As the sun sets on 2020, and I reflect on the past year, I am struck by one theme: that of shifting gears from surviving to thriving. For all of us, 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, sacrifice, and difficult choices. But it has also been an opportunity for us to show tenacity, grit and compassion for each other. With the dawn of 2021 in sight, I am hopeful for what the future holds.
Over the past year, organizations and individuals alike experienced a massive global health crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic – and Core Scientific was no exception. As a business we’ve responded to this crisis by developing, following and enforcing strict safety guidelines, working from home where possible, and even having a group of employees volunteer to live on-site in our data centers early on in the pandemic, to keep our operations running smoothly. Their dedication helped Core Scientific ensure we could continue delivering on our second-to-none customer service, despite the new reality we were navigating. I am immensely proud of the work our team has done to pull together, keep each other and our families safe and healthy, and help us continue to deliver on our promises to our partners and customers.
Forging New Paths in Artificial Intelligence Platforms
As the fight against the pandemic accelerated in 2020, so did the need for data science platforms to help facilitate the necessary research to find treatments and a vaccine. Demonstrating our commitment to doing our part in the fight against COVID-19, we made our powerful Cloud for Data Scientists Platform available at no charge for scientists and healthcare research organizations working to reduce the impact of the virus so that people around the world could eventually return to their normal lives.
2020 also saw Core Scientific develop powerful partnerships that have helped us bring elegant solutions to complex AI scaling projects. We’ve developed joint solutions with hardware companies like NVIDIA, storage companies like NetApp and PureStorage, and co-location facilities like Equinix and Digital Realty. The combination of leading-edge hardware, co-located data and our best-in-class Plexus software has resonated with many companies looking to scale their AI efforts in a hybrid cloud posture.
Our Cloud for Data Scientists continues to serve multi-cloud enterprise customers from telco’s, defense and pharma all looking to Core Scientific to maximize the return on their AI infrastructure investments with optimization and intelligent workload placement.
As it pertains to High Performance Compute (HPC), we’ve been proud to be named a partner for HPE’s GreenLake initiative, accelerating the adoption of as-a-Service for HPC cloud services allowing Core Scientific’s Plexus to service HPC customers in new and innovative ways.
Fueling Blockchain Evolution
Digital asset mining companies around the world also saw major shifts this year, with the increasingly volatile price of Bitcoin in the early months of 2020, and the Bitcoin halving event. On May 11th, the mining reward for Bitcoin was cut in half. Unlike the pandemic, the halving event was something our team had planned for. In anticipation of the halving, we purchased tens of thousands of Bitmain miners on the path to becoming the largest digital mining operator in North America.
As the pandemic continued, we began to see a transformation in the perception of digital assets by governments, institutions and individuals alike. Governmental organizations like the OCC published new recommendations for custody services for digital assets. Kraken became the first crypto exchange to charter a US bank. And even the IRS is making their digital asset question on the 1040 form much more prominent. With governments taking a closer look at digital assets and their role in the economy, we became a member of the Digital Chamber, becoming a technology sponsor for their Crypto for Congress initiative – a campaign helping to drive education around digital assets for lawmakers.
Institutions have also begun to make shifts towards adoption of digital assets this year. Most notably, MassMutual announced that it bought $100 Million of Bitcoin. PayPal and Square made history in their announcements to include cryptocurrencies in their payment platforms. Many investment firms have begun to seriously evaluate their participation in the digital assets space and the potential upside. As governments around the world began programs to help their citizens through the pandemic, many individuals looked to Bitcoin and other digital assets as a store of wealth to hedge against inflation. Without a doubt, in 2020 we’ve seen a sea change in the perception of digital assets, and a drive towards widespread adoption.
Futureproofing Blockchain Infrastructure in North America
As we’ve watched these trends, Core Scientific has focused on creating the digital backbone of North America, that will help facilitate the success of blockchain technology. Throughout the year, we were resolute in serving our institutional clients with state-of-the-art miners hosted in North America’s premiere digital asset mining facilities. We successfully deployed more than 20,300 of Bitmain’s newest ASIC miners and in doing so, we facilitated our clients’ digital mining needs at a faster pace than the competition.
Responding to pain points we saw in the North American digital asset mining market, we decided to build a robust Antminer repair and maintenance business. Our Bitmain-certified engineers can now repair Antminers under warranty, promptly diagnosing problems, repairing equipment, and putting machines back into operation. As North America’s only cooperative warranty repair center, and the only ANT Academy certified technicians outside of China, we made investments in our people and our processes so that we can guarantee our clients unparalleled uptime and material cost-savings for their operations.
Finally, I’m most excited about our recent announcement: Tripling our capacity with an additional 58,000 unit order of ASICs from Bitmain. This announcement, amidst the incredible news of BTC hitting an all-time high of over $28,000, is a direct response to the intense demand for our hosting services and catapults Core Scientific to being a global player in this space. Furthermore, it solidifies our position as “the” enterprise digital asset mining leader in North America, where property rights, the rule of law, and competitive energy pricing give institutional investors’ confidence. As the largest digital asset mining infrastructure provider in North America, we foresee a diversified mining industry geography as bolstering this novel, powerful technology.
I’m incredibly proud of the way our team has come together over this difficult year, not only to continue to deliver on our promise to our customers, partners and each other, but to truly propel our organization to success: from surviving to thriving.
From the all of us at Core Scientific, we wish you a Happy New Year. We’ll see you in 2021.