Crypto Mining Giant Canaan Partners With Blockchain Firm Northern Data

Two major players in the global blockchain industry have signed a strategic partnership to pool together their technological and operational achievements.

According to a Feb. 19 press release, Canaan Creative, the world’s second-largest Bitcoin (BTC) mining hardware manufacturer, and blockchain infrastructure firm Northern Data AG were joining forces to work across several fields.

In particular, the two firms will cooperate on artificial intelligence and blockchain development, as well as on optimizing data center operations at scale.

Expanding technology and global outreach

Northern Data focuses on building out infrastructure for high-performance computing, whose applications can extend beyond blockchain technology. The company was created out of a merger between Germany’s blockchain infrastructure firm Northern Bitcoin AG and the United States’ Whinstone US Inc., a data center operator.

Canaan Creative’s CEO, NG Zhang, outlined that the new partnership will allow for both technological advancement and geographic expansion:

“Our R&D team is collaborating with Northern Data. Both sides have achieved positive results. In addition, Northern Data will provide computational resources support for our overseas R&D in the U.S. Canaan looks forward to further cooperation in product development, AI, and high-performance computing.” 

Canaan’s own field of expertise lies in AI chip development and specialized mining hardware, including ASICs. ASIC refers to hardware that uses Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) chips, which are tailored to efficiently mine crypto based on a specific hashing algorithm.

Canaan claims it produced over 150 million ASICs from 2017 through to September 2019. It is also a pioneer of the Bitcoin-tailored 7 nanometer chip and was recently listed on NASDAQ. This is significant insofar as it is purportedly the first China-based AI chip manufacturer with independent intellectual property to successfully float an initial public offering in the U.S.  

Northern Data AG has revealed its plans to forge further partnerships with major blockchain and AI developers in the coming months.

Swift developments

Earlier this week, Canaan’s shares hit a value at $8.04 — a surge of over 80% from its opening price of $4.42. Back in fall 2019, when it first launched its Nasdaq IPO, shares had been valued at over 75% lower than expected, going on to shed a further 40% by mid-December.

In recent developments for Northern Data, the firm has just unveiled a partnership with SBI Crypto, a cryptocurrency-focused subsidiary of Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings.

In fall 2019, Northern Data — then known as Northern Bitcoin — entered its merger agreement with Whinstone to jointly build what will ostensibly be the world’s largest mining farm, located in Texas. 

The new site will reportedly launch operations with an initial capacity of 300 megawatts, expected to hit 1 gigawatt by the close of 2020.

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