This week, the cities of Butte and Anaconda, Montana, learned bitcoin mining company Crypto Watt LLC secured 53 acres on which they plan to invest at least 75 million USD to facilitate the process of how the world’s most popular cryptocurrency’s transactions are authenticated and confirmed.
Montana to be a Bitcoin Mining Hub
Just two months ago, MSE Technologies in Butte, Montana employed 50 engineers. Today, it’s contracting like crazy, shedding half its work staff, selling off its holdings, and trying to stay afloat amid tax arrears going back three years and other fiscal headaches. It’s perhaps a real life metaphor for out with the old, in with the new.
Companies like MSE were propped up by subsidies and Acts of Congress as far back as the 1970s, when over 150 million USD in tax dollars went to build the sprawling 53 acre site. As congress was reigned in a tad with regard to earmarks, money dried up and so did the MSE business.
Whereas government cheese-dependent business has been vanquished, a new kid has come to town, Crypto Watt, part of holding company The Burrell Group. Its companies include osteopathic colleges and bitcoin mining. In Montana’s industrial sector, it has gobbled up the languishing MSE property which now “is expected to be transformed into a bitcoin mining operation by the beginning of March” according to local reports.
The company hopes to employ 50 people at the site, and believes its investment will see between 75 and 100 million USD to get it up to par as a data center. Crypto Watt CEO Dan Burrell assured: “We’re confident we have a sustainable business model. We’re in this for the long term,” he told The Montana Standard.
Data centers are key to the broader bitcoin project going forward as fewer coins are available to be mined and computation becomes ever more difficult. The climate of Montana is conducive to bitcoin mining. Located in the West and Northern-most part of the US, bordering Canada, Montana is very cold for a substantial part of the year. Mr. Burrell also mentioned the Butte and Anaconda sites could be used to mine other cryptos along with bitcoin, and that the sites could double as space for retail investors to mine as well.
This would be the second large mining operation to find Montana in as many years. Back in 2016, Project Spokane, LLC launched its site near Missoula. It’s already one of the largest energy consumers in the region, housing a 20 megawatt facility, employing at least 25 locals.
Burrell Vice President Scott Mosebach explained: “We’ll be training employees to maintain the data center that we would be building in another location. The underlying technology which this is a product of is exciting from an investment standpoint,” he urged. “This is obviously going to be revolutionary.”
Crypto Watt has already attracted Global Blockchain Tech, a Canadian company which said it would use the facilities in Anaconda and Butte, and is expected to be up and running by March.