The Future Of Crypto Mining | Scott Melker & Peter Wall

The Future Of Crypto Mining | Scott Melker & Peter Wall

The Future Of Crypto Mining | Scott Melker & Peter Wall

The Future Of Crypto Mining | Scott Melker & Peter Wall

Interview & Transcript

Today we are joined by the CEO of Argo, Peter Wall. Peter is deeply involved in crypto asset mining and passionate about smart growth. We dive deep into how Argo is securing the power grid in Texas, plans for their future, mining competition, the energy debate, and mining hot spots. We apologize in advance for the echo we had during the recording.


00:00 Sneak peak
00:31 Welcome to The Wolf of All Streets
00:54 Bitcoin miners
01:30 Argo’s Texas mega facility
05:07 3 things you need in the mining business: Power, Rigs, Capital
08:08 Debt, Equity, Bitcoin and the path to capital
09:20 Mining hot spots
12:58 Intel’s mining commitment
17:08 ESG Narrative
20:09 The energy debate: is it nonsensical?
22:23 Secure the network Secure the grid.
23:45 Competition in the mining space and Peter’s trend predictions
28:46 Local actions matter
31:49 Follow Argo Blockchain

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Interview Transcript

[00:00:00] Peter Wall: I think you're going to see this year differentiation based on execution, based on, okay, you said you were going to get to be at 5X hash, how many X hash are you at? You said you were going to order 50,000 miners and install them, how many miners have you installed? I think those are the questions that investors should look at because that tells you how well your team can execute. How well you can run machines. Ultimately, that's what this business is, right? Deploying capital and putting it into rigs and infrastructure to mine Bitcoin. It's a fairly simple thing.

Bitcoin Miners & Texas

Opportunity to Get it Right in Texas

[00:00:48] Scott Melker: This podcast is sponsored by Vauld. Please stay tuned for more information on this amazing company later in the episode. Now, we all know by now that Bitcoin miners are completely destroying the environment and that the planet is probably going to die in the next three years because of them. Just kidding. It's complete fud and nonsense. Bitcoin miners in fact have not only been securing the network, but they've been securing the power grid in places like Texas. Since we've seen the hash rate go offline in China, it's been a huge opportunity for miners in the United States and North America in general, which is now way more than 50% of the hash rate lives.

I'm talking to my friend, Peter Wall, the CEO of Argo, about everything that they're building and what's happening in the mining industry specifically now in the United States. Listen, man, last time we talked.

[00:01:32] Peter: Yes.

Helios Bitcoin Mining Facility in Dickens County, Texas

[00:01:33] Scott: Last time we talked, you guys were building this mega facility in Texas. It seems that now we've moved on to Texas being the center in America for Bitcoin mining. Is that the case?

[00:01:45] Peter: If you build it, they will come.

[00:01:47] Scott: Yes.

[00:01:47] Peter: Last time we talked, we were like, we had this vision to build a flagship facility in West Texas. 200-megawatt facility, in Dickens County, which is in the Texas Panhandle. Now, fast forward to where we are, and we're about to open it. We just put a new video out this morning. The structure's done. The substations' like 98% done. The immersion systems are being installed. Our operations team's there, machines are arriving soon. We're energizing the site soon, so we are getting ready to go live, and that's a good feeling.

If you think about the structure of the last year and a half for us, 2021 was really the year of getting onto Nasdaq, getting equity for big future growth and the future growth was going to happen in Texas. We've now-- We knew that these past six months were the months of execution. Like head down, no new hash rate coming on because the focus was build the infrastructure, install the machines, and grow. We're essentially on the cusp of that, and that's-- It's a good feeling. Obviously, we're never satisfied until everything is rocking and rolling, but we're in a good place.

[00:03:02] Scott: It sounds like you don't just buy a machine and plug it in.

[00:03:05] Peter: There are people that-

[00:03:05] Scott: A lot more complicated than that.

[00:03:06] Peter: - there are people that just buy machines and send them to other facilities and say, "Here you go."

