There is a new cloud mining company on the block and – at least so far – it has been rather successful. Argo Mining gives its users the ability to select a cryptocurrency to mine, pick a hash rate package, pay, and then begin mining. It is pegged as a simplistic way to get into the crypto mining scene that requires no technical knowledge. Argo recently underwent an initial public offering (IPO) and raised £25 million, giving it a total valuation of £47 million – it is the first publicly listed crypto mining company on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
While its headquarters are in London, Argo’s mining operations are actually over in Canada – this is most likely for a variety of reasons. Argo actually echoes the setup of Hut 8, the largest publicly traded crypto mining firm. Cloud crypto mining is becoming less popular over time, as firms are beginning to close down, but Argo seems to have solved an issue that many other firms have fallen prey to – the running costs.
The High Cost of Electricity
We mentioned that there is likely a variety of reasons as to why Argo is operating over in Canada, and one of those reasons is undoubtedly the cost of electricity. Canada has large hydroelectric dams that generate vast amounts of low-cost power. This low-cost power gives crypto mining firms the ability to continue operating as the price of cryptocurrencies continues to slide.
In places with higher power costs, profitability becomes quite the issue when the bears control the market price of cryptocurrencies. New York has given its municipalities the ability to charge crypto miners special rates for electricity, but over in Washington state there is a very different situation brewing. Washington state has the highest concentration of hydroelectric dams, and is the largest exporting state of hydroelectric power in the country. This surplus of cheap power has caused hordes of crypto miners to flock to the state, and as a result many counties are refusing to accept any more crypto mining power applications.
Cloud Mining Ideal for Low Tech Users
Cloud mining bridges the gap between running your own mining rig and not mining at all. Running your own mining rig can be tough work and requires a certain degree of technical knowledge to establish. Many people don’t have this knowledge, yet still want to mine – that’s where cloud mining firms like Argo step in. Simply subscribe to a mining plan – like you would Netflix or Spotify – and Argo handles the rest.
Unwanted Crypto Mining
There have been a number of companies running crypto miners in scripts of browsers and even games. This has created a sense of mistrust when it comes to crypto mining, and it could potentially harm the mining industry as a whole given time. Crypto mining is the backbone of the cryptocurrency world, and without it transactions wouldn’t get confirmed and the network would become a barren wasteland full of hackers.
Recently, The Pirate Bay added a crypto mining script on its website to steal users CPU power to mine crypto while they browsed the site. It isn’t just on websites, even games on the Steam store have been caught secretly mining cryptos. Abstractism was pulled from the steam store last week for allegedly stealing CPU power to mine cryptos. Crypto mining on websites has the potential to replace adverts, but it is only acceptable when people are asked for permission.
The Future Looks Bright for Argo
Argo’s future looks bright and is using the money it raised from the IPO to fuel its expansion – becoming more hands-on in the process. One of its main goals is to make mining more accessible to the average person, and to this extent it has crafted three simple and easy to understand price plans. Starting at £18 a month, users can sign up and select from four cryptocurrencies to mine – Ethereum, Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum Classic, and ZCash.
Interestingly Argo seems to only have the ability to mine cryptos using the Equihash and Ethash algorithm, indicating that the next cryptos to be added will be on the same algorithms. Cryptos using the same algorithm can be mined using the same hardware, as the mining rigs are often built for one specific algorithm. While we would like to see the addition of Bitcoin, mining it might not be the most profitable option for the time being and could be why Argo has decided to not offer it yet.
Cloud mining certainly has a place in the world, especially given the importance of mining in the blockchain world. Earlier in the year, HashFlare had to shut its doors due to the low price of Bitcoin coupled with mounting maintenance costs and higher electricity bills. Hopefully, Argo learns from these mistakes and helps the mining industry move forward as a result.