It’s a sound bet that not many, if any, Huntsvillians or passersby know that there’s a horde of miners gathered in the industrial park off Jordan Lane.
No one could blame them. These aren’t the light-on-the-helmet, overall-wearing type from most imaginations. These are the new age variety. They’re not even human.
Miners are an integral part of the decade-old bitcoin industry, and a new Huntsville company has powered up many miners (OK, computers) in town. The company, BitBros LLC., has been up and running since last year but held its grand opening in January following a power upgrade that brought 2.5 megawatts of power to the Blockchain and Crypto Mining Association outfit.
“Each of those miners is crunching algorithms all day,” said Matthew Rizzio, a Hazel Geen and UAH graduate who is also CEO and one of three founders of BitBros. “When it solves an algorithm is when you get paid, by bit.”
Confused? Here is how bitcoin is defined: a digital currency in which a record of transactions is maintained and new units of currency generated by the computational solution of mathematical problems, and which operates independently of a central bank.
There it is, right?
“It took me a year to understand it,” said Rizzio, who graduated with degrees in marketing and supply chain management from UAH in 2014.
Rizzio is one of three founders of BitBros. There’s also his brother and COO Christopher Borgosz, who grew up in Birmingham, attended John Carroll Catholic High School and the University of Alabama and still lives in the Magic City. And there’s the CTO, Josh. He goes by the moniker Jmo, and hails from Illinois and met Rizzio at UAH.
In the bitcoin business there are: Blockchains (a ledger of records stored on an encrypted network of computers); cryptocurrency (digital currency used to pay for using the blocking or for exchanging currency; ASICs (chips than handle a specific, single encrypted algorithm); and the aforementioned miners.
Rizzio said the most difficult part of launching BitBros is waiting for people to get over the learning curve of what bitcoin is about.
“Historically, it takes about 20 years for new technology to catch on,” he said. “Like the Internet.”
But, he added, the company has heard good feedback since its January launch.
“We expect Huntsville to be a great location,” he said. “With so many engineers and people working in technology, there’s a large underground regarding the industry.”