Argo Blockchain and Core Scientific have agreed to swap thousands of bitcoin miners as part of Argo’s pivot to operating its own crypto mining farms.
The fleet swap agreement published on Monday will see Core take delivery of Argo’s existing Bitmain Antminer S19 bitcoin miners already hosted at Core. This fleet with a capacity of 958 petahashes per second (PH/s) means that Core will be receiving approximately 10,000 units since the maximum hash rate of the Antminer S19 is 95 terahashes per second (TH/s).
Argo, on the other hand, will receive Core’s previously ordered fleet of Bitmain Antminer S19J Pro bitcoin miners with a total capacity of 967 PH/s. Since the S19J Pro has a maximum hash rate of 110 TH/s, Argo will be receiving approximately 9,000 units.
Argo is currently building an 800-megawatt facility in Texas, known as Helios, that could cost up to $2 billion to construct. These S19J Pro miners will be put to work on-site and will represent 60% of the company’s total mining capacity. Argo is also among companies set to purchase Intel’s bitcoin mining chips.
According to the announcement, the fleet swap agreement will lower the publicly traded bitcoin miner’s costs as it moves away from third-party hosting to running its own facilities. In November 2021, Argo announced plans to raise funds for its Helios facility via a public offering.
Argo will receive its bitcoin miner consignments in batches to prevent significant loss of hash rate during the fleet swap process. The delivery process will take place between May and July.
According to The Block Research’s Wolfie Zhao, Core’s operations are likely to suffer even less significant disruptions given that the fleet swap agreement means that it can continue mining with Argo’s hardware already hosted on-site.
“They [Core] are swapping nearly 1EH/s of equipment, which is 9k to 10k S19 miners. Simply unplugging that amount of equipment would take a lot of time,” Zhao added.