Crypto mining seems to be growing despite the volatility witnessed in the crypto markets. In that context, two major operators in the global blockchain industry have committed to a strategic partnership. They aim to pool their operational and technological achievements to maneuver in the nascent space.
According to a February 19 press release, the world’s second-largest Bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer, Canaan Creative, joined forces with Northern Data AG blockchain infrastructure firm to work across several fields. Specifically, the two firms plan to cooperate on artificial intelligence and blockchain development. Also, they will optimize data center operations at scale.
Global Outreach For Northern Data
For years now, Northern Data continues to focus on building out infrastructure for high-performance computing. The computing applications can extend far beyond blockchain technology. The company came about out of a merger between the United States’ Whinstone US Inc., a data center operator and Germany’s blockchain infrastructure firm Northern Bitcoin AG.
NG Zhang, Canaan Creative’s CEO, mentioned that the new partnership would enable and support the geographic expansion and technological advancement:
“Our R&D team is collaborating with Northern Data. Both sides have achieved positive results. Besides, Northern Data will provide computational resources support for our overseas R&D in the U.S. Canaan looks forward to further cooperation in product development, AI, and high-performance computing.”
Canaan’s field of expertise lies in Artificial Intelligence chip development and specialized mining hardware, including Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips. The ASIC hardware is designed to efficiently mine crypto-based on a definite hashing algorithm.
Canaan alleges that it produced at least 150 million ASICs from 2017 up to September 2019. The firm is also a pioneer of the Bitcoin-tailored 7 nanometer chip, and it was recently listed on NASDAQ. This is quite significant since it is allegedly the first China-based AI chip maker with independent intellectual property to float an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States successfully.
Norther Data AG also revealed that it plans to forge further partnerships with major blockchain and AI developers in the coming months.
At the start of the week, Canaan’s shares reached a value of $8.04, representing an increase of more than 80% from its opening price that stood at $4.42. In 2019, when the firm first launched its Nasdaq IPO, the shares had been valued at more than 75% lower than expected. It went on to lose an additional 40% by mid-December 2019.
In recent developments reported for Northern Data, the firm partnered with a subsidiary of Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings. At the same time, the Blockchain firm also allied with Texas-based data centers operator Whinstone US Inc. These partnerships were published in a February 13 announcement.
The subsidiary of the Frankfurt-based Northern Bitcoin AG, Whinstone, will host SBI Crypto at its data center located in Texas. Additionally, it will help SBI Crypto in the development of blockchain-related projects. The firm had been making plans with Northern Data and Whinstone for the Texas mining farm since early 2019, according to SBI CEO Carson Smith.
The same announcement also mentioned that SBI Crypto might invest in Northern Data equity. The new site will supposedly launch operations with an initial capacity of about 300 megawatts. It is expected to hit 1 gigawatt by the end of 2020.
The announcement appears to confirm previous analysis reports that the firms were creating a major crypto mining operation as SBI allegedly signed a deal in January with Whinstone. The deal will help the firms to process crypto transactions at a new mining facility.
Northern Bitcoin entered a merger agreement last November with Whinstone to jointly build the biggest mining farm globally. Over the past months, SBI has shown increased interest in digital currencies after it implemented technologies by blockchain consortium R3 and Ripple. These implementations are a part of its strategy to enable a global standard for financial operations, including international payments and trade finance.
Mining difficulty might plunge
Fundamentally, more miners mean that there is increasing difficulty. Nonetheless, the last three weeks have witnessed a drop in its growth rate. During the recent difficulty adjustment, the Bitcoin mining difficulty rose by 0.52%. The next adjustment coming in a few days is expected to bring it down by 0.19%, as estimated by BTC.com.