Celsius to Transition to Mining-Only NewCo following Bankruptcy Court’s Confirmation of Plan

Celsius Network LLC, a global cryptocurrency platform, is set to undergo a significant transformation following the confirmation of its Chapter 11 plan by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. This change comes after facing challenges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The restructuring plan initially involved creating a new company with Fahrenheit, LLC, focusing on various crypto business activities. However, the SEC’s request for more information about Celsius’ assets has led to a strategic pivot. Celsius is now planning to transition to a publicly traded Bitcoin mining company, owned by its customers, known as Mining NewCo​​​​​​.

Fahrenheit, an investment vehicle, had emerged as a key player in Celsius’ reorganization plans. The SEC’s involvement and requests for detailed information about Celsius’ assets and business operations have significantly influenced the new direction. There are ongoing discussions about the management and future of Mining NewCo​​.

Celsius had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July 2022, revealing a $2 billion deficit in its balance sheet. The plan included returning cryptocurrencies to its customers and creating a new company focused on Bitcoin mining. This pivot to mining is a response to the regulatory scrutiny, particularly from the SEC, which has been a significant factor in shaping the company’s post-bankruptcy trajectory​​​​​​.

The confirmation of Celsius’ restructuring plan marks a new chapter in the company’s journey. While the company initially faced a significant deficit and regulatory challenges, the transition to a mining-only model under NewCo represents a strategic shift. This shift aims to address regulatory concerns and set a path for recovery and growth in the evolving cryptocurrency landscape. Celsius’ focus on Bitcoin mining signifies its adaptation to the changing regulatory and business environment.

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Marathon Digital Initiates Bitcoin Mining Powered by Renewable Landfill Energy

Fort Lauderdale, FL: Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:MARA), known for its endeavors in bolstering the Bitcoin infrastructure, has announced a collaboration with renewable energy firm Nodal Power. The partnership aims to harness methane emissions from a Utah landfill to power a 280 kW Bitcoin mining pilot project. The project, now fully operational, underscores a sustainable model for cryptocurrency mining, mitigating the environmental impact associated with the significant energy demands of such operations.

Methane, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is a potent greenhouse gas, with an impact “80 times more harmful than CO2 for 20 years post emission.” With municipal solid waste contributing to around 14.3% of the total methane emissions in the U.S. in 2021, as per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the initiative by Marathon addresses a critical environmental challenge.

Marathon’s project is a testament to the possibility of transforming harmful methane emissions from landfills into a renewable energy source for powering Bitcoin mining operations. This project forms part of a larger Marathon initiative aimed at validating the process of capturing, converting, and utilizing landfill methane emissions for electricity generation to fuel Bitcoin miners.

Fred Thiel, Marathon’s Chairman and CEO, highlighted the broader environmental and operational goals, stating, “By capturing methane emitted from landfills and converting it into electricity, we may be able to lower our energy costs, diversify our operations, and contribute positively to the environment.”

The global cryptocurrency mining sector is on a quest for sustainable energy solutions. For instance, Genesis Digital Assets Limited recently commenced operations at a hydroelectric-powered facility in Sweden, illustrating the growing trend towards eco-friendly mining practices. Additionally, Marathon itself inaugurated a 200-MW immersion-cooled plant in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City in October.

The initiative by Marathon and Nodal Power not only aligns with the global sustainability goals but also sets a precedent for other cryptocurrency mining entities to explore environmentally friendly energy alternatives.

Despite achieving a mining milestone of 2,926 Bitcoin in Q2 2023, Marathon reported earnings that fell below expectations. The firm’s Q2 revenues soared to $132.8 million, marking a 228% surge compared to the previous year.

The pilot project by Marathon Digital Holdings exhibits a pioneering effort in marrying cryptocurrency mining with renewable energy solutions, reflecting a growing consciousness within the digital asset sector towards environmental sustainability.

