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A first-of-its kind service wants to play matchmaker between big-scale mining facilities and individual miners looking for a hosting setup.
Bitcoin mining company HASHR8 just launched its Compass platform, a search engine of sorts for individual miners to shop for a hosting facility to operate their mining hardware for them. While mining farms hosting solo miners’ machines is nothing new, Compass is the first service to create a product to sync miners with hosting providers.
The initiative was born from a drive to keep Bitcoin’s hashrate distributed, and that starts with making sure the smaller-time miners can stay competitive.
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“We believe that everyone should have the ability to mine bitcoin. Nowadays the narrative is always that ‘bitcoin mining is only profitable for larger miners,’ which holds true because smaller miners cannot benefit from the same economies of scale. HASHR8 built Compass to kill that narrative,” HASHR8 COO Thomas Heller told CoinDesk.
Compass curates a registry of verified mining facilities, which miners can query to search for facilities by region, energy price and hardware hosting minimums. Each mining farm’s profile also lists security features and whether it offers mining equipment for rent. Searchers have their choice of facilities from Canada, China, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Russia and the U.S.
Because they already had good working relationships, Heller told CoinDesk, HASHR8 reached out to the facilities currently listed on Compass to pioneer the program, but other mining farms can apply to be added, too. The hosts, not the solo miners, pay HASHR8 a fee for the service.
In addition to Compass, HASHR8 will also be launching Powerblocks this month. The service will allow individual miners to host a single device; in Heller’s view, this service gives “anyone an opportunity to start mining in a world-class facility.”
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“We want everyone to have access to the same great hardware and the same low hosting rates, whether they have $2,000 or $200,000, to get started mining bitcoin,” Heller continued.
At a time when Bitcoin’s hashrate is soaring while its price is slogging along, miners are eking out profits as revenue per terahash rests at all time lows. Smaller miners have been especially hurt by this cash-flow squeeze. Heller said that before we can hope to make them competitive with larger miners, “the first step is to get them in the game” with feasible hosting options.