Ex-Wall Street execs lead new Bitcoin mining firm as US hash rate soars

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Prime Blockchain (PrimeBlock), a new cryptocurrency mining company in the United States, is hiring its inaugural management team after starting to mine Bitcoin (BTC) in September.

PrimeBlock told Cointelegraph on Thursday that it appointed Goldman Sachs veteran Gaurav Budhrani as the company’s CEO.

Budhrani spent over 10 years at Goldman, with his latest position featuring crypto investment banking coverage, including the $98 billion direct listing for the Coinbase crypto exchange that Goldman was leading. Budhrani said on his LinkedIn profile that he completed over $300 billion of transactions across many crypto-related verticals, including “cryptocurrencies, semiconductors, next-gen computing technologies, and software.”

The firm has also hired Alan Konevsky, most recently interim CEO and chief legal officer at Overstock’s digital asset venture tZERO and former managing director at Goldman Sachs. Konevsky is joining PrimeBlock as its new chief legal officer. He previously held senior roles at companies like Mastercard and Sullivan & Cromwell.

The appointments come about a month after PrimeBlock rolled out its first crypto mining operations in Tennessee and North Carolina in September, Budhrani said. The majority of PrimeBlock’s operations are based in the Tennessee Valley Authority, a territory that includes parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.

“Although PrimeBlock is a relatively new operation, it is already up and running, with growth outpacing its competition. PrimeBlock has already deployed in excess of 70 megawatt of installed capacity and approximately 1 exahash per second (EH/s) for self mining and 0.5 EH/s for hosting,” Budhrani noted.

The company has over 10,300 Bitmain Antminer S19 Pro models on the balance sheet for Bitcoin mining, alongside 2,600 PandaMiners for Ether (ETH) mining. PrimeBlock has already deployed over 9,000 miners and expects to deploy the rest within the next two weeks, the CEO said.

Related: Genesis Digital Assets announces new data center in Texas

PrimeBlock’s news came after the United States took the lead in cryptocurrency mining in mid-October following sweeping cryptocurrency crackdowns by China. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Bitcoin miners in the U.S. account for 35.4% of the total global BTC hash rate distribution.

As U.S. companies have been increasingly accumulating new mining power, the Bitcoin hash rate has continued to post new historical highs, removing any trace of China’s mining ban.