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US Authorities Uncover Chinese-linked Bitcoin Mining Operations

The discovery of numerous Bitcoin mining operations with ties to China on American soil has flagged serious national security concerns among US authorities. A comprehensive report published by The New York Times on October 13 unveils a substantial presence of Bitcoin data centres in the US, traceable back to the Chinese government. The proximity of some of these operations to critical military and infrastructure sites further exacerbates the apprehensions. A notable case is a mining operation in Wyoming, situated adjacent to a Microsoft data center, pivotal in supporting various Department of Defence initiatives.

Geopolitical Undercurrents

The exploration sheds light on the potential risks emerging from growing Chinese-linked mining operations amidst the escalating political discord between the United States and China. The latter’s decision to outlaw mining activities in 2021 propelled many mining entities to migrate to crypto-receptive US states like Texas and Wyoming. The broader geopolitical implications are palpable as these revelations come at a time of heightened tension between the two superpowers, with the US continually scrutinizing cryptocurrency usage by individuals and corporations affiliated with China. Moreover, six Congress members called for a thorough investigation in July, following allegations of the cryptocurrency startup Prometheum having connections to the Chinese government.

Power Grid and Infrastructure Stress

The infrastructural stress induced by these mining operations is significant. The collective energy consumption of Chinese-owned or operated Bitcoin mining facilities across at least twelve states equates to that of 1.5 million households, posing a considerable demand on the US power grid. These mining facilities, harboring specialized computers operating ceaselessly, have the potential for targeted blackouts and cyberattacks due to their substantial energy usage and the instantaneous capability to escalate or cease operations, presenting a unique challenge among large power users.

Ownership and Equipment Supply

A commonality among these mining operations is the utilization of computing equipment produced by Bitmain, a Chinese enterprise. Following China’s ban on Bitcoin mining in May 2021, there has been a noticeable uptick in equipment shipments from Bitmain to the US. The ownership structures of these mining ventures range from transparent investments by affluent Chinese nationals seeking revenue channels outside China’s jurisdiction, to more murky setups with several traceable back to the Chinese government.

The revelation of Chinese-linked Bitcoin mining operations dispersed across the US, intertwined with substantial energy consumption and potential national security threats, has garnered the attention of both US government officials and corporations. The unfolding scenario evokes pressing inquiries concerning cybersecurity, energy sustainability, and the ongoing geopolitical strain between the US and China.

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Paolo Ardoino: Tether Tests New Bitcoin Mining Platform, Moria, with Enhanced Software Control

In a recent update from Paolo Ardoino, the Chief Technology Officer of Tether, it was revealed that Tether is in the testing phase of its new Bitcoin mining platform named Moria. The announcement, made via Ardoino’s official Twitter handle on [Date], highlighted the integration of the first containers and miners into the platform.

According to the details shared, the Moria platform has undergone significant software enhancements. All Power Distribution Unit (PDU) management and miner interactions, including settings related to frequency and power, are now entirely software-driven. This level of automation ensures that any write actions on the platform necessitate multisig (multi-signature) approval, adding an extra layer of security.

Furthermore, Ardoino emphasized the platform’s peer-to-peer (P2P) capabilities, stating it’s “All P2P. Perfect for #IoT.” This suggests that Moria is designed to seamlessly integrate with Internet of Things (IoT) devices, potentially revolutionizing the way mining operations interact with smart devices.

While Ardoino described the advancements as “almost magic,” it’s essential to note that the full capabilities and potential applications of the Moria platform remain to be seen as it’s still in the testing phase.

It’s worth mentioning that while Tether is primarily known for its stablecoin, this move indicates a diversification into the Bitcoin mining sector. However, as with all technological advancements, only time will tell how this development will impact the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem. Beyond its flagship product, USDT, Tether is also expanding its business into Bitcoin mining and adoption.

On August 26, 2023, as reported by Blockchain.News, Ardoino addressed growing speculation surrounding a photo showcasing a container with the “Tether Energy” logo. Confirming the photo’s authenticity, he unveiled it as a depiction of a control room at a nearing-completion site in Latin America. This site, under the Tether Energy venture, aims to establish global partnerships for renewable energy production and Bitcoin mining. Ardoino emphasized the importance of geographically decentralizing Bitcoin mining, countering the current concentration in specific regions. The site is expected to commence operations in the coming weeks.

