The small Ohio-based GRIID is set to go public via a SPAC merger on the New York Stock Exchange in the coming weeks with an expected valuation of $3.3 billion. It will trade under the ticker symbol "GRDI."
According to the company’s S-4 filing, it’s already signed a supply agreement with Intel to be the first recipient of Intel's new "Bonanza Mine" chips, also known as BZM2 ASICS (application-specific integrated circuits). The chips make Bitcoin mining more energy efficient by reducing the amount of energy needed in the process. ASIC chips are used to mine a specific cryptocurrency and are the most popular method for mining Bitcoin.
The S-4 also says the initial order of Intel's chips are set to be delivered in 2022 and GRIID will have access to a significant share of Intel’s future production volumes. Intel is set to unveil the chips next month at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, a yearly gathering that attracts some of the brightest minds in the chip industry.
Bitcoin mining is the process of creating new Bitcoin by solving complicated mathematical puzzles that are done with the help of advanced microchips. The process has drawn the ire of environmentalists because the sheer amount of energy it requires leaves a large carbon footprint in its wake. Miners have made more of an effort to make the process more environmentally friendly in recent years.
Intel is marketing its chips as "ultra-low voltage, energy-efficient Bitcoin mining ACIS" but little else is known about the specifics of the product. GRIID focuses on carbon-free energy in its mining, which would seem to fit Intel’s push to be energy-efficient and could explain why they chose to partner with GRIID over other Bitcoin miners such as Marathon and Riot.
"This will be big if it's successful because one major headwind for institutional ownership of Bitcoin has been ESG concerns," Tom Hayes, chairman of Great Hill Capital, told FOX Business.
Big investors have been shying away from buying Bitcoin because of environmental concerns. Bitcoin mining expends massive amounts of energy, making it difficult for many investors to include it in their portfolios and meet so-called environment, social, and governance goals known as ESG.
The move is a big boost for the 4-year-old startup GRIID, and Intel, making it a direct competitor to the world’s largest Bitcoin miner, Bitmain, which currently holds around 75% of the mining market share.
Meanwhile, Intel’s share price could also stand to benefit from its foray into the mining world. The stock has been largely stagnant for the past year and it has been negatively impacted by the global chip shortage which stifled the chipmaker's growth in 2021.
"Intel has done design work around SHA 256 ASICs for several years beginning with pathfinding work done in Intel Labs," Intel said in a statement to FOX Business. "We will share more details in the future."
GRIID did not respond to request for comment.