John McAfee, technology pioneer and executive chairman of MGT Capital Investments Inc., has revealed his latest venture into the world of Bitcoin is progressing "ahead of schedule" and has successfully mined over 170 Bitcoins in two months.
With the cryptocurrency currently valued at more than $700 (£554) each, MGT has already used the power of its US-based operation to mine the equivalent of well over £100,000. The firm also said it has now expanded the processing power of its Bitcoin operations to over five PetaHash.
McAfee's firm has claimed his mining facility in Washington State will further expand in 2017. In a recent interview with IBTimes UK, he said it currently had 400 S9s [mining hardware] however that will be upgraded to "about 2,000 machines" by next year.
The location of the facility is important – with sustainability and electricity costs being two major barriers to the Bitcoin mining process – and McAfee said it was chosen because it "only needs air conditioning two months out of the year" and it is "right next door to a hydroelectric power plant".
In the wide-ranging interview, McAfee was adamant that Bitcoin, or at least a version of cryptocurrency, will be the future of finance and said that major governments will need to adapt to this new technology to survive - no matter how much they hate it.
"I don't know if it will be Bitcoin or multiples [of different currencies] but there will be a cryptocurrency standard for the world whether governments like it or not," he said. "The fact is, it will be difficult to find out where money is flowing from and to, therefore making it difficult to collect taxes – they will have to get used to it.
"There will have to be some other mode of collecting taxes, whether it's a tariff on the use of national parks or the use of the roads – I don't have a clue – that's the government's problem and not mine. But it's coming and it will change the culture of this world."
In a press release announcing the success of what MGT has dubbed Phase Two, McAfee said: "As we grow our Bitcoin footprint here, our expertise becomes an increasingly valuable resource." He added a joint venture is now underway with Bitmain Technologies of China.
Robert Collazo, director of operations for MGT's Bitcoin mining operations, added: "I want to thank our team on the ground in Washington State for their hard work and diligence in completing phase two ahead of schedule. The facility has maintained as high a level of performance and uptimes as I have encountered in my career. I am looking forward to our expansion and continued growth."