Iris Energy, a Bitcoin miner, shifts to high-performance computing due to the increasing demand for AI.

The Nasdaq-listed Bitcoin mining firm Iris Energy has announced its plans to expand to meet the increasing demand of data centers for artificial intelligence (AI).

The mining firm will expand its computational power to 9.1 exahashes per second (EH/s) and renew its high-performance computing (HPC) data center strategy, according to a press release.

An exahash (EH/s) is a unit of measure for the computational power of Bitcoin mining networks, which indicates how quickly they can perform calculations needed to secure transactions.

These changes are expected to expand the company’s operational capacity by over 63% (from 5.6 EH/s to 9.1 EH/s).

Iris Energy aims to complete the transition to high-performance computing by early 2024.

The announcement comes amid increased interest in AI.

The Bitcoin mining company stated in its press release that it has been exploring expansion strategies for four years.

In March 2020, the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Dell Technologies to test and develop potential data center solutions for energy-intensive applications, including utilizing Dell Technologies’ HPC and AI expertise.

Tirias research has predicted that the demand for data center space for AI could grow to $76 billion by 2028.

Iris Energy Shares Jump After Announcement

After Iris Energy announced its plans to expand its data centers on Tuesday, the company’s shares increased nearly 21% in one day, from $3.55 to $4.14.

The share prices have also risen by an additional 2.5% in pre-market trading at the time of this press release. Bitcoin miners Hut 8 and Hive have also announced their pivots to AI, and their stock prices have also experienced significant surges.

Hut 8 Mining Corp.’s new HPC division generated $4.5 million of monthly recurring revenue in Q1 2023, contributing to more than 20% of the crypto miner’s first-quarter sales.

Crypto Miners Are Pivoting To AI Cloud Services

Iris Energy is not the first to announce expansion plans to serve AI cloud services. When Ethereum shifted from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake, most Ethereum miners made similar changes.

As Proof of Stake does not require large amounts of computing power and data centers, Ethereum miners began to explore other options, including AI applications and cloud computing.

Canadian crypto miner Hive Blockchain (HIVE) has announced its plans to launch ‘HIVE Performance Cloud’ later this year. The crypto miner has also revealed that it is currently running a pilot project at a Tier 3 data center for cloud computing, utilizing Nvidia GPUs.

Nvidia has also become a trillion-dollar company this year after revealing high-end graphics cards for AI and virtual reality.