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Marathon Digital teams up with Zero Two to build a Bitcoin mining facility in Abu Dhabi 

Last Updated on February 23, 2024 by Hamza Khan

Marathon Digital recently announced its collaboration with Zero Two to create a large-scale immersion Bitcoin mining facility in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund and bitcoin miner Marathon Digital (MARA) have created a joint venture (JV) to establish the first large-scale immersion bitcoin mining facility in the Middle East.

The Middle Eastern collaboration takes place as the White House in the United States promotes a proposed tax that would require crypto miners there to pay a sum equal to 30% of their energy expenditures. According to a press release, the new project would first establish two mining sites with a combined capacity of 250 megawatts (MW) of mining power.

Marathon’s Digital Plans Advanced Bitcoin Mining Facility in Abu Dhabi

Marathon Digital claimed that mining cryptocurrencies in Abu Dhabi’s arid climate, where the yearly average temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit), was frequently “infeasible.” The firm, however, claimed it had assisted in creating a “custom-built immersion solution” to cool mining equipment at the proposed facilities, recommending a liquid-cooling approach.

The ADGM Entity will be jointly owned by Marathon Digital and Zero Two, with Zero Two holding an 80% stake and Marathon Digital 20%. By 2024, the companies hope to open both mining operations in Abu Dhabi, producing a hash rate of roughly 7 EH/s. Marathon and Zero Two plan to power the facilities utilizing surplus electricity from Abu Dhabi’s grid to increase the base load and sustainability.

Marathon Digital claimed that conducting cryptocurrency mining in Abu Dhabi’s sweltering desert climate was impractical, where daily highs hover around 28°C (82°F). The company, however, asserted that it found a solution by coming up with a customized immersion approach to cool mining rigs in the proposed facility, which may have been a liquid-cooling method.

Digital asset miners primarily use air cooling to keep their mining computers cool. However, for miners with highly slim profit margins, cooling mining equipment with liquid immersion rather than air cooling offers considerable advantages in high heat and humidity settings.

According to the news release, air-cooled digital asset mining is impractical in Abu Dhabi’s desert climate. A trial immersion cooling program run by Marathon and Zero Two showed a significant decrease in maintenance requirements for ASIC miners to efficiently output hash rate.

The large 200 MW project will also be built in Masdar City, the capital of the UAE’s Abu Dhabi, known for its sustainability. According to the release, the additional 50MW crypto farm will be near Mina Zayed’s port area. The sites will be powered by extra electricity, boosting Abu Dhabi’s power grid’s base load and sustainability. The two businesses stressed that they intended to employ clean energy certificates to compensate for unsustainable electricity.

Before beginning the project’s implementation, Marathon Digital and Zero Two initiated a pilot program to test the viability of a sizable crypto-mining operation in Abu Dhabi, where the scorching desert temperature makes mining with air cooling impractical.

The pilot’s initial findings suggest that operating mining operations in the UAE is now possible thanks to the two businesses’ custom-built immersion technology for cooling the ASIC miners and using proprietary software to enhance their efficiency.

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