Generative AI on keyboard

Iris Energy dives into generative AI amid market challenges

Block reward mining firm Iris Energy has signaled a desire to explore the emerging field of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to weather the storm of an extended bear market.

The company confirmed the purchase of 248 NVIDIA H100 GPUs to kickstart its push into AI. Valued at $10 million, Iris Energy is expected to take delivery of the GPUs from NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) before the end of the year.

CEO Daniel Roberts revealed that the foray into generative AI will open additional revenue streams for the block reward mining firm.

Unlike other mining firms weathering the bear market, Iris Energy says it has no intentions to abandon its original business model entirely. In its statement to investors, Iris Energy noted, “Bitcoin mining continues to be an attractive business for the company,” quashing claims that it will sell off any of its mining assets.

In addition to its latest purchase, the company confirmed plans to use existing data centers to achieve its short and long-term AI ambitions.

“Leveraging our next-generation data centers into generative AI is an exciting opportunity, particularly given currency industry shortages in rack space and compute,” said Roberts.

“We believe demand for sustainable computing is unlikely to go away, and feel we are uniquely positioned to capture ongoing growth in the broader industry, whether that be ASICs for Bitcoin mining or GPUs for generative AI and beyond,” he added.

With its $10 million splurge, Iris Energy says it is poised to demonstrate its AI capabilities to prospective customers and investors and will stress test the appropriateness of its data centers for the computing industry.

Several block reward mining firms have begun exploring AI technologies in a valiant effort to diversify their activities. In July, Hive Digital abandoned “Blockchain” from its name, confirming an intent to deploy nearly 38,000 NVIDIA GPUs to AI and other cloud computing tasks.

Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT) has also announced a corporate rebrand to Riot Platforms to signal its intent to explore new digital frontiers as block miners face a torrid patch.

NVIDIA rakes in the cash

As corporate entities race toward AI, NVIDIA has emerged as the biggest winner in the mad dash for generative AI. The craze pushed the company’s valuation past the $1 trillion mark for the first time despite mounting competition from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

Buoyed by extensive cash reserves, NVIDIA unveiled an advanced chipset tailored toward developing generative AI systems. NVIDIA is expected to make bulk GPU deliveries to the U.K., the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Saudi Arabia in deals running hundreds of millions of dollars.

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