GMO Internet Group, the $1.4 bln Japanese technology conglomerate, has officially announced the launch of its Bitcoin mining operation and its plans to compete with existing mining pool operators and companies within the global Bitcoin mining industry.
By the first half of 2018, GMO will launch a large-scale Bitcoin mining center in Japan with next generation 7nm semiconductor chips as a part of the conglomerate’s larger vision of establishing a “borderless and frictionless economic zone within the country.”
In January, GMO first introduced its intention to target the Bitcoin industry, exchange market and mining sector. Almost immediately after the legalization of Bitcoin by the Japanese government, GMO and its forex exchange prepared a full systematic adoption and integration of Bitcoin.
In May, within merely five months since the company made its first announcement to target the Bitcoin industry, it launched the Z.com Coin exchange to address exponential increase in demand toward Bitcoin.
In a public statement translated by BraveNewCoin, the Z.com development team announced that it will aim to serve institutional and retail investors by providing a more stable and efficient trading platform.
The Z.com team said:
“We will provide customers with a stable trading environment and judge whether it is necessary to conduct additional service verification and system adjustment for the platform to be used with confidence. The start date of the service has been postponed to May 31, 2017.”
Upon the completion of the construction of its Bitcoin mining center in mid-2018, the GMO Group will have established a full Bitcoin infrastructure, beginning with a Bitcoin exchange targeting institutional investors and a mining center.
Why is GMO trying to establish a Bitcoin infrastructure?
To this date, the vast majority of investors, analysts and users within the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency community are not aware of the level of mainstream Bitcoin adoption in Japan. Some of the largest and most influential companies in the country in the retail, electronics and hotel industries have integrated Bitcoin as a currency and a payment method.
The demand toward Bitcoin from both casual and institutional investors have been increasing at such a rapid rate in Japan, South Korea and China that multi-billion dollar companies in all three countries have either invested in or led large-scale Bitcoin projects.
More importantly, the Bitcoin mining sector is dominated by only a handful of companies including Bitmain, Bitfury and BTC.com. With its resources and capital in hand, the GMO Group likely felt that it could evolve into a key player in the Bitcoin mining industry by competing with Bitmain and other leading companies.
But, Bitmain also recently secured a $50 mln investment from Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital, further solidifying its position as the leading Bitcoin mining equipment manufacturer and pool operator in the global market.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Bitmain claimed that its valuation is in the billions of US dollars if it was to go public via an IPO or raise a major funding round.