GMO Internet set to launch Bitcoin mining business in H1 2018

Maria Nikolova

GMO would not disclose the expenses associated with the launch and the development of necessary technology but said they will exceed 10% of the consolidated non-current assets as of December 31, 2016 (¥3,489 million).

Japanese Internet technologies and online trading expert GMO Internet Inc. (TYO:9449) continues its expansion into the world of crypto currencies. Today, the company unveiled its plans to launch a Bitcoin mining business.

The company will operate a next-generation mining center utilizing renewable energy and cutting-edge semiconductor chips in Northern Europe. It will use cutting-edge 7 nm process technology for chips to be used in the mining process, and will collaborate on its research and development and manufacturing with an alliance partner having the necessary semiconductor design technology.

GMO Internet confirms that the launch, scheduled for the first half of 2018, and the development of the necessary technology, are associated with certain expenses. The company would not specify the amount due to a non-disclosure agreement with its alliance partner, but it will be more than 10% of the consolidated non-current assets as of December 31, 2016 (¥3,489 million).

Explaining the rationale for the business move, GMO said it believes that “crypto currencies will develop into “new universal currencies” available for use by anyone from any country or region to freely exchange “value,” creating a “new borderless economic zone.” The launch of a Bitcoin mining business aims to support sound management of Bitcoins by leveraging GMO’s know-how on Internet Infrastructure business and Internet Finance business, with an aim to contribute to the development of cryptocurrencies.

Last week, in a move underlining its commitment to the development of technologies associated with virtual currencies, GMO Internet announced the launch of the third phase of the GMO Blockchain Open Source Software project, introducing its new Region Token. The open source Region Token is a program whereby municipalities and companies can issue their own tokens (points). Through storing processing rules of tokens in a blockchain, it is possible to issue tokens and register shops as point service participants on the blockchain. The use of such a token is seen as a means for regional revitalization.

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