Crypto mining company Marathon Digital Holdings has revealed a partnership with digital assets infrastructure firm Zero Two to establish a large-scale immersion Bitcoin mining facility in Abu Dhabi. The joint venture will be located in Mina Zayed and Masdar City in the United Arab Emirates and will consist of two mining sites with a total capacity of 250 megawatts. The companies plan to utilize excess energy from Abu Dhabi’s grid, which they claim will boost base load and sustainability.
Previously, crypto mining in Abu Dhabi’s desert climate, which has an average annual temperature of approximately 28°C, was considered “infeasible.” However, Marathon Digital has reportedly helped develop a “custom-built immersion solution” to efficiently cool mining rigs at the proposed facilities, indicating a possible liquid cooling solution.
Marathon Digital’s chair and CEO, Fred Thiel, shared his enthusiasm for the project, stating that their team “successfully co-developed and implemented a full immersion solution” and created proprietary mining software for flexibility, resilience, and optimization.
Ownership of the project, dubbed the Abu Dhabi Global Markets JV Entity, will be divided between Zero Two and Marathon Digital, with the former controlling 80% and the latter 20%. The two firms project that both Abu Dhabi facilities will be operational by 2024 and produce an estimated combined hash rate of around 7 EH/s.
This announcement coincides with executives from US-based crypto exchange Coinbase visiting the UAE to explore the area as a possible “strategic hub” for international operations. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong met with policymakers and spoke at the Dubai FinTech Summit, further demonstrating the global interest in expanding crypto operations in the region.
The collaboration between Marathon Digital and Zero Two signifies a step towards increasing the viability of crypto mining in challenging climates using innovative solutions. With the integration of liquid cooling systems and proprietary software, the Abu Dhabi-based facilities will likely contribute to the growth of the global crypto market.
However, concerns remain about the sustainability of large-scale crypto mining operations, even when using excess energy from existing power grids. As the demand for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology grows, the industry will need to address the energy consumption and ecological impact associated with these endeavors.
In conclusion, the partnership between Marathon Digital and Zero Two, along with the interest from Coinbase in the UAE region, could potentially open new doors for the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses. The industry must continue to develop innovative solutions to overcome the challenges associated with sustainability and climate, ensuring both growth and environmental responsibility.