GMO Internet, a publicly listed IT firm in Japan, has officially launched its cryptocurrency mining operation.
The mining unit was previously unveiled in September, with a goal of going live with it in the first quarter of 2018. GMO has pursued a number of cryptocurrency-related business lines in the past year, including an exchange platform it opened in the spring and a bitcoin-focused payroll service unveiled earlier this month.
According to today's announcement, the new facility is based in northern Europe. And while the firm declined to name its exact location, GMO indicated that the mine will draw electricity from geothermal and hydropower sources. As reported earlier, the mining facility will be equipped with a computing power at 500 petahashes per second (PH/s).
"The cryptocurrency mining business will use existing technology to mine from facilities (mining centers) in Northern Europe. GMO Internet will increase the size of the operation in phases, expanding the business," GMO said in its statement.
The announcement also confirms previously suggested plans to develop a cloud mining service, through which it would sell excess hashing power and the associated rewards (when a new block is added to a blockchain by a miner, that miner receives new coins in return) to consumers.
GMO also appears to be taking a bullish approach to its mining business in the long-term.
For example, the publicly traded firm plans to begin upgrading its chips in the first half of next year. Supporting that effort is research into new mining chips being developed with as-yet-to-be-revealed partners.
Pending the outcome of that process, GMO indicated that it would move to begin selling mining hardware.
"After the company has gained a certain level of operational experience, it will work on initiatives including [the] provision of a cloud mining service and selling next-generation mining boards equipped with mining chips," the firm said in the statement.
Bitcoin mining photo via Shutterstock