[00:03:12] Scott: Charge me my monthly rate and that's-

[00:03:13] Peter: Yes, exactly. That's never how we've mined. Right from the start, when we started mining at a very small facility in Quebec, we've always been very hands-on. We've been designing-- Our CTO, Perry Hothi, has been designing machines prior to him coming to us. He's always been thinking about how to optimize mining. We're really excited now about being able to build our own custom facility and then eventually be able to put our own custom rigs into that facility. For now, we have Bitmain machines coming. They're solid, they're good, they're S19s.

We have 20,000 coming in starting in May, which we ordered last year. We also have 10,000 machines. We've been hosted at Core for the last two years. We have our own facility in Quebec. We have two facilities in Quebec. Well, we have about 10,000 machines S19s at Core. We just signed a swap agreement for Core to take our old machines and to give us brand new machines because they wanted that capacity back for themselves. Those are coming at the same time as our 20,000 machines. In the next six months, we have 30,000 machines coming for our new facility.

On top of that, we signed a supply agreement with Intel. We are one of four companies working with Intel. We did actually just met with them here. It was great, and we will be getting chips from Intel. Then there's two options for us. One is to put them into our own machines, our own custom machines, work with the manufacturer, build a machine from scratch using their chips, and then the other option is to go with an ODM. Like a manufacturer that has Intel's design and Intel's coded. They've co-designed the machine with Intel. We haven't announced which one we're going to do, but in general-

[00:04:56] Scott: You can go ahead and do that right now if you want.

3 Critical Components to be Successful

[00:04:58] Peter: In general, from our approach, we like to bet on ourselves. Again, we haven't announced it. We're leaning a certain way, but when the time is right, we'll announce it. Scott, in this space, in the mining space, you need three things. It's a simple business. You need rigs, you need power, and you need capital. If you think about 2021, we used our Nasdaq IPO and a couple other little fundraisers before that to get the capital we needed to get the power and the rigs that we needed.

We now have an enormous runway of power. 800 megawatts of power in West Texas in a particular part of the grid where there's an overabundance of renewable energy. That is a lot of it's going to waste because there's not enough transmission lines to take that power to market in Southern Texas. Texas is an energy island. You can't export across the state line to New Mexico or to Oklahoma. That power that's generated in Texas has to stay in Texas. It's not connected to the national grid. On top of that, Texas is also a competitive grid. It's a deregulated market.

Meaning, you can buy your power from a host of retailers, and because of that, ERCOT, who manages the grid, incentivizes large load users like ourselves to participate in these demand response programs. What they call ancillary services. These auxiliary services allow miners to shut down.

[00:06:21] Scott: Which we've seen.

[00:06:22] Peter: As a moment's notice, you've seen other miners do it. Riot famously done it at their Whinstone facility. In exchange for giving that power back to the grid, you get very low cost power. In fact, even in exchange for being on standby to maybe give your power back to the grid.

[00:06:36] Scott: Just your willingness.

[00:06:37] Peter: Just your willingness. Them knowing that you can act as a virtual power plant. You can act as an escape valve. Get out to jail free card, i.e. giving your power back to the grid, you get low cost power.

[00:06:48] Scott: You guys are like nodes.

[00:06:49] Peter: We are like nodes, and we're in an awesome place because we're in West Texas, north up in the Panhandle. I don't know if you've been in the Panhandle. The nearest town to us is 250,000 people. That's an hour away. They call it the big empty. There's not a lot of folks there. The county that we're operating in, wonderful people, but there's only 3,000 of them. It's very small. There's not a lot of load. There's just not a lot of power demand in those regions, but there's an overabundance of supply. Texas is the number one wind generator in the United States. It will soon be the number one solar generator.

[00:07:21] Scott: Which people don't think about.

[00:07:21] Peter: People do not think about that.

[00:07:22] Scott: Everybody has this oil vision.

[00:07:23] Peter: Yes. There's all of this power that's being generated and there's nowhere for it to go. In many cases. We're tapping into that grid. We're able to take part in these ancillary services, and that's why there's so many miners moving to Texas. It's literally, and I felt this. The first time I went to our site and I stood there, I was like, "This is Bitcoin mining Nirvana. This is perfect." You can see windmills from our site. They're a couple miles away. There's a McAdoo wind farm, 150 megawatts right there. There's a solar generator that's being built next to us. There's a substation that has all of that renewable power running through it adjacent to our property. We feel-

[00:08:00] Scott: Was that an existing substation or something? Okay, because I know you guys build them when you need to.

