Blockchain investment firm acquires Swedish colocation provider Hydro66

Canadian investment firm Arctic Blockchain has acquired renewably powered colocation specialist Hydro66 to cash in on demand for datacentre capacity from cryptocurrency miners

Swedish colocation provider Hydro66 has been acquired by a Canadian blockchain investment company, as it reinforces its commitment to expanding its renewable energy-powered datacentres.

Hydro66 opened for business in October 2015, with a capacity of 3.2MW, and in that time has attracted a mix of enterprise colocation clients and wholesale cryptocurrency customers.

In response to this demand, the firm has vowed to expand the capacity of its facility, which runs on hydroelectricity supplied by the neighbouring Lule River in Sweden, to 40MW by early 2019.

The company’s acquirer, Arctic Blockchain, said the deal would pave the way for it to enter the cryptocurrency mining market, while lending support for Hydro66’s wider growth plans, on the back of a $10m CAD funding round.

“After assessing several opportunities to enter the crypto-mining space we identified that businesses which own and control physical assets, land, buildings and power, as well as having deep technical experience, would be best suited to profit in this evolving marketplace,” said Arctic Blockchain CEO Richard Patricio.

“Hydro66 stands apart from the field, and the asset base we have invested in and are aiding to build will have real value in the future for cryptocurrency, the blockchain and high-performance computing.”

The Hydro66 senior management team will continue to lead the organisation, with supplementary board support from Artic Blockchain’s leadership team, with a view to listing the company on the Canadian Stock Exchange in the second quarter of 2018.

“The additional capital not only gives us further confidence in our plans, but allows us to be opportunistic in our thinking,” said Hydro66 chairman David Rowe. “The path towards a public listing will provide access to larger pools of capital as we expand our ambitions and footprint.”

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Scandinavia, as a whole, is fast becoming a popular datacentre location for cryptocurrency mining firms now the industry’s rampant energy consumption has started to attract the attention of regulators and environmental lobbyists.

Compared with the UK, Scandinavia’s energy costs are markedly lower, and the region also benefits from having abundant supplies of hydroelectric and geothermal renewable power, making it an attractive location for cryptocurrency mining firms operating on narrow margins.

Paul Morrison, business development manager at Hydro66, said the environmentally friendliness of its datacentre operations had proven an attractive lure for both its enterprise colocation clients, as well as its cryptocurrency-mining tenants.

“Northern Sweden is the perfect location for datacentres, with masses of low-cost renewable energy and a cool climate,” he told Computer Weekly.

“Our enterprise colocation clients and our cryptocurrency miners recognise this unique combination and we are delighted to expand the scope of what we are doing in a truly sustainable way.”

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