According to a report, Tether, the largest stablecoin issuer by market capitalization, has invested $420 million in 10,000 Nvidia H100 graphics processing units (GPUs). This news emerges during a time of surging demand for artificial intelligence (AI). It also comes after Iris Energy reported in August that its bitcoin mining operation acquired 248 Nvidia H100s.
Tether Splurges $420M on Nvidia’s H100s, Secures Stake in Northern Data
On September 20, 2023, Forbes staff contributor Iain Martin reported that Tether used some of its capital to purchase AI-related GPUs. This acquisition followed Tether’s announcement that it was entering the bitcoin mining industry and holding BTC on its balance sheet.
Martin’s article indicated that Tether’s investment in the 10,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs was part of an agreement with the BTC miner Northern Data.
The arrangement will provide Tether with a 20% stake in Northern Data. Investing in the growing AI systems market could be quite profitable, said Northern Data’s CEO, Aroosh Thillainathan.
Thillainathan told Forbes that the deal was a “was a great opportunity to have 2% of the hottest GPU allocation available as everyone is running short on GPUs.” Martin’s report alleges the GPUs were bought through an Irish company called Damoon.
“Northern Data will take a 70% stake in return for shares equivalent to 20% of its ownership,” the report states. Bitcoin miners, captivated by the AI surge, have been exploring AI-related GPU hardware.
Miners such as Hive, Hut 8, and Iris Energy are among those reportedly making such ventures. In late August, Iris announced it invested $10 million to buy 248 Nvidia H100s to expand its operations.
Tether did announce the investment the following day on September 21, noting that it believes Northern Data is “set to become the biggest independent AI player in Europe.”
“We are excited about this investment into Northern Data Group as it represents a fresh venture into new technological frontiers,” Paolo Ardoino, Tether’s chief technology officer, wrote.
This investment underscores our commitment to responsible growth and innovation while preserving the strength and integrity of Tether tokens’s reserves.
Given the AI upswing, demand for Nvidia GPUs has skyrocketed, with the company anticipating shipping 550,000 units this year. Some reports suggest that these GPUs have fetched prices over $40,000 on Ebay.
The cost of these AI-centric GPUs can fluctuate based on their packaging and the quantity bought. Nvidia does not publicly list prices for its H100 SXM, H100 NVL, and GH200 Grace Hopper models.
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