Bitfury is a diversified blockchain company, the largest industrial miner outside China, developer of software and hardware for working with the Bitcoin blockchain. The company has offices in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, London and Amsterdam. It has data centers in Iceland, Norway, Canada and the Republic of Georgia.
Bitfury Group is one of the market leaders in blockchain technology and one of the largest private infrastructure providers in the blockchain ecosystem. Bitfury Group develops and delivers both software and hardware solutions needed by businesses, government and government authorities, organizations and individuals to securely move an asset across the blockchain. Some of their software solutions include: digital assets PaaS, data analytics, lightning network, property rights registration, voting, and a chain hub. On the hardware side, they provide: Semiconductors and microelectronics, servers, datacenter construction, datacenters in marine containers, and immersion cooling.
The Bitfury Group develops and delivers both the software and the hardware solutions necessary for businesses, governments, organizations and individuals to securely move an asset across the Blockchain.
- Type: Private
- Industry: Computer Infrastructure
- Founded: 2011
- Founder: Valery Vavilov
- Headquarters: Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Area Served: Worldwide
- Website: bitfury.com
The company was founded in 2011 by Valery Vavilov. Initially, the company started to experiment and mine bitcoins, using CPUs and PC GPUs. It then began to design ASIC chip. According to Vavilov, in 2013 the company managed to develop a chip for 55-nanometer technology and adjust its production under its own brand. Start-up capital amounted to 110 thousand dollars of own funds, resources for subsequent growth provided a rapid increase in the cost of bitcoin, including a jump in the rate from 100 to 1200 dollars in November 2013.
In 2014, the company started mining using its own equipment in Finland, Iceland and Georgia- becoming one of the first "industrial" miners. The computing power of the company has long been in the Ghash pool.io. At the beginning of June 2014, the capacity of the pool, in which the share of Bitfury ASIC chips was about 45%, for some time exceeded 51% of the total computing power of the entire bitcoin network, which made "double spending" possible. To reduce the risk of centralizing the network, the company removed some of its servers from ghash.io. As of 2017, Bitfury controls about 9.5 % of the computing power of the Bitcoin network.
In 2014-2015, the company attracted 3 rounds of investments of $ 20 million, which was half of all global investments in bitcoin infrastructure in the middle of 2015. The evaluation of companies and investors' shares in the rounds were not disclosed. In a conversation with the Wall Street Journal, which took place after the third round, Vice President of the company George Kikvadze noted that the company is profitable, and investments were directed to the development of data centers and scientific and technical development.
The first round in May 2014 was attended by Binary Financial, Crypto Currency Partners, Queensbridge Venture Partners and ZAD Investment company, Georgian Co-Investment Fund and 2 business angels — former managing Director of General Catalyst Partners Jonathan Theo and member of the Board of Directors of Scribd Till Tai. A significant part of the second round of financing in October 2014 was provided by the participants of the first round — Bill Tai and the Georgian Co-Investment Fund, and Lars Rasmussen - Google co-founder - was among the new investors. The company attracted the third round of investments in May 2015 and was attended by Georgian Co-Investment Fund, DRW Ventury Partners and Russian iTech Capital Fund. Commenting on the news, RBC reported that this is the first Russian investment in the project related to bitcoin. The company advocates the wide spread technology of the blockchain outside of bitcoin industry. In 2015, the company joined the non-profit partnership Innovate Finance, which brings together key participants of the European financial technology market.
In June 2016, the company, together with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the analytical center New America, opened the accelerator Blockchain Trust Accelerator Initiative for projects aimed at the use of blockchain in the public sphere.
At the beginning of 2017 — together with the law firm Covington & Burling organized the Global Blockchain Business Council, which was held in Davos in parallel with the opening of the World Economic Forum. It was dedicated to the cooperation of business and the state in the promotion and implementation of blockchain.
At the end of January 2017, the company announced its entry into the Chinese market and the creation of a joint venture with Credit China Fintech Holdings. The objectives of the new company are popularization of blockchain technology and sale of Bitfury equipment in China. Part of the agreement was 30 million dollars of CCFN investments, the recipients of which will be Bitfury itself and the joint venture.
