© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Data center company BitZERO announces North American HQ will be in North Dakota

L to R: Josh Teigen (ND Economic Development Director), Akbar Shamji, Doug Burgum, MHA Chairman Mark Fox, Kevin O'Leary
D. Webster
L to R: Josh Teigen (ND Economic Development Director), Akbar Shamji, Doug Burgum, MHA Chairman Mark Fox, Kevin O'Leary

BitZERO specializes in the mining and storage of data and cryptocurrency while being sourced by renewable energy.

The cryptocurrency and data center company BitZERO Blockchain Inc. has decided to locate its North American headquarters in North Dakota.

CEO Akbar Shamji joined Governor Doug Burgum, investor Kevin O’Leary and MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox in Fargo to make the announcement.

Bismarck and Fargo are being considered as potential locations for the facility. Burgum says North Dakota is a natural choice for such a venture.

"This industry, and combined industries and what we're going to be able to do with data centers that are here - these are two big industries that are growing in North Dakota, and the capital and the talent are coming here. This is going to help us diversify our economy, it's going to elevate North Dakota's status even further as a place to do business for tech entrepreneurs and innovators."

Strategic investor Kevin O’Leary, a judge on the television show Shark Tank, visited North Dakota earlier this year to evaluate North Dakota’s potential in Bitcoin mining investment and other opportunities. O’Leary is investing in this project, and says the state is positioned perfectly for it – because it aims to not only mine cryptocurrency, store data and explore agriculture solutions for the future – but to do so in a climate friendly manner.

"The horrific occurrences in Europe and Ukraine have proven to every sovereign, every state, every government - the value of having your own data on your own soil. In a stable place. Because it's the records of people, it's the banking system, it's all of the information that every single sector of the economy needs, that's why there's an insatiable demand for stable, safe, efficient - and now, ESG compliant - data centers."

Data centers generate a lot of heat, so they are well suited for colder climates. MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox says this project will explore the opportunity of growing crops year round. He says the MHA Nation is partnering with BitZERO to power the project with hydroelectric power from Garrison Dam. The heat will be used in a massive greenhouse.

"Right now, in addition to some of the novelty crops - we will be doing the mass production of regular crops like lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, and me and my son Eli's favorite - strawberries. All of this will lead to better eating and nutrition for our own people and surrounding communities, but it's also going to be an export as well. So we're going to make money."

Burgum says the project lines up well with North Dakota’s goal of being carbon neutral by the year 2030.