Layer1 Technologies, the US-based Bitcoin mining company backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, today announced the opening of its West Texas-based mining facility.
The facility has “multiple 2.5-megawatt liquid-cooled containers” operational, according to a release, with plans to scale up to 100MW (megawatts) of total energy usage in the coming months. Layer1 hopes to increase the share of Bitcoin mining happening within the United States, with plans to exceed 2% of the total hashrate once it hits that 100MW tally—and aims to reach 30% by the end of 2021.
Layer1 relies on renewable energy for mining and calls itself the first “vertically-integrated” Bitcoin mining company, as it produces its own proprietary ASIC chips, mining containers, and power procurement and development.
"We are already delivering on our vision of making Layer1 the world leader in vertically integrated, sustainable Bitcoin mining," said co-founder and CEO Alexander Liegl, in a release. "Our factory in West Texas is a game changer in Bitcoin mining. The facility uses custom ASIC chips and patent-pending liquid cooling technology that enables us to unlock warmer climates—where others cannot—and benefit from the world's largest supply of low-cost, sustainable local energy."
In October, Layer1 announced a $50 million Series A funding round including contributions by Thiel and Shasta Ventures. The company had previously secured $2.3 million in seed funding in late 2018 from Thiel and others.
Texas has recently seen something of a gold rush from companies eager to build enormous crypto mining operations. Northern Data AG and Whinstone US are currently building out a 100-acre facility that’s planned to reach 1GW (gigawatt) capacity when complete, with the first phase expected to top 300MW alone.
Japan’s SBI Crypto was recently announced as one of the first companies that will utilize that facility. Meanwhile, Bitmain opened a Rockdale, Texas facility in October, but hit a setback when it ended its operational partnership with DMG Blockchain Solutions in January.