A single China-based mining operation reportedly plans to move 1 million Bitcoin mining rigs to Canada over the next 24 months with the help of a U.S. company.
The partnership between Optimum Mining Host (OMH) and Black Rock Petroleum Company (BRPC) could offer a glimpse at the scale of the mining operations being forced to leave China because of the country's restrictions on cryptocurrencies. Or it could be a sign that companies want to cash in on the uncertainty of Bitcoin's future.
BRPC said it plans to "host and operate up to one million Bit miners" for OMH "across three Natural Gas producing sites located in Alberta Canada." The first 200,000 units are set to be hosted at the Quirk Creek plant near Millarville, Alberta, and it seems that BRPC and OMH would split the costs of maintaining the devices.
It's worth noting that, at least in our searches, mentions of OMH begin and end with this announcement. BRPC's website also relies exclusively on stock imagery, and founder Zoltan Nagy is also said to be "President and Principal Controlling Executive Officer" as well as "Financial & Accounting Officer, Treasurer, Secretary, Director."
BRPC is also listed on OTC Markets, which has more lax requirements than the likes of the New York Stock Exchange or NASDAQ, under the BKRP ticker symbol. But if the announcement was meant to buoy the company's share price, it didn't work. That price fell from $3.04 on July 15 to $2.26 at the time of writing and was declining even before the rest of the market crashed because of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Even without this deal, there are signs that China-based Bitcoin mining operations plan to move to the U.S. and Canada in pursuit of cheap energy, privacy protections, and the relative stability of their regulations for cryptocurrency mining. There are also reports of miners planning to move hundreds of thousands of mining rigs.
Companies planning to move up to a million systems used for Bitcoin mining wouldn't be outside the realm of possibility, then, even if it's hard to fathom multiple operations devoting that much hardware to the cryptocurrency. Whether or not BRPC will be the first company to facilitate that great migration remains to be seen.
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Nathaniel Mott is a freelance news and features writer for Tom's Hardware US, covering breaking news, security, and the silliest aspects of the tech industry.