Earlier, on August 5, 2023, Ardoino shared insights into Tether’s development endeavors. The team is nearing the completion of advanced JavaScript libraries designed to interact with various cryptocurrency miners. These libraries, described as “really high-quality stuff,” will play a pivotal role in the Moria mining farm orchestration tool. This tool, based on technology from Holepunch.to, where Ardoino also serves as a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer, facilitates the creation of peer-to-peer (P2P) programs without servers. Ardoino hinted at the tool’s potential expansion to monitor energy production, reflecting the increasing emphasis on energy efficiency in crypto mining.

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Tether’s Bitcoin Mining Site in Latin America Plans to Start Operations in a Few Weeks

In response to growing speculation surrounding a recently posted photo, Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether and Bitfinex, took to Twitter to clarify matters. The image in question showcased a container bearing the “Tether Energy” logo, leading to a myriad of questions and theories. Some tabloids questioned the site’s authenticity, while others speculated if Ardoino had digitally superimposed the logo onto the container.

Ardoino confirmed the photo’s authenticity, revealing it as a depiction of one of the control rooms at a site nearing its completion phase in Latin America. The exact location remains undisclosed to safeguard personnel from potential harassment, especially given the heightened scrutiny Tether often finds itself under.

Tether Energy (TE) represents a new venture by Tether, aiming to establish global partnerships with local entities. The primary objective of these collaborations is to provide capital, infrastructure support, development, and expertise, all in a bid to set up renewable energy production and Bitcoin mining sites. Ardoino stressed the significance of decentralizing Bitcoin mining geographically to counteract the current concentration in specific regions.

Addressing the logo’s placement on the container, Ardoino explained that the team had anticipated the photo’s widespread media coverage and wanted to brand it for that purpose. However, he also noted that using oversized Tether logos could potentially compromise the site’s physical privacy.

Ardoino’s tweet further highlighted the site’s ongoing progress, with the team gearing up to kickstart operations in the upcoming weeks. He also shared a 3D design of the mining site, offering followers an insight into its projected appearance in the near future.

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Ault Alliance’s Sentinum Mined 909 Bitcoins this year

Ault Alliance, Inc. (NYSE American: AULT), a diversified holding company, announced on August 4, 2023, that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Sentinum, Inc., has mined a total of 909 Bitcoins from January 1, 2023, through July 31, 2023. The announcement was made in Las Vegas and includes details of the company’s Bitcoin mining activities.

The 909 Bitcoins were mined in two distinct ways. 668 Bitcoins were mined through Sentinum’s dedicated data center located in Michigan during the same period. An additional 241 Bitcoins were mined in partnership with Core Scientific, a leader in customizable infrastructure and software solutions for Blockchain networks, since the inception of the partnership on April 6, 2023.

For the month of July 2023 alone, Sentinum mined 145 Bitcoins, leading to a total annualized run rate of 1,740 Bitcoin.

Milton “Todd” Ault, III, Executive Chairman of Ault Alliance, stated, “We are excited to share our notable strides in Bitcoin mining with our stakeholders; this success underscores our strategic efficiency and dedication.” He further acknowledged the contributions of Core Scientific in achieving these figures.

The announcement also emphasizes Ault Alliance’s commitment to the exploration and utilization of Blockchain technology, contributing to the digital asset industry, and providing value to its shareholders. The company maintains transparency and open communication with its shareholders and the broader market.

Ault Alliance’s activities in the Bitcoin mining sector are subject to various factors, including volatility in the Bitcoin market price, fluctuations in mining difficulty levels, and the ability to provide the necessary power for miners. These factors may impact the results of Bitcoin mining production or operations.

Ault Alliance, Inc. is involved in various industries, including Bitcoin mining, artificial intelligence ecosystems, oil exploration, crane services, defense/aerospace, industrial, automotive, medical/biopharma, consumer electronics, hotel operations, and textiles. The company also extends credit to select entrepreneurial businesses through a licensed lending subsidiary.

