Continuing a busy start to 2020 for the company, Riot Blockchain announced today that it has received another 1,067 S17 Pro Antminers from Chinese Bitcoin mining firm Bitmain for its dedicated Oklahoma City mining facility.
The second shipment joins the first batch of approximately 3,000 S17 units, which were received in December 2019 and announced to be operational as of early January. Riot Blockchain expects to have the additional machines up and running within seven business days, completing its planned upgrade of the facility.
According to a release, the Nasdaq-listed public company expects an aggregate operating hashrate of 248 petahash per second, which is about a 240% increase over the rate seen by the company late last year. Riot Blockchain expects that the full deployment will utilize about 90% of its current 12MW (megawatt) electric supply capacity.
Riot purchased the 4,000 new miners for $6.45 million from Bitmain, as announced in December. The majority of the company’s 7,500 previous S9 miners are being taken offline in favor of the new units.
The latest expansion news comes less than two weeks after Riot Blockchain announced that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) concluded its investigation into the company without recommending any enforcement.
Riot first disclosed the investigation in April 2018, just months after changing its name from Bioptix and shifting its focus from biotech to crypto mining. The SEC sought documents and was reportedly concerned about companies rapidly pivoting to crypto as a way to boost interest from investors and juice stock prices. Riot Blockchain appears to be free and clear for now, however.
Riot’s recent expansion in Oklahoma City follows a wave of interest from other firms in establishing crypto mining facilities one state south in Texas. Bitcoin mining company Bitmain opened a facility in Rockdale, Texas in October, with plans to expand its initial energy capacity of 50MW to as much as 300MW. However, Bitmain ended its operational partnership with DMG Blockchain Solutions for the facility in January, leaving its future unclear.
Additionally, in November, Whinstone US, Inc. and Northern Bitcoin AG announced plans to build out a Texas facility that would eventually have a total energy capacity of 1GW (gigawatt). It’s set to be built in three phases, with the first phase beginning construction this quarter and expected to top 300MW of capacity alone.