Intel Chip Plant, New Home for 3G Venture Mining in Colorado

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Intel Chip Plant, New Home for 3G Venture Mining in Colorado

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The California-based firm 3G Venture II has purchase part of an ex-Intel chip plant which it will use for its mining operation, writes Bitcoinist.

The $13 million purchase of the Intel facility in Colorado Springs will certainly complement the towns’ current IT mood, which has attracted some major projects there over past years. Colorado Springs, 60 miles south of Denver is the largest city by area in Colorado as well as the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County.

The town has had a high-tech history in the past with Intel originally setting their plant up there in 2000. This was followed by other IT companies such as telecommunications giant Verizon and Hewlett Packard also opening offices there. A  large percentage of Colorado Springs’ economy is now based on manufacturing high tech and complex electronic equipment.

The Intel semiconductor plant, which originally had its own substation and electricity network spread over a 1.4 million square area closed in 2009 due to a decline in the industry and has remained abandoned since then. 3G Venture has said that they plan to lease the remaining space not required for their mining operation to industrial tenants. The retained usable mining area consists of three buildings over 85,000 square feet.

The world cryptocurrency mining scrabble has been well reported; companies seeking the ideal location to get the right blend of temperature and a cheap power supply in order to reduce cost and maximize profits has become a race in some countries. Among stiff competition around the world, companies are finding it increasingly difficult to find locations suitable for Bitcoin mining. Iceland has become the mining location of choice due to its cheap geothermal resources, but already miners are using more than the country’s citizens do.  Venezuelans are turning to Bitcoin mining in order to combat hyperinflation.

Mining companies’ biggest costs come from the electricity needed to power and cool the hardware in the process. In terms of power consumption, one analysis estimated mid-2017 weekly Bitcoin transactions totaling 302,150 consuming the same power as 268,990 average homes, although other reports suggest this figure doubles every six months.

Colorado Springs joins other US states buying up large disused plants with a view to mining. Crypto company Coinmint announced recently its take over of a former Alcoa aluminum smelting facility in New York State, a move that would make it one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency mining centers.

What Colorado Springs does offer is electricity prices at 21% below the national average, an extra incentive for choosing the town as a location with power at 7.94 cents per kilowatt-hour. The pricing is no accident as the city has been attempting to lure new businesses to the area, succeeding in attracting both Walmart and FedEx who have now opened data centers. Both companies are reported to have benefited from the lower power costs.

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