Kentucky-based steel plant, CC Metals & Alloys (CCMA), owned by Ukrainian oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky and his business partner, Hennadiy Bogolyubov, is mining cryptocurrencies in the premises of the now-closed plant, RadioSvoboda.org reported.
The 70-year-old steel plant closed its core operations in July and laid-off workers. However, it is now mining cryptocurrencies to generate alternate revenue.
A worker of the steel plant said that an entire warehouse of the steel plant was converted into a data center with the installation of computers. Another employee confirmed that computers were brought there ‘in whole trucks’ to set up the data center.
The warehouse is estimated to have hundreds, if not thousands, of computers that are mining digital currencies day and night.
Diversifying Revenue with Crypto
Despite the shift from the production of steel to digital currencies, the plant is yet to pause its workforce reduction plans. Indeed, maintaining a data center mining cryptocurrencies does not need that many workers.
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CCMA’s move towards cryptocurrencies was signaled in July when the plant invited a third-party to install computer centers, thus diversifying its profits by jumping into artificial intelligence and blockchain technology.
“Both artificial intelligence and the blockchain are high-energy industries and are expected to grow exponentially in the next decade, reaching a market of $ 20 billion,” a company spokesperson said. “Based on the success of the first pilot program, we can expand this line of business. It is prudent for the CCMA to have many sources of income.”
Furthermore, the report highlighted the recent influx of several cryptocurrency mining companies in the United States’ Tennessee Valley due to the abundance of cheap electricity. CCMA is only one of around five major crypto mining operations in the region.
Meanwhile, Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov are facing a civil lawsuit in the US for funneling billions of dollars into the country after acquiring a falsified loan in Ukraine. However, the oligarchs denied all the allegations.