U.S. Bitcoin Corp. (USBTC) is looking to be one of the largest miners in the U.S. by increasing its computing power by 12.2 exahash/second (EH/s), following a deal to buy mining assets from bankrupt lender Celsius, according to a press release.
The miner is part of a consortium, named Fahrenheit, that won a bankruptcy auction for the Celsius assets, which include a lending portfolio, crypto assets and 121,800 mining machines. Once it brings all the mining rigs online, its fleet will total at least 270,000 mining rigs, the miner told CoinDesk. This will raise its computing power to the ranks of mining giants such as Riot Platforms (RIOT), Core Scientific (CORZ) and Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA).
Under the Celsius deal, USBTC will enter into one or more operating and services agreements to be the “exclusive operator” of the Celsius mining fleet, the miner said. On top of that, USBTC will receive a $15 million annual management fee for the mining assets, net of operating expenses, for the five years it will manage the rigs, the firm added. That’s $75 million on top of expenses, provided that USBTC fulfills certain operational requirements.
Another $20 million in management fees will go to the Fahrenheit consortium, court filings show. The consortium will also receive stock incentives in the new company that will house the Celsius assets. USBTC also has to build a 100 megawatts (MW) of infrastructure to house the Celsius rigs, and provide a plan for the buildout of another 240 MW of capacity in a behind-the-meter site.
The Miami-based firm has managed to massively increase its operational capabilities in the past few months, taking advantage of opportunities born out of bankruptcies. It started from a single site in Niagara Falls, New York, but has now taken control of three sites formerly operated by Compute North, which filed for Chapter 11 in September 2022. Two of those are owned by energy investment firm Generate Capital, while the third is a joint venture between USBTC and energy firm NextEra Energy.
USBTC has managed to secure hosting deals for 150,000 machines in its facilities. It is also undergoing a merger with Canada’s Hut 8 Mining (HUT).
Other members of the consortium that will be managing the Celsius assets are Proof Group Capital Management, Steven Kokinos, and Ravi Kaza.
UPDATE (May 25, 1:30 UTC): Changes subhead to show total potential management fees, specifies that USBTC will have at least 270,000 mining rigs after the deal.