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Tech firms such as Oracle, Tesla, Hewlett Packard, and now Blockcap are relocating to Austin, prompting others to refer to the state capital as the Silicon Hills.
Blockcap, a crypto mining firm headquartered in North America, revealed over the weekend that it will be opening new offices in Austin, Texas.
In an announcement from Blockcap on Friday, the mining company claimed once its new facilities are operational in the Lone Star State’s capital, its hashing power will be roughly 3.5 exahash per second from a total of 42,000 rigs, reportedly doubling its capabilities. According to blockchain data, this would represent more than 2% of the hashrate for the entire Bitcoin (BTC) network, roughly 167 million terahash per second at the time of publication. However, Blockcap claims its total fleet will account for only 1% of the network’s hashing power.
“Austin is our home base from which we will pursue our mission and bring this great city closer to the center of the United States’ blockchain technology ecosystem,” said Blockcap chair and founder Darin Feinstein. “We also see the city as an ideal location from which to continue expanding our operations as we grow at both national and international levels.”
In announcing the move, Blockcap cited Tesla’s establishment of one of its “Gigafactories” in Austin. Tesla CEO and billionaire Elon Musk recently bought a home on Lake Austin west of downtown Austin for more than $3 million, while the company is breaking ground on the Gigafactory on the east side closer to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
The mining company did not immediately respond to questions regarding where it plans to establish its offices in the Austin area or how many jobs would be created as a result, though Feinstein said it would be “hiring locally.” Musk said in a tweet last month that the new Giga Texas location would bring in more than 10,000 jobs, effectively increasing the number of employees at the electric car manufacturing company by more than 14%.
Though some tech companies like Oracle and Hewlett Packard are moving to Austin — causing many to dub the city the “Silicon Hills,” in reference to Silicon Valley — the state capital has in many ways become a microcosm of the U.S. housing market. Many employees of these firms may be seeing all-cash buyers purchasing homes, making them unavailable to those with only the financial means of saving for a 20% down payment. Musk highlighted the dearth of Austin housing in an April 4 tweet, seemingly in reference to Tesla employees relocating there.
However, former Texas governor Rick Perry, a Republican politician who recently forgot the name of the Department of Energy as a federal institution he would abolish if elected president, supports the incorporation of Blockcap and other blockchain companies to the Lone Star State. Perry asserted that Texas has “become the premier location for forward-thinking industries like blockchain,” and that Blockcap would almost certainly result in job creation and economic development in the state.
Blockcap, which was established in 2020 by a group of blockchain veterans, currently owns approximately 12,000 mining rigs that generate more than 7 BTC per day, or $416,550 at the time of publication. Off The Chain Capital and Foundry Digital led two investment rounds totalling more than $75 million for the venture. According to Blockcap, the company recently purchased more than $500 million in Bitcoin mining equipment.