Two of the biggest bitcoin mining companies in the world are battling it out in a Texas town of 5,600 people – CNBC

Two of the biggest bitcoin mining companies in the world are battling it out in a Texas town of 5,600 people – CNBC

Riot’s Whinstone mine in Rockdale, Texas.

Riot’s Whinstone Data Center

ROCKDALE, Texas – In this rural Texas town of 5,600 people, two of the biggest names in bitcoin mining are battling it out for market share and cheap electricity.

These rivals also happen to be next-door neighbors.

Bitdeer – a firm spun off from Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain – is four-tenths of a mile down the road from Riot Blockchain, one of the biggest publicly traded mining companies in America. Both are tenants of property once occupied by aluminum maker Alcoa, but they share little else in common.

Riot’s Whinstone mine is run by a team that thrives on transparency and throws open its doors to media on a daily basis, while Bitdeer is aloof, steeped in mystery, and definitely not keen on visitors. 

“In this industry, everyone’s like, ‘Ooh, top secret, we have proprietary information!’ Well, actually, you don’t,” Whinstone CEO Chad Harris told CNBC.

“You take a cable, you plug it into a machine that somebody else built, you turn it on, you add a pool, and you mine bitcoin.”

Whinstone CEO Chad Harris takes CNBC on a tour of the largest bitcoin mine in North America.

Why Rockdale

Located an hour northeast of Austin, Rockdale looks like classic rural America. There are rolling hills, pastures of green grass, hay bales, a Walmart – which Mayor John King says is the main driver
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