Byron Bay to Host Renewable Energy Bitcoin Mine, Despite ASX Listing Refusal

October 27, 2021, 9:15 AM AEST - 1 month ago

Australia’s easternmost beachside town of Byron Bay in northern NSW will be the site of the country’s largest bitcoin mine, powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Digital infrastructure provider Mawson Infrastructure Group has partnered with Quinbrook Infrastructure Partners, a Gold Coast-based investment manager with a track record in renewable energy infrastructure in the US.

The initial 20MW site, set to go online by the end of this month, will allow crypto miner and digital assets manager Mawson, headquartered in Sydney with operations in the US and Australia, to establish a strategic nexus with Quinbrook.

Byron Set to Become a Hub of Blockchain Technology

Mawson will deploy a new generation Modular Data Centre (MDC) specifically designed for Australian conditions at the Byron Bay facility, which will add approximately 0.4 EH (exahash, a measure of computing power) to global operations. The company’s charter is to match energy infrastructure with next-generation mobile data centre solutions, enabling the proliferation of blockchain technology.

According to Mawson CEO and founder James Manning, the company seeks to identify renewable energy projects, specifically sustainable bitcoin mining, in the transition to a decarbonised society.

Quinbrook’s deep experience in energy and focus on ESG [environmental, social and governance] investment principles made this first project an obvious choice. Our partnership reflects our joint view that renewable energy will be key to future data centre infrastructure.

James Manning, CEO and founder, Mawson Infrastructure Group

Quinbrook’s current portfolio exceeds 17GW of onshore wind, solar PV, reserve peaking power, battery storage projects, grid support and infrastructure, virtual power plants and community energy networks across the US, UK and Australia.

The company manages the Cape Byron Infrastructure Fund, which owns and operates a portfolio of biomass power stations near Byron Bay township. The Mawson mine is co-located inside one Quinbrook facility, and has been amended to satisfy Australian workplace health and safety standards. These standards differ from those in the US, where Mawson operates cryptocurrency mines in Georgia and Pennsylvania.

The two partners have negotiated a profit-sharing arrangement after direct operating costs.

ASX Refused to List the Company

Mawson listed on the NASDAQ earlier this year after raising $US37 million (A$49.6 million) at a $1 billion valuation. At the time, after a 12-month battle to list with the Australian Securities Exchange, the company said it was “saddened” by the ASX’s refusal to allow cryptocurrency-exposed businesses to list locally.

We just couldn’t get any certainty from the ASX that they’d actually list us. We were getting feedback like, ‘we don’t like your industry, it’s not mature enough, we don’t know about the underlying product’.

James Manning, CEO and founder, Mawson Infrastructure Group

At the time of writing, Mawson – formerly Cosmos Capital – was trading at $US9.50 a share, with a market cap of $US655.51 million. In August, Mawson bought 17,352 bitcoin mining rigs from Chinese manufacturer Canaan Creative.

A month earlier, as also reported by Crypto News Australia, Mawson had acquired a 90 percent majority stake in US bitcoin mining facility Luna Squares, pushing its hash power beyond 12MW.

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