Block reward mining was once the bastion of digital currency enthusiasts or Chinese companies chasing quick riches. Lately, interest seems to be coming from quasi-institutional forces—from high net-worth individuals to publicly listed multinational companies.
The company placed an order to purchase up to 800 digital currency mining machines that will be deployed at facilities in Southeast Asia. The pivot is to allow SMI’s retail and institutional clients access to digital currency-related mining services. Its clients will be able to select from three options: buying, leasing, or fractional time-based ownership of the mining machines.
According to Mark Bedingham, the firm’s CEO, “This is significant progress for SMI as we move towards technology-based SaaS businesses and help increase access of cryptocurrency mining for retail customers while generating substantial shareholder value.”
The blockchain mining hardware will be delivered to facilities over the next two to three months. Once the machines are operational, SMI plans to continue forward with its option to order up to 4,000 additional mining rigs. The models include Bitmain’s Antminer S19j and MicroBT’s Whatsminer M31S+.
Listed on the main board of the Singapore Stock Exchange, SMI previously focused on other sectors, including travel and retail, auto, construction services, and logistics. Last month, the company said it was shifting its business toward software services that would include a digital currency cloud mining platform initially focused on the BTC token, Filecoin, and Chia.
SMI is working with Nasdaq-listed Chinese Internet company, The9 (NASDAQ: NCTY) for its new blockchain mining initiative—having entered into a non-binding MOU last July. The company has also secured support services from Hang Zhou Suan Li Technology Co Ltd (NHASH), a digital currency cloud-mining and blockchain SaaS company.
“SMI is delighted to embark on this initial range of mining products and services, making it easier for customers in our region to participate in cryptocurrency mining. We will continue to work with The9 and other partners to bring a range of other leading digital products and services to market, as we pivot SMI away from its traditional businesses,” Bedingham said earlier.
Per the July announcement, SMI aims to launch its digital currency mining business in Q4 2021.
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