Official Recognition of Cryptocurrency’s Potential on Display in South America

The first decentralized cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was created in 2009. Since then, cryptocurrencies have become incredibly popular and were even adopted by several financial institutions. In fact, the banking and financial services application area is expected to account for the largest market size in the blockchain and crypto market. Worldwide, countries have also started to take the potential of digital currencies more seriously. For example, El Salvador just recently become the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, which could start a trend across Latin American countries.  “The market will now be focused on adoption through El Salvador and whether other nations follow,” said Richard Galvin of crypto fund Digital Asset Capital Management in a report by Reuters. “This could be a key catalyst for bitcoin over the next two to three years.” ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT), HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (OTC: HVBTF), Hut 8 Mining Corp (OTC: HUTMF), Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA)

Countries like El Salvador have good reasons for making Bitcoin a legally accepted currency, including inflation concerns, the reliance on the U.S. dollar and a way to attract tech entrepreneurship. “It will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development for our country,” said President Nayib Bukele in a tweet. Shortly after, leaders in Argentina, Brazil, Panama, and Paraguay have also endorsed the move on social media. Walter Pimenta, Senior VP of Products and Innovation at Mastercard LAC, explained according to the Entrepreneur, that as interest in cryptocurrencies as a payment method accelerates, nearly 4 in 10 people (37%) in Latin America and the Caribbean say they plan to use them next year. It is notable that the predisposition to use cryptocurrencies is more accentuated in the younger segment: 61% (67% millennials) are more willing to use them now than a year ago; 74% (79% millennials) are interested in learning more about cryptocurrencies, and 72% (76% millennials) say they would use them more if they understood them better.

ISW Holdings Inc. (OTC: ISWH) just announced breaking news regrading, “the delivery of a fleet of 300 cryptocurrency miners to be installed into its new POD5IVE Mining pods.

“This is a huge step, and we are excited to increase our efficiency and scale with the installation of this large order of new mining rigs,” noted Alonzo Pierce, President and Chairman of ISW Holdings. “We have more miners heading our way over coming weeks and months as we continue to build out our capacity to monetize the investment we have made in this space over the past year.”

Management notes that new mining capacity has become increasingly difficult to obtain due to increased demand for mining equipment as well as a global shortage of microchips. Through its partnership with Bit5ive LLC (“Bit5ive”), the Company was able to take advantage of strong relationships to gain access to expanded production capacity, which will also undergird its process for further expanding production capacity in coming weeks and months.

In addition, Bit5ive’s Central American Bitmain distribution license includes the country of El Salvador, and ISWH is currently exploring related opportunities through their Joint Venture with Bit5ive.

The Company is in the process of continuing to ramp up its hashing activity. Given its existing energy deals and the high efficiency of its mining pod design, its mining activities are significantly profitable at current Bitcoin prices.

ISW Holdings continues to build toward a carbon-neutral footprint in its cryptocurrency mining activities.”

Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) reported recently that it has it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Whinstone US from Northern Data (XETRA: NB2). The total consideration paid in the transaction was 11.8 million shares of Riot common stock and USD 80 Million in cash, funded with cash on the balance sheet. “The successful acquisition of Whinstone marks the most significant milestone in Riot’s history, and firmly establishes the Company as a leading Bitcoin mining platform,” said Jason Les, CEO of Riot. “With Whinstone’s preeminent infrastructure and best-in-class construction, development, and operations organization, Riot is extremely well-positioned to increase the scale and scope of its operations. We welcome the talented Whinstone employees to the Riot family, and I look forward to leading our combined team as we jointly execute upon the Company’s mission to become one of the most relevant and significant companies supporting the Bitcoin network and greater Bitcoin ecosystem.”

HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (OTCQX: HVBTF) announced last month that it has received confirmation from Bodens Energi Nät AB for an additional guaranteed 10 MW of green energy electricity for its GPU data centre in Sweden. This increase is on top of the previously announced 2 MW expansion on January 28th, 2021. These combined expansions increase the capacity of the facility by over 50% from 21 MW to 33 MW. Presently we are securing new state of the art performing GPU cards for this expansion. As previously announced in April of this year, HIVE started mining Ethereum Classic before the prices surged to the current price of US$75 a coin, and continues to mine Ethereum Classic due to its profitability. We have chosen to mine and sell Ethereum Classic to assist in covering electricity and basic general & administrative costs while saving in cold wallets our Bitcoin and Ethereum production.

Hut 8 Mining Corp (OTCQX: HUTMF) reported last month its latest hosting partnership with Enterprise Blockchain transaction processor, TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE: TAAL). Hut 8 will provide physical hosting and optimization services and access to competitive electrical power for 960 newly-purchased digital hashing computers owned by TAAL. Hut 8 will also work with TAAL to make their existing fleet more efficient. Under the terms of this deal, TAAL will have 960 hashing computers, using 3.2 MW of Hut 8 power. Hut 8’s hosting and optimization services include equipment sourcing and logistics management, white-glove installation, a dedicated Client Success Manager (CSM), and 24/7 physical security and technical operation teams dedicated around-the-clock at each site.

Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) reported recently that it has entered

into a binding letter of intent with Compute North to host approximately 73,000 of Marathon’s

previously purchased Bitcoin miners as part of a new 300-megawatt data center located in Texas. Under the terms of the agreement and based on specified requirements being met, Marathon will provide Compute North with an 18-month bridge loan of up to USD 67 Million, in tranches, to construct the facility. The initial term of the contract is three years with increases capped at three percent per year thereafter. Implementation is planned to take place in stages between October 2021 and March 2022. Once all of Marathon’s miners are installed, the Company’s hashrate will be approximately 10.37 EH/s, the Company’s average mining cost for hosting services, electricity, data center management, and hosting related capital expenditure across all its facilities will be USD 0.453 per kWh, and Marathon’s operations will be approximately 70% carbon neutral.