Debt, Equity or Selling Bitcoin?

[00:08:04] Peter: We built our own. We'll build that out more as we get to the 800 megawatts. Going back to power, rigs, capital, we've got a ton of power. We've got rigs coming from Bitmain. We've got a supply agreement with Intel to get chips to put them into rigs. On the capital side, we obviously used our capital from 2021 to get where we are now. Now, looking at capital, looking at the second half of this year and 2023, how are we going to continue to grow? That's the question that a lot of investors ask. They're like, "Okay, great, Peter, you got all this power. Great. You got a great relationship with Intel. How are you going to fund it? Are you going to sell equity again? Are you going to dilute us?"

[00:08:49] Scott: Or are you going to sell Bitcoin?

[00:08:50] Peter: Are you going to sell Bitcoin? Well, or are you going to take on debt? Those are the three levers, right? Debt, equity, Bitcoin. I'm going to leave you hanging on this, because we have not announced our capital plan yet. We're going to do that. Our numbers are coming out, too. We're a bit later than the US with our numbers because we're UK listed. We feel like we've got an awesome path to capital to get us to the kind of growth that we need to fully build out the next 800 megawatts over the next couple of years.

Bitcoin Mining Hotspots in the US

[00:09:21] Scott: Okay. Miners, obviously, have this ability to move to where either the cheap or the renewable, whatever the energy source is. You said that the power doesn't really leave Texas. Is that why? Are we going to see miners popping up in random places all over the place, or is it really going to start to be super-- I don't want to say centralized as a four letter word, but centralized into these places where you just have this perfect environment for mining?

[00:09:50] Peter: Yes. I think there's going to be mining hotspots. In short, I think there's going to be both. I think you're going to have the big guys like us, like Riot, like Core. They're going to go to the places where they know there's a regulatory-friendly environment. If you're a miner right now, you're not going to set up in New York State.

[00:10:07] Scott: Although on Seneca Lake there is a big miner and they're having a lot of problems.

[00:10:13] Peter: They're a good example. That's a pushback from a state government that started at the local level. That was the local community saying, "There's a problem here. We're going to push back." If you're looking for your next site, you're going to say, "You know what, until New York gets settled, we're not going to go there."

[00:10:31] Scott: Yes. We're out of here.

[00:10:31] Peter: That happened in Quebec. In 2018, Quebec government said, "Too many miners. We got to figure this out. Stop coming. There's a moratorium on new mining." Now they've figured it out, they have clear rules and regulations, and Quebec is an okay jurisdiction. It's decent power prices. If you follow the rules, you're all right. They have curtailment rules in place. It's okay. We mine there. We have two existing locations, and I think folks will continue to mine in Quebec. Bitfarms is obviously really deep into Quebec.

Texas is clearly the best in terms of regulatory environment, in terms of price. The problem with Texas is the heat and the dust. It's hot in the summer, and it's dusty, in a lot of places. We've decided to build an immersion mining facility to be able to control the dust and the heat. Immersion is really, we believe, the future of mining. It's the most efficient way to mine. Machines last longer. You can push the machines harder. We've put the extra capital into building out immersion infrastructure. I think you're going to see the industry as a whole moving hard into immersion in 2023.

We're a little ahead of the wave. Whinstone's a little ahead of the wave with their facility in Texas as well. To go back to your question, I think Texas is a spot. Washington state, Wyoming, Montana, these places also are going to have some mining. There's also folks who are going to go to where stranded power is, around natural gas resources. You've seen the Crusoe guys telling their story. There's other folks, JAI Mining is doing it. Hard to scale. You've got a container or some type of unit in the middle of nowhere. We joke we're in the middle of nowhere, but we have a labor force of 3,000 within 10 minutes away, 20 minutes away. We've got a labor force of 250,000 an hour away.

[00:12:27] Scott: Are you building a city there?

Supporting the Local Community in Dickens County

[00:12:29] Peter: We are definitely contributing to the economy in Dickens County. We are bringing a lot of energy. We're hiring a lot of local people. There's already a city there. There's a community there, so we're tapping into the community, we're working with the county. We're rebuilding the local community pool. We're trying to be good community actors.

