Who owns the Bitfury Group, and what are its Activities in Georgia?
The Bitfury Group is a company providing full service for Blockchain technology, and one of the world’s largest providers of Bitcoin mining infrastructure.
Bitfury Holding BV was founded in 2011 and is registered in the Netherlands, where the company’s head office is located. In Georgia, it owns a free economic zone through the company Georgia Technology Park.
Bitfury is currently supplying various services to 17 countries across the world, including the United States, Canada, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Norway, Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Russia, Georgia, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan. The Bitfury Group devises software and equipment that is vital for businesses, governments, organisations and individuals to be able to safely move their assets through Blockchain.
The company CEO is its cofounder Valery Vavilov, who is originally from Latvia. The council of directors is composed of some of the world’s leading specialists in the field of technology, such as the economist Hernando de Soto and Bill Tai.
Forbes has been listing Bitfury among the world’s largest Blockchain technology firms for several years already. According to the magazine, “the company’s main objective is to make services and transactions transparent and safe across the world. The group’s activities have enabled Georgia to become one of the global leaders in Bitcoin mining. According to the World Bank, Georgia is among the top 10 countries in the world by volume of cryptocurrency.” In an article about Bitcoin mining, the US edition of Forbes also mentions Abkhazia, stating that cryptocurrencies are also actively being produced in this occupied territory, albeit without the Bitfury Group’s support. According to Forbes, the government of Abkhazia has been conducting negotiations with Blockchain Consultants Ltd., which has no ties to Bitfury.
Bitfury Group’s Activities in Georgia
Bitfury has been operating in Georgia since 2014. The company opened its first data centre in Gori. In 2015, it emulated Iceland, Norway and Canada by opening a mega data centre, where it implemented an innovative energy-efficient cooling system. The data processing centre is equipped with the latest generation of Bitfury microchips. In 2018, the group sold its Gldani data centre to the Asian firm Chong Sing Holdings. This decision was explained by Bitfury’s aim to expand on the Asian market. Chong Sing is a multi-billion dollar company trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Its activities include Blockchain technologies, development of technology-based payment systems and other areas of financial technologies.
Loan from the Georgian Co-Investment Fund
In 2014, Bitfury built its first Georgian data centre in Gori using a $10 million loan from the Co-Investment Fund. One year later, this loan was substituted with a loan from the Bank of Georgia. The Co-Investment Fund, which was established by Bidzina Ivanishvili, does not own any shares in either one of Bitfury’s data centres.
Registering Real Estate in Blockchain
Georgia is one of the first countries in the world to have started using Blockchain technologies in real estate registration. More specifically, through cooperation between Bitfury and the Georgian side, information about each real estate record has been automatically stored in the Blockchain system since 2017. Deleting, modifying, copying or manipulating Blockchain data is impossible. Blockchain is a decentralized database. Unlike traditional databases, it is protected both from cyberattacks and physical destruction, as the data is stored inside tens of thousands of computers across the world, rather than in one specific location.