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Frontier Mining’s Arland Whitfield Weighs in on Blockchain vs Bitmining

Sep 4, 2018
by Josh Anderson

DENVER, CO – Many would say that blockchain is driving the data center conversation, especially in regions such as the Mountain West, where the bitcoin business is booming. But that doesn’t mean everyone is on the same page.

Arland Whitfield, CEO, Frontier Mining

So CapRE’s Second Annual Great Denver Data Center Summit last week featured a panel titled “The Next Chapter: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin: What are They and How Do They Impact Data Center Design, Construction, Development and Operations?” and the conversation featured a brief Q&A with Arland Whitfield, CEO of Frontier Mining, a provider of turn-key cryptocurrency miners, co-location and mining management services, about his thoughts on the distinction between blockchain and bit-mining (this followed remarks by his co-panelist Amber Hartley of BurstIQ — see the link at the end of the story).

“Arland, you run a more Cloud-like product or SaaS-model, where people can just sign up and you do most of the work for them, if they want to get involved in mining,” ventured Moderator Rabin Mahanty, Director of H5 Data Centers. “Is there anything you’d like to add [about this distinction]?”

“So mining, I think that [co-panelist] Amber Hartley gave a very good idea of what the actual [technology] piece is,” recalled Whitfield. “But the part that miners fit into in that world, is on the transaction side of that checking example that she mentioned. We would be the servers validating those transactions, creating crypto-graphic hash, and associating it with a transaction, and then publishing it to a public ledger.”

data center summit“And the way that that’s secure, is that you have a machine that finds the hash, that fits a sort of criteria, it associates it with those transactions, it publishes it, and then the next chain, or really the next block, is tied to that next transaction,” he continued. “So what that basically means is that, as you look back across the ledger, every transaction is intrinsically tied to the next. So you can’t go back to a hundred transactions earlier and change something, because it would change the has hon every single transaction thereafter.”

“So that’s from the “checking account” [point of view] – but on the Ethereum or smart-contract side, or what Amber has touched on, on the blockchain side, there are other ways of doing that. But essentially the flow remains the same,” clarified Whitfield. “There are variances, like when it comes to Proof-of-Work of Proof-of-Stake, but the high-level [perspective] is that we are verifying transactions. And we’ve had the clients talk about miners being, I guess, “trust-dedicators.”

Whitfield then recalled how Amber was talking about a “trust-system.” “This is essentially is the idea of taking the role out of the hands of people who could be manipulated or corrupted or just that have their own agendas, and putting it in the hands of a machine, which has no bias,” he shared. “Which has been pretty interesting, including for the banking sector, and Amber also mentioned real estate.”

Be sure to check out Amber’s perspective in the CapRE Insider Report titled “Blockchain vs Bitcoin: What’s the Difference?

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