[00:12:49] Scott: Of course.

[00:12:51] Peter: I mean, Texas is awesome. It's also like people are just hardworking, so we're excited about being there.

Argo Blockchain & Intel Agreement

[00:12:59] Scott: Yes, it's really amazing. I feel like you're talking about Intel. It's very real. I feel like that story was just missed. It's Intel. Why isn't everybody talking about the fact that Intel has made a commitment to mining and that this is actually happening? Could there have been a bigger piece of news from a bigger company in mining?

[00:13:22] Peter: I think Intel has purposefully, and we have an agreement with them, and they are controlling how quickly they want to release the news. They haven't put out the specs, they haven't put out the cost, et cetera. They're working with a small group of miners.

[00:13:36] Scott: A lot of speculation.

[00:13:37] Peter: What was that? A lot of speculation. I think they are the first blue chip name in computing to get into crypto mining. There's no one else, right? You could argue whether Bitmain's a blue chip name. They're not. They're new. They're a startup. They're a great company [crosstalk].

[00:13:55] Scott: They're the blue chip name for mining, but they are not a blue chip name--

[00:14:00] Peter: I'm excited about Texas, and I'm excited about Intel. I think that relationship for us is going to be really powerful, really important. It's early days. They initially came to us because of our ESG bona fides. We've been outspoken about the fact that we think that if mining is going to grow and be accepted by institutional investors, by mainstream investors, by regulators, it needs to be done in a sustainable way, and we need to be leading on the ESG initiative. Not everyone agrees with us, but we certainly think that that's important for us as a company, and as part of our core values.

Intel, when they looked at the mining landscape, that was their first concern. How are we going to do this? I don't want to speak for Intel, but our understanding was that was a big concern of this. How are we going to do this in a way that our existing investors and our existing stakeholders are okay with? ESG is kind of like if you look at who they're working with, hive, grid, block, all generally have a certain tack, a certain approach to ESG. That was the way in the door. Then I have to say our technology team, led by our CTO, has really impressed them and they've had good conversations.

Perry's a brilliant miner, and I think they recognize that. We're not the biggest miner out there, we're certainly not the smallest, but we've been around for a long time. We have a very solid reputation in the space. We haven't overpromised, ever. We've always said if we're going to do something, we do it. I think they looked at that and did their due diligence, and now we're on the list. Hopefully, we'll be mining with Intel chips very soon.

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Bitcoins Shifting ESG Narrative

I think last time we spoke and certainly just all of last year, even through the Bitcoin drop, ESG was the narrative. There were people who said Bitcoin's dumping last April, May, June, because of-- Because Elon Musk said that that was big. Feels like that, at least in the mainstream, that narrative has really slowed down. I don't know if that's true, maybe you can tell me. Behind the scenes, is that still the singular thing that you guys have to explain for on a more regular basis, or is that actually sort of-

[00:17:45] Peter: I don't think it's-

[00:17:46] Scott: - people understand, we've educated these legislators and-

[00:17:50] Peter: No, no. I don't think we've won that argument yet. I think it's still an issue. It's not the issue the way it was, but it's still an issue. If you listen to pushback that you get from some of the detractors at Bitcoin, and that's one of their main arguments. There's the whole ESG fud argument. Then, generally, in our conversations with investors on the ESG front, they break down into three categories. One, they are very concerned about ESG initiatives, and they say, "What are you doing? This is the future of investing. How are you going to make sure that you're a climate-friendly miner?" They really dig into it. Others just want to check the box. It's [crosstalk]-

[00:18:34] Scott: Yes, they want to [crosstalk] compliance or whatever.

[00:18:37] Peter: Then others don't care and are not at all concerned about ESG, they're really more concerned about how we're going to-- What's our path to growth? What does the future hash rate look like? Et cetera, et cetera. I think there's still different demographics amongst investors that we talk to, both on the institutional side and on the retail side, that come with different approaches to the ESG question. For us, again, we think it's an important question. It's going to keep coming back into Vogue, especially as we reach higher and higher power needs.

