Feb 9, 2022 - Economy

Bitcoin data center grabs $385M in Series C financing

Illustration of a pot of Bitcoins at the end of a rainbow.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Decarbonizing crypto is getting some big cash. Compute North raised $385 million in a Series C equity and debt financing that will fund its interruptible digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: The Minnesota-based company counts Bitcoin miners as a sizable chunk of its client base. But it addresses climate concerns around mining by halting its operations when electricity demand soars on the grid.

  • Chief financial officer Tad Piper tells Axios that clients might face between 1-5% annual downtime, but leveraging blockchain technology enables Compute North to deliver 80% in cost savings.
  • “A traditional datacenter bills itself as running 24/7,” Piper said. “What’s fundamentally different is we have the ability to turn off our datacenter in times when the grid needs that power.”
  • In January, Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, sent letters to six cryptomining companies about their energy consumption. Compute North tells Axios that “a couple of our current customers were sent the letter.”

Details: Compute North specifically sought investments from firms engaged in clean energy and cleantech. The funding round was led by Mercuria, Generate Capital and National Grid Partners.

  • “The position of Compute North — to be part of the evolution of the grid — is why we’re bringing in the investors that we are,” Piper said. “People who believe in the energy transition and believe that these tools are crucial.”
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