‘AWS for Crypto’: UK Crypto Mining Startup Planning to Open ‘Genius Bars’ in Major World Capitals

Siamak Masnavi

Argo Blockchain, the UK-based "Mining-as-a-Service" startup that last week became the first crypto company to get listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), says it is planning to launch crypto "genius bars" in London, Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore.

Argo, which was only incorporated on 5 December 2017, managed to raise £25 million (or roughly $32 million) through its IPO on the LSE. This is how the LSE announced on Twitter the news about its first-ever crypto services IPO:

Argo launched its "month to month" crypto mining subscription service on 11 June 2018 with a choice of four coins: Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and Zcash (ZEC).

The company's co-founders, Jonathan Bixby (who is also the executive chairman) and Mike Edwards, are a pair of Canadian serial entrepreneurs.

A few days before the June 2018 launch of Argo's crypto mining service, Bixby was interviewed by The Financial Times. This is how he explained the rationale for the service:

“More than 90 per cent of crypto-mining is done by elites on industrial scale because it is technically very difficult to do. It is incredibly expensive to buy, up front, the hardware you need at $5,000 a machine. We want to be the Amazon Web Services of crypto.”

Argo, which employs around 20 people, has a data center in Quebec and is planning to establish others in places such as China "that both have cheap sources of renewable power and chillier climates to help cool the servers." 

Bixby told Forbes in an interview that Argos's goal is not to compete against Genesis Mining (which launched a similar service three years ago and now has over two million users). He said that instead of cousing on "crypto bros", Argo's goal is to educate the "crypto curious":

“We believe a millennial, well everybody, but specifically a millennial, should start building up a portfolio and in that portfolio a certain percentage should be crypto assets.”

And to do this, Argos wants to take a page from the Apple playbook by opening up "genius bars" that educate people about crypto. This is how he explained the need for such educational centers:

“It's kind of like sex. Everyone thinks they know all about it, but no one talks about it and no one wants to ask a dumb question.”

The first retail location will be in London; the others will be in Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore.

 

Featured Image Credit: Image Courtesy of Argo Blockchain