The NASDAQ-listed Bitcoin mining firm Iris Energy (IREN) announced plans on Tuesday to boost its hash rate capacity by 63% to 9.1 exahashes per second (EH/s) by early 2024. 

Iris is in the process of building 80MW of data center space to finish off phase 1 of its 600MW site in Childress, Texas.

“Near-term focus remains on data center construction, whilst retaining flexibility on timing for miner purchases, which is subject to funding and market conditions,” the company wrote in a press release

Since publishing its expansion plans, the company’s shares have popped 21% on the day from $3.55 to $4.14, and puts Iris a whopping 247% in the green year to date.


Iris’s current hash rate capacity is 5.6 EH/s, in line with projections from February when the firm planned to nearly triple its capacity from a relatively meager 2.0 EH/s. The firm was forced to slash its capacity by 3.6 EH/s in November, after being forced to turn off numerous machines used as collateral for $103 million in loans.

The lender behind those loans is still seeking remedies, according to Iris. During a hearing with the Supreme Court of British Columbia last week, the lender sought to ensure any profits generated by Iris through additional Bitcoin mining are used as collateral to secure its lending facilities. 

“The Company believes these claims are without merit,” Iris said. 

The mining firm is also waiting on “additional long-lead items” for phase 2 of its infrastructure buildout, which “is expected to “unlock about 13.6 EH/s1 of data center capacity.”


Given the company’s access to cheap, renewable energy and large data center capacity, Iris is even considering branching out into “energy intensive compute applications,” such as artificial intelligence. Iris claimed to have put “significant time” into exploring this strategy 3-4 years ago, including through a memorandum of understanding with Dell Technologies in March 2020.

“Recent discussions with market participants have further validated this previous work and that the time may be right to expand into this sector, utilizing Iris Energy’s four existing operating sites,” said the firm.

In addition to Childress, Iris Energy has 3 datacenters located in British Columbia, and one in Childress, Texas, where its new expansion efforts are being focused.

Other mining companies including Blockstream and CleanSpark have also announced major investments into mining capacity this year as Bitcoin’s price rebounds from its post-FTX lows. 

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