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Revolution in Mining: Iris Energy's Synergistic Blend of AI and Bitcoin

Feb 22, 2024

Revolution in Mining: Iris Energy's Synergistic Blend of AI and Bitcoin

Revolution in Mining: Iris Energy's Synergistic Blend of AI and Bitcoin

Key Takeaways

The Bitcoin Layer podcast episode featuring Dan Roberts, CEO of Iris Energy, provides a deep dive into the company's strategic positioning in the renewable energy-powered data center industry. Iris Energy operates five sites across North America and is pursuing both Bitcoin mining and AI cloud services. The company's rebranding reflects a fresh outlook aligned with its goals.

Iris Energy's strategy capitalizes on the macro tailwinds of exponential growth in demand for computing power due to increased digitization and the rise of AI and Bitcoin. The company's focus is on owning and optimizing data centers for power-dense computing using 100% renewable energy. They are strategically targeting low-cost, excess renewable energy, which has become more available due to government incentives and the resulting disruption of equilibrium in energy markets.

The company's data centers in British Columbia are powered by hydroelectric energy and are fully utilized, running a combination of Bitmain's S19j Pro ASICs for Bitcoin mining and Nvidia H100 GPUs for generative AI. Iris Energy is not just a Bitcoin miner but a data center operator, scaling aggressively in both Bitcoin mining and AI cloud services without an immediate need to choose between the two. They aim to reach 20 exahash of Bitcoin mining capacity and scale their AI services, with both endeavors offering roughly a 24-month payback period.

The podcast also covers Iris Energy's operational strategies, including daily liquidation of Bitcoin for operational cash flow, hedging strategies, supplier diversification, and the advantages of their data centers' design, particularly in power density and cooling efficiency. Additionally, the company's growth plans include expanding into other countries with excess renewable energy, focusing on stable, bankable jurisdictions.

Best Quotes

  1. "We believe that over the next decade, if you can secure and manage large amounts of power and do so in a sustainable and socially acceptable manner, then there's an enormous prize to be won." – Dan Roberts on the strategic importance of renewable energy in computing.
  2. "Our belief since day one has been that shareholders should not be paying me and us to hold Bitcoin on their behalf. That's not what we're here for." – Dan Roberts on Iris Energy's strategy to liquidate Bitcoin daily rather than holding it as an asset.
  3. "We're not trying to be everything to everyone. We are very good at providing power-dense compute and cloud applications." – Dan Roberts on Iris Energy's competitive advantage in the AI cloud services market.
  4. "It's as simple as that. We've got the power, we've got the land, we've got the infrastructure, we've got the teams on site just punching out these data centers." – Dan Roberts on the process-driven approach to scaling Iris Energy's operations.


The episode paints a vivid picture of Iris Energy's multifaceted approach to leveraging renewable energy in powering the future of data-intensive industries like Bitcoin mining and AI. The company's strategic moves, from rebranding to diversifying its services, underscore its commitment to innovation and growth in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. With a strong focus on renewable energy and efficient data center operations, Iris Energy positions itself at the forefront of a race to capitalize on the burgeoning demand for computing power. As the company expands its reach and continues to scale its operations, it stands as a testament to the potential synergy between technology, energy, and sustainability. Dan Roberts' insights offer a valuable perspective on navigating the complexities of this dynamic industry, while also providing a roadmap for others looking to harness the power of renewable energy in the digital age.


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