GROVE CITY, Pa. (WKBN) – Mercer County is in the running for a cryptocurrency facility. Ten billionaires have been in the Shenango Valley over the last two days, looking for a place to go mining for Bitcoin, which is digital currency.
“It puts us on the map, so Mercer County will be known as a home for cryptocurrency,” said Randy Seitz, with Penn-Northwest Development. “It will give us tremendous visibility in China so there are other opportunities.”Bitcoin: What it is and whether it’s worth your investment
Cryptocurrency mining takes a lot of computers. A group of Chinese investors wants to use 30,000 servers to begin the hunt and the old Cooper Bessemer building in Grove City could be its choice.
“Temperature is good for the machine and then the price of the electricity cost,” said Will Long, a venture capitalist.
The connection was a stroke of luck. Silicon Valley in California, Silicon Alley in New York and even Arizona were either too expensive or too warm. Through the internet, the group stumbled upon the Shenango Valley.
“We have low-cost real estate, buildings, we have low-cost utilities,” Seitz said.
The servers could use enough electricity each day to power over a thousand homes. It’s an opportunity for Bitcoin mining, but also for manufacturing.
Phase 2 of the project could increase the number of servers to a quarter-million.
“The servers that do the Bitcoin mining can, and most likely will, be produced here and then the supply chain that’s needed to build these servers would be located next to the facility,” Seitz said.
There’s also an educational opportunity, as the group is interested in helping students with ideas related to cryptocurrency take them to the next level. For the Shenango Valley, this is a great connection with the younger generation who might have left the area.
“Millenials know all about this. Millenials are buying things with cryptocurrency,” Seitz said.
He said this gives them the opportunity to come back to the area.
The issue is now finalizing a cost of electricity and tax implications on the state and federal levels. As soon as those are finalized, the agreements could be signed.