We started, we were mining with like 400 amps, and then we moved to five megawatts, and then we moved to 15 megawatts, and now we're building 200 megawatts, and we want to get to 800 megawatts in the next couple years. That's a lot of power. Any way you slice it, the city of Lubbock, an hour away from us, is 250,000 people. They use 400 megawatts of power. We're just trying to be twice that. That's a lot of power. When you add up-- Now, you can always do comparisons either way.

[00:19:50] Scott: You know that Bitcoin uses more energy than the entire country even as well.

[00:19:53] Peter: Right. Or you can be like, "Yes, Bitcoin uses the same energy as Christmas lights." There's both extremes.

[00:19:59] Scott: There's washing machines.

[00:20:00] Peter: Right. Exactly.

[00:20:01] Scott: Dryers [unintelligible 00:20:01]

[00:20:02] Peter: We're like in the middle. We're like, "Yes, we use energy. Yes, we need to do it in a sustainable way. No, we're not moving to proof of stake."

[00:20:09] Scott: Right. I mean, isn't it sort of nonsensical to have the energy debate when everything runs on electricity? All that matters is where it comes from. Electric car runs on electricity, but these people are saying you're using too much electricity. So, the source is really all that matters.

The Big Energy Debate

[00:20:26] Peter: I agree. Ultimately, power is a positive development for mankind. Economies do well when we use energy. The energy use in itself, there's no problem with energy use. It's really about the source of it and the emissions that are related to it. If you're getting power from solar, you're getting power from wind, you're getting power from hydro, what's the problem?

[00:20:50] Scott: You're not spitting toxic smoke into the environment.

[00:20:53] Peter: Especially where we're setting up in a place like Texas, where there's an abundance of power that's going to waste. It's going to waste because it can't get to market in an efficient manner. There isn't these kind of load balancing industries that are as effective as crypto mining to be a load balancer. Let me explain that a little bit more. When you look at generation graphs from a nuclear power plant, it goes like this. They say they have 200 megawatts, they're putting out 200 megawatts.

Maybe it goes up, but when you look at generation from a windmill or from a solar farm, it goes like this, because the wind doesn't always blow. The sun doesn't always shine. So, the generation that's coming out of renewables needs to be balanced with the load that is using it. The advantage for miners is that we can be that balancer. We can shut down during times of peak demand. Where you're generating this much, but supply all of a sudden, the demand comes up to here, supply is here. Then miners can say, "Okay, we're going to help. We're going to come down and reduce the demand."

[00:22:03] Scott: So we can balance.

[00:22:03] Peter: Yes. There's very few industries that can do that in a large scale. That's why when you talk to the folks at ERCOT, who manage the grid in Texas, they say, "Yes, Bitcoin mining, it can be a solution for us. It can help even out that kind of supply and demand problem that we have."

Bitcoin Mining is Securing the Power Grid

[00:22:26] Scott: Yes, it's so interesting. Maybe we need a new slogan for miners. That, secure the network, secure the grid.

[00:22:31] Peter: I like that.

[00:22:31] Scott: You're not just securing the Bitcoin network anymore, you're literally securing the power grid in Texas.

[00:22:35] Peter: We usually use the word stabilize.

[00:22:37] Scott: Okay, stabilizing the grid, but it works so well with what we say.

[00:22:40] Peter: I like it. Yes, it's good. Also, it incentivizes more renewables to be built out, right? Because if you're a renewable producer in Texas and you're shutting down for certain times of the day, for certain times of the year, you're not getting money, you're not getting paid for that, right?

[00:22:55] Scott: Right. You're doing-- It's a favor.

[00:22:57] Peter: Yes. If you're not getting paid, you're not-- The economics aren't as good as, obviously, if you're generating as much power. Then conversely, for retail, for consumers in Texas, wind power is the cheapest power because you don't pay anything for wind. Gas has a value. When you burn gas, you're burning a resource. Wind is a free resource. When more wind can go to market by a stable grid, consumer prices go down. Again, that's not us saying that, that's power experts in Texas who have studied the grid, who have looked into it over decades. Since the '90s, it's been deregulated.

