Genesis Digital Assets (GDA), is expanding its U.S. operations, having announced the opening of three newmining data centers in South Carolina.
One of GDA’s new data centers is located near Anderson, and another two are found between the towns of Union and Lockhart. The three sites all began operations this year and have a combined total capacity of 33 megawatts (MW).
Additionally, last year GDA broke ground on a 40-megawatt (mw) mining data center in Texas.
One of the world’s largest Bitcoin miners, GDA operates mines across Europe, Asia, and North America, and reportedly accounts for about 2% of the Bitcoin network’s total hash rate.
Asked about GDA’s strategic interest in the state, CEO and Founder Andrey Kim told Decrypt, “Given its abundance of clean electricity from hydro and nuclear energy sources, we consider South Carolina one of the country’s most exciting states.” He added that it’s among the most “pro-innovation states.”
GDA employed 150 local workers to construct its three new data centers.
“We were impressed to see how these local communities welcomed us so warmly as an opportunity for their economy,” Ankit Joshi, GDA’s Head of North America said.
As opposed to the state’s neighbor to the north, where a county-wide Bitcoin moratorium was enacted this year, interest in the sector appears to be growing in South Carolina.
Last year a South Carolina delegation, including State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and members of the South Carolina Emerging Tech Association Inc., took an exploratory trip to El Salvador to learn about the country’s adoption of Bitcoin.
One of GDA’s newest mining sites, the Pacolet data center, is located very close to a Lockhart Power hydroelectric plant.
Kim told Decrypt that GDA strives “to place our data centers near sources of clean energy to ensure our operations run on the most environmentally friendly energy possible.”
However, asked about the specific energy mix powering the Pacolet center, he said, “we currently do not have accurate load flow studies to determine which nodes receive hydropower.”
Bitcoin mining critics argue that due to Bitcoin’s proof-of-work consensus mechanism, even renewable-powered data centers amount to further fossil fuel use because additional mining power increases the difficulty of mining across the system.
Kim maintains that GDA’s goal is to “show the world that Bitcoin mining can be very ESG-friendly.”