Magellan Scientific expands Bitcoin mining with energy deal

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Magellan Scientific has entered a long-term agreement with Anax Power to use zero-emission power generated from natural gas for its data centers.

Not up to speed on Magellan Scientific? Don’t feel bad, neither were we — but company president Chris Halvorson told us a little about the company by phone.

Magellan is mostly a Bitcoin mining company, though it also provides services to other companies working in blockchain technology, Halvorson said.

It operates from the AES Building in Akron on South Main Street with five full-time employees and about a dozen other contract employees, Halvorson said. He declined to disclose revenues but said Magellan has been growing rapidly as it expands Bitcoin mining operations at its data centers, which provide most of its revenues through mining.

“We’re doubling our revenue on an every-other-couple-of-month basis,” Halvorson said.

Bitcoin mining and other blockchain activities are notorious for using large amounts of power, but Halvorson said Anax’s technology uses what are known as gas let-down generators and turbo expanders to produce power without actually burning natural gas or producing carbon and other emissions.

New Jersey-based Anax’s website describes it this way: “Gas letdown Generators use the flow of natural gas to generate electricity in a similar way to how the flow of water generates energy in a water mill. Turboexpanders are a type of gas letdown generators that generate power through pressure reduction in gaseous substances.”

For Anax, Magellan represents another client in the cryptocurrency industry the company has been targeting.

“We are thrilled to partner with Magellan to power the bitcoin network. We believe in the long-term growth of the crypto ecosystem, and Anax wants to play a role in helping the industry grow in a sustainable way,” Anax CEO Joe Longo said in a release.

Now, Magellan needs to ramp up its operations.

Halvorson said the company is currently only using about 6 megawatts of about 100 megawatts of generation capacity that it has agreements to rent or lease. He’ll be busy buying new computing equipment and expanding Magellan’s data centers to use more power in the weeks and months ahead, he said.

Halvorson will also be hoping for increases in the price of Bitcoin itself. Rather than a trader, Magellan is more of what’s known in crypto-speak as a “hodler,” Halvorson said, meaning it typically holds its Bitcoin as a long-term investment.

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