Competition in the Bitcoin Mining Industry

[00:23:39] Scott: Yes. Actual experts and not politicians and pundits. Actually, know something and they're not just using a talking point. What I find crazy, so we're sitting at the Bitcoin conference 2020. Obviously, if you walk across the floor, there are so many miners. I don't know, I've never heard of most of them. No insult to them. I don't know if they're private, I don't know if they're here to raise money, I don't know if they're here to find clients, you talked about the three things that you need. How much competition do you see coming in as this-- Are there a few of you who are so established that it's somewhat irrelevant and they're not going to compete anyways?

[00:24:14] Peter: I think so. I think for us to kind of looking at-- It's quite similar to the cannabis market. It's like, you go back 5 or 10 years in Canada. There's all these publicly traded cannabis companies that went, that came online, that went public, that listed, and the big guys that had that first mover advantage, they really had an advantage because they were able to build enough equity and get enough capital to build out their infrastructure and their teams ahead of everyone else trying to get online.

Everyone else trying to get listed. Now that the equity market has slowed down for miners in general, it will be a hard time to get listed as a miner right now. Evaluations are not what they were.

[00:25:01] Scott: Yes.

[00:25:02] Peter: We feel like-

[00:25:03] Scott: They went nuts there for a while.

[00:25:04] Peter: It went nuts for a while. There was a lot of heat in the market, and that's with new technologies, that's the way it works. We feel like our other companies that are listed in this space, I think this year is going to be, there is going to be two big trends for big publicly-traded miners. One is, you're going to start to see true differentiation. It used to be that a rising tide lifted all boats and we would all move with the price of Bitcoin.

I think investors are becoming more savvy about miners and are able to look more at execution, able to look more at more granular metrics than they did in 2021, and so I think you're going to start to see, okay, remember all those miners you said you bought? Are those actually online? How have you delivered? We saw this with a miner recently, who put a big mine [unintelligible 00:25:53] order in with a company. They underdelivered, there was an issue, and their stock went down 30% or 40% in one day, right?

[00:26:03] Scott: There was actually a fundamental reason for this price swing as opposed to, I mean, mining stocks last year traded like leverage Bitcoin.

[00:26:12] Peter: Correct.

[00:26:12] Scott: [chuckles] Right? Bitcoin goes up, they go up twice as much, Bitcoin goes down, they go down three times as much.

What Can We Expect in 2022?


[00:26:17] Peter: I think you're going to see this year differentiation based on execution, based on, okay, you said you were going to get to be at 5X hash. How many X hash are you at? You said you were going to order 50,000 miners and install them. How many miners have you installed? I think those are the questions that investors should look at, because that tells you how well your team can execute. How well you can run machines. Ultimately, that's what this business is, right? Deploying capital and putting it into rigs and infrastructure to mine Bitcoin. It's a fairly simple thing.

The second big thing is because the equity markets are not where they were, debt is a more popular choice for miners than it was in 2021. In fact, the debt market for miners was very immature in 2021. It's matured a lot in the last 12 months, and so now you have [unintelligible 00:27:05], Galaxy, DCG, doing debt deals, and then you've got new lenders coming into the space that didn't exist before. That are looking to get into the market. Then there are lots of miners. That's on the supply side. On the demand side, you've got all these miners that have made commitments to buy machines. How are they going to pay for that?

They can no longer go out and raise equity, it's a lot harder, a lot steeper. Selling Bitcoin, maybe they haven't built enough of a HODL, or maybe one of their core values is, "We never sell Bitcoin." So, that only leaves you with debt. That debt market is going to tighten and be tough.

[00:27:45] Scott: That's going to naturally eliminate a lot of [crosstalk] competitors.

[00:27:47] Peter: It's going to be survival of the fittest. So, miners that have a track record of execution, have a team that knows what they're doing, that have a pathway to power, that have a pathway to rigs. The thing about lenders, which I've learned over the last 6 to 12 months, they don't like doing two months of due diligence for every deal. They like doing two months of due diligence, "Hey, Scott-"

[00:28:11] Scott: You're the guy.

[00:28:12] Peter: - "you're my guy, you're going to come back to me in 3 months or 6 months or 12 months, and you got another deal. Let's do it. I know you, we trust you." I don't think people talk enough about those relationships. We've built relationships now with lenders where we meet them here, we go out with them, we have a relationship, we get them on the phone. You can't do that if you're a new miner. You just can't break in because you don't have the track record. I think time in the market matters, I think execution matters, and I think this is going to be the year where you're going to start to see differentiation.


