Mining hardware giant Bitman has announced that its newest blockchain data center will be located in Rockdale, Texas, in Milam County.
According to a press release released today, developed of the new facility will begin in early 2019, and the company expects the center to be fully operational in about two years, bringing over 400 new jobs to the city. The company will also be investing in programs to educate and train potential employees in the workings of blockchain technology.
The facility marks an estimated $500 million investment in the local and statewide economy over a period of seven years. It also signals a growing movement for international blockchain and cryptocurrency companies to expand operations in the U.S. as a friendly regulatory climate develops.
Milam County, where the facility will be located, has seen tremendous economic weakness in recent times due to the closure of the county’s coal mines. Bitmain’s decision to locate the data facility in Milam County was first rumored by local news publication Dallas News in a July 19th report. The decision wasn’t confirmed by the company until August 6th.
Construction of the facility is already underway and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018. This will be proceeded by the initiation of the data center in the first few months of 2019, at which point the company will begin hiring and training members of the community for careers within the data center.
Jeff Stearns, executive vice president and director of operations for Bitmain, North America, spoke about the facility, saying:
“Bitmain is truly honored to announce this news and is excited to work with local partners, government and stakeholders in realizing this vision, throughout the initial set-up phase, operations and beyond.”
Bitmain’s Expansion to the US Amidst Greater Regulatory Clarity
News of Bitmain’s Texas-based blockchain data facility follows reports that the company is building similar facilities in Washington state.
This past April, the cryptocurrency giant received controversial approval to begin construction on a massive mining operation in the state. Critics of the Washington mining facility claimed that it would generate wealth for the corporation, but that the wealth wouldn’t trickle into the pockets of the employees.
Bitmain’s expansion into the United States comes as the federal government is promoting greater freedoms for fintech companies. In a recent Treasury report addressed to President Donald Trump, the U.S. Treasury Department claimed that the best regulatory environment for fintech companies (including blockchain companies) is a sandbox environment, that allows for operation and experimentation without being suffocated by regulations.
The report said in part:
“Support of innovation is critical across the regulatory system — both at the federal and state levels…Treasury supports encouraging the launch of new business models … to pursue innovative technologies to lower costs, improve customer outcomes, and improve access to credit and other services.”
In addition to expanding operations into the U.S., Hong Kong-based Bitmain has also been looking to expand operations to Brazil. The company has also successfully opened cryptocurrency mining facilities in Israel and Switzerland, securing their position as a multi-billion-dollar international powerhouse.
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