Total revenues from mining and sale of chips — according to the company — for 2015 and 2016 amounted to about $125 million.
Bitfury deals with hardware and software, mining, and consulting.
Chip for 28-nanometer technology
In the spring of 2013, the company introduced its first dedicated chip, made on 55-nm technology, the performance of the 3.2 gigaherz per second. In October 2013, it was announced that the new chip is based on 28-nm technology, consumes of 0.2 Joule at gigaherz. Mass production of the new chip began in late February 2015.
16-nm ASIC chip
The chip, using 16-nm (nanometer) technology, was announced in December 2015. Since October 2016, it has been implemented in the data centers of the company. In accordance with the company specifications, the new chip consumes about 0.06 joules per gigaherz (four times less than on the market ICS) and provides performance of up to 140 gigaherz per second with air cooling and up to 184 with the immersion.
For 2017, the company's equipment was placed in three data centers in Iceland and Georgia. Previously, the company had a data center in Finland.
In 2014, the Finnish data center was located in an abandoned steel mill in Taalintehdas on the island Kimito in the community of Kamienski. In 2015, it was minimized as mining in Finland turned out to be unprofitable.
The company's servers in Icelandic company's are located in three buildings in Asbru Mjölnir — the former airbase of Keflavik in the community of Akureyri on the southern tip of the Peninsula Reykjanes. Total consumption, according to the autumn of 2015, was 10 MW·h.
The company opened its first Georgian data center in Gori in July 2014. Part of the financing for the 20 MWh project came from the Georgian Co-Investment Fund in the form of a convertible loan.
The construction of a second data center with capacity of 40 MW·h in Gldani (Tbilisi district) was announced in July 2015. It is located on the territory of 18.5 hectares of special economic zone and earned in December 2015, becoming the largest data center for mining. The announced investments in the project amounted to 30 million dollars. Regarding cooling, Bitfury used a two-circuit immersion cooling system based on a mixture of 3M Novec 7100, developed by Gonkogsky startup Allied Control, which the company acquired in early 2015. Due to this, the company has reached the energy efficiency index of 1.02 in the new data center.
In April 2016, Bitfury announced the expansion of its activities. In addition to mining and related hardware development, the company will be engaged in software for blockchain.
Blockchain for the land registry of Georgia
In April 2016, Vavilov, Chairman of the National Public Registry Agency Papuna Ugrekhelidze and economist Hernando de Soto signed a Memorandum of understanding to begin work on the project of transfer of the Georgian Land Cadastre to the blockchain. The decision is intended to improve the security of information on land rights, simplify auditing, make it possible to remotely process documents, and reduce the time and cost of registering land rights. The company provides the entire technical side of the project. Georgia became the first state to implement a blockchain for registering land rights. In 2017, a new Memorandum was signed to expand the project into new areas.
Partnership with the government of Ukraine
In April 2017, Bitfury announced the signing of a Memorandum of cooperation and understanding with the State Agency of Ukraine for E-Government to launch a full-scale Blockchain eGovernance program. The partnership will start with a pilot project and will expand to all public services.
Cooperation with EY
Between September 2016 and October 2016, Bitfury was among the winners of the EY Blockchain Startup Challenge contest organized by the audit and consulting company EY, offering the best solution for digital rights management. In November of the same year, the companies signed a partnership agreement, which involves the development of blockchain among EY customers in the fields of technological entrepreneurship, energy and public services.
The company has developed a more efficient Flare routing algorithm for the Lightning network, which provides a secure off-chain channel for small payments, thus increasing the speed of transactions and reducing the commission for their conduct.
Cooperation with Ripple
In the summer of 2017, Bitfury and provider of payment network Ripple released a joint code with the introduction of the Lightning Network Protocol Interledger. The new development made it possible to carry out Lightning-like transactions between various blockchains, both public and private, and traditional payment systems.