Virginia Beach, Virginia isn’t exactly known as a hotbed of bitcoin mining activity, but that appears to be changing, and soon. A local company has sunk 65 million USD into a giant facility, as the resort town attempts to become a hub for data centers.
It almost wasn’t to be. Local firm Bcause, LLC was actually looking to plunk down their 65 million dollars elsewhere. And then its hometown, Virginia Beach, Virginia cut business property taxes for data centers at the end of last year, according to The Virginian-Pilot online newspaper. The city’s Director of Economic Development, Warren Harris, told the paper, “We’re poised to be a hub for data centers. To reduce that tax has put us in a very, very competitive position.”
If mining facility news seems to be saturating headlines of late, that’s for good reason. Enthusiasts in the crypto world are used to instantaneous, frictionless, easy, quick. And for the most part that’s what it is. However, in the physical world there are still a myriad of limitations when it comes to brick and mortar construction: permits, haggling with politicians over their cut, and so forth.
What the ecosystem witnesses now is the fruit of thousands of percent run-ups in bitcoin prices last year. So even though its price might’ve shaved much of those gains down, decisions were made back then which result in concrete being poured now.
Virginia Beach, Virginia rests on the southeast coast of the state, and it is cooled by the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean; it can also get quite hot and humid in the Summer – a climate fact usually making mining operations less hospitable. It’s home to religionists such as Pat Robertson’s CBN television outfit, but makes room for paranormal advocate Edgar Cayce and his devotees. It’s also a place filled with history, as its Cape Henry hosted the first English colonists to arrive.
The city is once again hoping to make history some four centuries later. It awarded Bcause “a $500,000 grant for the expansion. The company will add 100 full-time employees with an average annual salary of $60,000,” the local paper reported.
Bcause LLC, only five years old, has a pretty great grasp of what bitcoin means. Its founder, Tom Flake, makes an elevator pitch for why the world’s most popular cryptocurrency matters (see video below). He describes it as having solved the age-old third party trust problem, which is spot-on. The data center is meant for more ordinary people to participate in bitcoin, and interestingly he mentions bitcoin cash mining as well, by way of the mining process. For under five thousand dollars a year, individuals can lease a machine. Thus, Bcause eliminates many barriers to entry for average folks in terms of machinery, noise, housing, and heat.
According to the paper, Mr. Flake insists the facility’s 84,000 square feet of space will be the largest data center of its kind in North America.