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Iris Energy to triple Bitcoin mining capacity with purchase of thousands of new rigs

In recent months, crypto miners have faced multiple challenges, such as low Bitcoin prices, high hash rates, great mining difficulty, and high energy prices

Shashank Bhardwaj
Published: Feb 16, 2023 06:32:37 PM IST

Iris Energy to triple Bitcoin mining capacity with purchase of thousands of new rigsImage: Shutterstock

Iris Energy, a BTC mining company based in Australia, has announced that it will significantly increase its mining capacity by adding thousands of new mining rigs.

Specifically, the company has purchased a large number of Bitmain Antminer S19j Pro ASIC miners, which will add 4.4 exahashes per second (EH/s) to its existing capacity. With this addition, Iris Energy's total self-mining capacity will increase to 5.5 EH/s from its previous capacity of 2.0 EH/s.

The newly purchased Bitmain Antminer S19j Pro ASIC miners have a maximum hash rate of 100 terahashes per second (TH/s), so Iris Energy has effectively added around 44,000 miners to its mining fleet.

This purchase is a major achievement for the company, according to Daniel Roberts, one of its co-founders and co-CEOs. He also noted that the recent period has been difficult for the industry and the market as a whole.

Iris Energy has not specified where the new miners will be installed in its centres, but it has four facilities located in British Columbia, Canada, and Texas, United States.

To fund the purchase of the new rigs, the company used $67 million of the remaining prepayments it had made to ASIC miner manufacturer Bitmain without any additional cash payments.

Iris Energy had a contract with Bitmain for 10 EH/s which it has now fully resolved with no remaining obligations. Additionally, the company has stated that it is currently debt-free.

Iris Energy has mentioned that it is exploring the possibility of selling any surplus miners that are above its current 5.5 EH/s of mining capacity in order to reinvest the funds. It is not clear how many excess miners the company may have at this time.

In November of last year, Iris Energy was forced to disconnect some of its miners, which were used as collateral for a loan of $107.8 million. This was due to the miners producing insufficient cash flow to cover their respective debt financing obligations.

In recent months, crypto miners have faced multiple challenges, such as low Bitcoin prices, high hash rates, great mining difficulty, and high energy prices.

As a result, publicly listed Bitcoin mining companies have been under significant pressure, leading them to sell off almost all of the BTC they mined in 2022.

According to blockchain research firm Messari, Iris Energy sold approximately 100 percent of the nearly 2,500 BTC it mined in that year.

The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash