Argo Blockchain and Core Scientific have agreed to exchange thousands of bitcoin miners as part of Argo’s move to manage its own cryptocurrency mining farms.
Under the terms of the fleet swap deal announced on Monday, Core will take delivery of Argo’s existing Bitmain Antminer S19 bitcoin miners, which are already hosted at Core, under the terms of the fleet swap. This fleet, with a capacity of 958 petahashes per second (PH/s), indicates that Core will get around 10,000 units, since the Antminer S19’s maximum hash rate is 95 terahashes per second (TH/s).
On the other hand, Argo will receive a fleet of Bitmain Antminer S19J Pro bitcoin miners with a total capacity of 967 PH/s purchased by Core. Argo will get about 9,000 units due to the S19J Pro’s maximal hash rate of 110 TH/s. Argo is presently constructing Helios, an 800-megawatt plant in Texas that might cost up to $2 billion to develop. These S19J Pro miners will be used on-site and will account for 60% of the company’s total mining capacity. Argo is also planning to acquire Intel’s bitcoin mining chips.
According to the announcement, the fleet swap arrangement would reduce the publicly listed bitcoin miner’s expenses as it transitions from third-party hosting to operating its own facilities. Argo announced plans to raise financing for its Helios facility via a public offering in November 2021. Argo will receive bitcoin miner consignments in stages in order to avoid significant hash rate loss during the fleet changeover procedure. Between May and July, the delivery procedure will take place.
Wolfie Zhao, a researcher at The Block Research, says that Core’s operations should be even more efficient because the fleet swap allows Core to keep mining on Argo’s hardware that is already on site.