Tokyo-based GMO Internet Group, which was previously mainly engaged in providing of web hosting and a range of other digital services, now plans to expand its portfolio by entering cryptocurrency mining business.
According to the notice, published on the company’s website today, GMO’s professionals believe that cryptocurrencies will develop into “new universal currencies” available for use by anyone from any country or region to freely exchange “value,” creating a “new borderless economic zone.”
In a situation when cryptocurrencies become more and more widely used penetrating even more spheres of peoples’ lives than ever, it is important for them (esp. for Bitcoin, as GMO plans to deal Bitcoin mining business) to secure their reliability in order to further develop and spread.
In such a way, GMO Internet Group aims to “support sound management of Bitcoins by leveraging their accumulated know-how on Internet Infrastructure business and Internet Finance business [and by investing of more than $320M into the sphere]”.
GMO Internet Group indicated its plans to develop in four main directions:
- Operation of the next-generation mining center – the plan is to operate the center in Nothern Europe, where the company will have access to plentiful supply of renewable energy. Within this course the company also plans to develop own mining chips, which, they claim, will use 7 nanometer nodes. Such chips are believed to be four times more energy efficient than the current standard of 16 nm nodes. In case such chips are successfully introduced, the arms race within the bitcoin mining industry is likely to emerge, as all other miners will have to upgrade to stay in the game or to create their own 7 nm chips.
- Cloud mining business – this service allows individuals and business operators to easily access mining by providing a platform where the funds for mining equipment will be raised from users and the earnings will be distributed to users as received.
- Sales of next-generation mining boards – GMO Internet Group plans to purchase manufactured mining boards to equip them with specialized mining chips for further resale.
- Supply of cryptocurrencies to GMO Coin, Inc. – the plan is to supply mined bitcoin to group digital asset exchange company GMO Coin.
With all that said, we can see that GMO’s business model for its mining unit partly resembles that of China’s Bitmain, especially if to recall the Bitmain’s profile, which includes designing of the silicon for its bitcoin mining rigs; assembling and selling of the machines; operating of its own mining facilities; running of vast bitcoin mines, and managing of several of the world’s largest mining pools.
According to the notice, GMO Internet Group plans to invest more than 10% of its non-current assets, which constitute around $320 million. Bitmain, which received $50M of investments from Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital few days ago, had no comment yet.
The official launch of the business is currently scheduled at first half of 2018.