Bitmain’s “Ant Training Academy” certification program will soon be available in North America. This will be the first location to receive this accreditation outside of China.
The new location was developed in partnership with Core Scientific, a U.S. based mining hosting provider. The company announced the collaboration on May 28, with the first courses set to launch in the fall of 2020. The new academy will be located in Dalton, Georgia, and offers the same “highly regarded training and certification services” as in the China-based entity.
On-site repairs are key
This may have important implications for the mining industry in the United States. The program was previously only conducted in Shenzhen, China. Trainees had to travel to the country and pay up to $2500 per person for a two week training period. The courses were conducted in Chinese, with translation services included in the fee for those who needed it.
The reward for completing the certification is the ability to order replacement parts from Bitmain. As Kristy-Leigh Minehan, former CTO of Core Scientific, explained, this ability is “highly coveted for mining farms.”
ASIC miners often suffer faults from a single chip that renders the entire device unusable. Replacing the broken part can be done in three hours, she said, while going through the manufacturer warranty process could take up to three months.
China-based miners thus had a natural competitive advantage, which was only magnified by the outside travel restrictions China imposed following the Coronavirus outbreak.
A U.S.-based training facility makes it much easier for local technicians to obtain the valuable certification. As Cointelegraph previously reported, some of Bitmain’s mining devices reported failure rates as high as 30%.
The state of the U.S. mining industry
Despite reports suggesting that almost two thirds of the global mining hashrate is located in China, U.S.-based miners continued to grow.
Riot Blockchain recently announced its plans to double capacity after the halving, using about 16.5 Megawatts of electricity.
Some other companies have nevertheless been impacted by the halving, with DPW Holdings shutting down its mining business soon after Bitcoin’s (BTC) crash in March.
Bitmain itself operates “the world’s largest” mining facility in Rockdale, Texas, with a planned maximum capacity of 50 Megawatts.