Iris Energy, a Nasdaq-listed Bitcoin mining company, has revealed its plans to expand its operations to meet the growing demand for data centers for Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications.

Expansion Plans

In a press release, the company announced that it will expand to 9.1 EH/s (exahashes per second) and revamp its high-performance computing (HPC) data center strategy. An exahash (EH/s) is a measure of the computational power that Bitcoin mining networks possess, indicating how quickly they can perform calculations required to secure transactions. The company hopes that these changes will increase its potential operating capacity by over 63% from 5.6 EH/s to 9.1 EH/s1. Iris Energy aims to complete the shift to high-performance computing by early 2024.

Rising Interest in AI

The announcement comes amid the heightened interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The Bitcoin mining company says that it has been exploring this expansion strategy for four years. In March 2020, the company signed a strategic memorandum of understanding with Dell Technologies to test and develop potential data center solutions for energy-intensive applications, including leveraging Dell Technologies’ HPC and AI expertise.

Stock Prices Surge

According to Tirias research, the demand for data center space for AI could grow to $76 billion by 2028. After Iris Energy announced its expansion plans for its data centers, the company’s shares jumped nearly 21% on the day, from $3.55 to $4.14. The share prices are up a further 2.5% in pre-market trading at press time. Bitcoin miners Hut 8 and Hive have also announced pivots to AI, and they also saw a sharp surge in their stock prices. Hut 8 Mining Corp.’s new high-performance computing division generated $4.5 million of monthly recurring revenue in Q1 2023, contributing more than 20% of the crypto miner’s first-quarter sales.

Shift to Cloud Computing and AI

As Proof of Stake does not require large amounts of computing power and data centers, Ethereum miners started looking for other options, including AI applications and cloud computing. Canadian crypto miner Hive Blockchain (HIVE) announced its plans to launch ‘HIVE Performance Cloud’ later this year. The crypto miner also revealed that it is currently running a pilot project at a Tier 3 data center for cloud computing utilizing Nvidia GPUs. Nvidia also became a trillion-dollar company this year after it revealed high-end graphics cards for AI and virtual reality.

Iris Energy’s plans to expand its operations to meet the growing demand for data centers for AI applications is a positive move for the company. With the rising interest in AI, the demand for data center space for AI is set to grow to $76 billion by 2028. Iris Energy, Hut 8, and Hive are among the Bitcoin miners that have announced pivots to AI, and they have seen a sharp surge in their stock prices. With these developments, it is clear that the shift to cloud computing and AI is well underway.

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