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Riot Acquires Next-Gen Miners from MicroBT, Boosting Mining Capacity

Riot Platforms, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), a prominent player in the Bitcoin mining and data center hosting industry, has made a groundbreaking move by entering into a long-term purchase agreement with MicroBT Electronics Technology Co., LTD. This landmark deal involves the acquisition of 33,280 state-of-the-art Bitcoin miners manufactured in the United States by MicroBT. The agreement also includes an option for Riot to purchase an additional 66,560 miners on the same terms.

Upon full deployment in 2024, the initial purchase of 33,280 miners is expected to increase Riot’s self-mining capacity to an impressive 20.1 exahashes per second (EH/s). The order consists of the M56S+ and M56S++ models, renowned for their high hash rates and energy efficiency. With a weighted average efficiency of 22.5 joules per terahash (J/TH), these miners are designed specifically for immersion cooling systems, perfectly suited for Riot’s Corsicana Facility.

Jason Les, CEO of Riot, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership with MicroBT and the acquisition of these cutting-edge Bitcoin miners. He emphasized their power and efficiency, specifically designed for immersion cooling systems. Les added that the new miners would contribute an additional 7.6 EH/s to Riot’s self-mining capacity, further enhancing the company’s already strong fleet efficiency ahead of the upcoming Bitcoin halving.

Beyond the impact on Riot’s mining operations, the collaboration with MicroBT marks a significant milestone for the Bitcoin mining industry. By manufacturing the miners domestically, Riot and MicroBT are strengthening the United States’ supply chain and providing more options for domestically produced Bitcoin miners. MicroBT will manufacture these miners in Pittsburgh, PA, creating new employment opportunities and contributing to the local economy.

Riot’s expansion plans, coupled with the confidence displayed by MicroBT and other mining companies, highlight the positive outlook on Bitcoin’s future. This news follows Hut 8’s recent announcement of securing $50 million from Coinbase Credit to support growth initiatives and enhance financial flexibility. The continuous growth and investment in the mining sector demonstrate a strong belief in the long-term potential of Bitcoin.


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Coinbase Executives Visit UAE to Explore Potential for Crypto Operations

Executives from the US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, including CEO Brian Armstrong, have visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore the potential for crypto operations in the region. The visit comes as Coinbase seeks to expand its international presence and establish strategic hubs in key locations around the world.

During the visit, Armstrong met with policymakers and spoke at the Dubai FinTech Summit, highlighting the growing interest in the region as a destination for crypto-related businesses. The UAE has become increasingly attractive to firms in the crypto industry due to its favourable regulatory environment and abundant sources of energy, which can be used to power energy-intensive operations such as crypto mining.

Coinbase’s visit coincides with a partnership between Marathon Digital Holdings and Zero Two to create a large-scale immersion Bitcoin-mining facility in Abu Dhabi. The joint venture, called the Abu Dhabi Global Markets JV Entity, will comprise two mining sites with a combined 250-megawatt capacity and will be powered by excess energy from Abu Dhabi’s grid.

Marathon Digital’s experience in developing a custom-built immersion solution for cooling mining rigs will be key to the success of the project, particularly given the challenges posed by the desert climate in Abu Dhabi, where temperatures can reach up to 28 degrees Celsius (82 degree Fahrenheit).

The joint venture between Marathon Digital and Zero Two aims to take advantage of Abu Dhabi’s excess energy to power the mining facilities, with a view to increasing sustainability and base load. The use of liquid cooling solutions will help to overcome the challenges of the desert climate, where high temperatures make traditional air cooling methods infeasible.

Overall, the partnership between Marathon Digital and Zero Two represents a significant step forward in the development of the crypto mining industry in Abu Dhabi, as the two companies look to capitalize on the region’s excess energy and overcome the challenges of the desert climate. Coinbase’s visit to the UAE highlights the growing interest in the region as a destination for crypto-related businesses, and could pave the way for further expansion in the Middle East.


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Marathon Digital and Zero Two Partner for Abu Dhabi Bitcoin-Mining Facility

Marathon Digital Holdings and Zero Two have announced a partnership to create a large-scale immersion Bitcoin-mining facility in Abu Dhabi. The joint venture, called the Abu Dhabi Global Markets JV Entity, will be based in Mina Zayed and Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates, and will comprise two mining sites with a combined 250-megawatt capacity. Marathon and Zero Two plan to power the facilities with excess energy from Abu Dhabi’s grid, claiming it will increase its base load and sustainability.