[00:28:47] Scott: Is mining going to be centralized in the United States?

[00:28:50] Peter: Is there going to be consolidation?

[00:28:52] Scott: Yes. Centralized maybe perhaps is the wrong word, but since China went offline, now Kazakhstan was one of the places they moved, they're having their own major issues. Now that we're more friendly, we have states where you can obviously operate, is this just the natural progression that's going to--

[00:29:06] Peter: It's certainly a very good region for mining because of the power costs, because of the regulatory environment.

[00:29:11] Scott: You wouldn't have said that two or three years ago.

[00:29:12] Peter: You wouldn't have. No. Because of the entrepreneurial spirit, I'd say we're at roughly 50% of the network now in North America, between Canada and US. Is that going to get to 60%, 70%?

[00:29:25] Scott: Yes.

[00:29:26] Peter: Probably. I think it probably will. I think South America is interesting. People are looking there. Now, if you're a Nasdaq listed company, do you want to go to South America, tell that story?

More Clarity on Regulatory Concerns

[00:29:34] Scott: Take government risk, and the regulatory risk, regime change risk.

[00:29:37] Peter: The harder [crosstalk], right? Where else are you going to go? I do think that obviously, we're very like big believers in North America, and big believers in Texas. Some geographic diversity, some miners, that's their play. We're going to be across different regions. I think that's one good play. I think what most miners don't talk about is that for me, the most important relationship is your local relationship. It's not your state relationship, it's not your national relationship. It's, how do you behave in the community you're operating in?

The miners that we've seen get into trouble, without naming any names, have had issues at the local level, which have then translated to the state level, which have then translated to the national level.

[00:30:23] Scott: I swim in that lake. It wasn't really 85 degrees, but, yes.

Being a Good Neighbor Matters

[00:30:27] Peter: I think you need to be really smart about, and authentic, about how you operate in a community, and build relationships with either the mayor, or for us in Texas, it's the county judge and the council there and the community. Be good actors in the community, and build good relationships. We've tried to do that in Quebec, we're doing that in Texas. Ultimately, I think, then when they talk to their state governments, when they talk to other counties, I mean, our county judge in Texas, not that long ago said to me, "Listen, Peter, I get calls all the time." This is interesting. From other county judges in other regions of Texas.

They say to me, "Hey, I know you got Argo setting up there. Would you recommend having a Bitcoin mining company come to our region because how's the experience been with you?" He said to them, "Maybe." He didn't say yes, but he said, "Often I say no, depending on how they're behaving, how they're acting, how--"

[00:31:31] Scott: Depends on the miner.

[00:31:32] Peter: What kind of people are they? What kind of commitment do they have to the community and to being good actors? That matters. I think there's not enough talk about that, that local actions matter. They have an impact on the state and the national level.

[00:31:49] Scott: That makes perfect sense. Where can everybody keep up with what you guys are doing and follow you on the social media?

[00:31:56] Peter: On the socials. We have a very active Twitter account @ArgoBlockchain. We just put out a new video today. We put out videos quite often. I'm @PeterGWall on Twitter. Then we've got a pretty active YouTube page as well. Then our website,

[00:32:14] Scott: The growth is inspiring, man. I really love to see it. We can just do it-

[00:32:16] Peter: Thank you. You should come and visit. You're welcome.

[00:32:18] Scott: I want to go. I want to do that. Let's do that. I think we just, every six months, we can talk about it and laugh about how far it's come, man. Thank you so much. It's so nice to finally meet you in person.

[00:32:27] Peter: Thanks, Scott. Yes, it's awesome.

[00:32:29] Scott: Get out from behind the screens and do this on a couch. Thank you, man.

[00:32:32] Peter: Thanks.

[00:32:33] Scott: Thank you so much for listening to this episode. If you haven't already left a rating or a review on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, please do that now. Spotify just added rating. Please, go ahead and click that five-star. I'll see you guys next time.


[00:32:54] Speaker 2: Let's go.

[00:32:55] [END OF AUDIO]