Bitmain to Open Data Center Near Waco
by Justin Hughes
ROCKDALE, TX — Google isn’t the only big boy opening a data center in Texas. Bitmain, the world’s largest bitcoin mining firm, will open a data center in Rockdale, TX, an hour and a half drive from Waco, in Milam County, confirming rumors that have been swirling for weeks in both local circles as well as crypto-circles.
The news was first reported by TDTNews.com, a local outlet who confirmed the developments with Milam County Judge David Barkemeyer, though other requests for comment, such as one for the Rockdale Municipal Development District and another for Bitmain, were denied. While Bitmain hasn’t made an official announcement yet, they are already seeking talent — they have posted job descriptions for both a project manager and a site manager. It is expected that the new facility could bring 400 jobs to Milam County.
Like many small municipalities in the same boat, Rockdale is excited to welcome the facility due to its economic potential. In recent years the small town’s economy suffered significantly from downturns in the local coal mining and manufacturing industries. Most notably, Alcoa, a major aluminum producer and Luminant, a coal plan had to close up shop, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs. In fact Bitmain’s data center will be housed in the facility previous previously used by Alcoa for a smelter.
This is the latest of many major expansions on the part of Bitmain in the Western hemisphere. In addition to opening a data center in Québec, the Beijing, China-based firm recently opened an office in Silicon Valley, and is hiring staff in Arizona (Chandler) as well as Washington State (Malaga and Wenatchee). Interestingly, Milam County was in the news most recently for trying to lure Amazon to the area for the storied and highly sought-after HQ2, and it’s likely that these same overtures — which stressed the region’s low cost of land, utilities, and living, as well as a large workforce and pleasant weather — got Bitmain’s attention.