Given the difficult conditions that Bitcoin miners faced last year, Iris’ co-founder described the purchase as a “significant milestone” for the company.
Iris Energy, a Bitcoin mining company based in Australia, has announced that it will nearly triple its mining capacity by adding thousands of mining rigs.
On February 13, the company announced the purchase of 4.4 exahashes per second (EH/s) of Bitmain Antminer S19j Pro ASIC miners, increasing its self-mining capacity to 5.5 EH/s from 2.0 EH/s.
According to Cointelegraph’s calculations, the purchase adds an estimated 44,000 miners to its fleet based on the S19j Pro’s maximum hash rate of 100 terahashes per second (TH/s).
Iris co-founder and CEO Daniel Roberts said the acquisition “is a significant milestone” for the company, adding that it has been a “challenging period for both the industry and markets more broadly.”
Iris stated that the new miners will be installed in the company’s centers but did not specify which ones. The company operates three facilities in British Columbia, Canada, and one in Texas, United States.
The remaining prepayments to ASIC miner manufacturer Bitmain were used to fund the purchase of the rigs “without any additional cash outlay.”
Iris had a contract with Bitmain for 10 EH/s, which it claims “has been fully resolved, with no remaining commitments.” It stated that it is debt-free.
The company also stated that it is considering selling surplus miners above its 5.5 EH/s mining capacity in order to reinvest the funds.
The company was forced to unplug miners used as collateral on a $107.8 million loan last November because the units were producing “insufficient cash flow to service their respective debt financing obligations.”
In recent months, cryptocurrency miners have been squeezed from all sides, with low Bitcoin prices, high hash rates, high mining difficulty, and high energy prices.
The pressure caused publicly traded Bitcoin mining companies to sell almost all of the BTC mined in 2022, according to data from blockchain research firm Messari, which shows Iris sold nearly all of the nearly 2,500 BTC it mined that year.
According to a February Hashrate Index analysis, publicly traded miners increased their production in January, aided by better weather and stable electricity prices. Iris produced 172 BTC in January, compared to 123 BTC in December.