltd to form the world’s largest mining firm. The partnership also has plans to create a Canadian mining hub that would be the world’s largest.

Further, on April 3rd, 2018, Toronto-based Hyperblock acquired CryptoGlobal in order to strengthen their combined position in digital currency mining.

 

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