According to Marathon Digital, crypto mining in the desert climate of Abu Dhabi, where the average annual temperature is roughly 28 degrees Celsius (82 degree Fahrenheit), was often “infeasible.” However, the company said it had helped develop a “custom-built immersion solution” to cool mining rigs at the proposed facilities, suggesting a liquid-cooling solution.

The two firms expect both Abu Dhabi facilities to be online by 2024 and produce a combined hash rate of roughly 7 EH/s. Ownership of the project will be split between Zero Two and Marathon Digital, with the two companies controlling 80% and 20%, respectively.

The move comes as executives from United States-based crypto exchange Coinbase visited the UAE to test the potential of the region as a “strategic hub” for its international operations. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong met with policymakers and spoke at the Dubai FinTech Summit.

The joint venture between Marathon Digital and Zero Two aims to take advantage of Abu Dhabi’s excess energy to power the mining facilities, with a view to increasing sustainability and base load. The use of liquid cooling solutions will help to overcome the challenges of the desert climate, where high temperatures make traditional air cooling methods infeasible.

Marathon Digital’s experience in developing a custom-built immersion solution for cooling mining rigs will be key to the success of the project. The two firms plan to have both facilities up and running by 2024, with a combined hash rate of roughly 7 EH/s.

Meanwhile, Coinbase is exploring the potential of the UAE as a strategic hub for its international operations. The visit by the company’s executives, including CEO Brian Armstrong, highlights the growing interest in the region as a destination for crypto-related businesses.

Overall, the partnership between Marathon Digital and Zero Two represents a significant step forward in the development of the crypto mining industry in Abu Dhabi, as the two companies look to capitalize on the region’s excess energy and overcome the challenges of the desert climate. With the backing of both firms, the joint venture is well-positioned to succeed and could pave the way for further expansion in the Middle East.


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Block’s 5nm Bitcoin Mining Chip Prototype

The financial services and technology business Block, which is controlled by Jack Dorsey, has just finished the prototype design of its new 5nm Bitcoin mining chip. This was done with the intention of decentralizing the supply of Bitcoin mining rigs. The business noted that the development of Bitcoin mining ASIC rigs is both financially and technically hard, which has led to an excessive concentration of the ownership of specialized mining silicon in the hands of a few number of enterprises. It is believed that miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole would suffer from the negative effects of this concentration.

In response, Block intends to make Bitcoin mining technology open source wherever it is feasible by selling standalone ASICs and other hardware components. This move is intended to enhance the size of the Bitcoin mining hardware ecosystem while also maximizing the amount of innovation that may occur inside it. Because of the actions taken by the firm over the previous few months, it will now be able to experiment with new designs, which will help the company bring Bitcoin mining chips to market that are both more efficient and less expensive.

As a means of accelerating this development drive, Block has made a significant purchase of ASIC chips from Intel, prompting the latter to stop accepting new orders for its Blockscale 1000 Series ASICs. This move was made in order to shorten the development cycle. Block expects that by purchasing these ASICs from Intel, it would be able to speed up the development of its own 3nm chip, which, upon its eventual release, the company says will be the most technologically sophisticated semiconductor to date.

The significance of ASIC development to the Bitcoin mining process is reflected in Block’s concentration on the development of these devices. ASICs are computerized devices that are tailored to accomplish a particular computational function. They are commonly used for mining proof-of-work cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which need a specific computational task to be completed. When individual components of a chip get smaller, it becomes possible to pack more transistors into a silicon die of the same size. This results in increased overall efficiency and a reduction in the amount of heat that is generated.

Although 5nm ASIC chips have been available for some time, the first 5nm ASIC was not released until 2021 by the Chinese mining company Canaan. Despite this, no company has yet made the ASIC chip designs that they produce open source. It is anticipated that Block’s dedication to open source technology will have a substantial influence on the Bitcoin mining business. This will result in additional alternatives being available to miners and will contribute to the network’s efforts to become more decentralized.


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