Last year, Cannon’s new company, Symply Data Centers, opened a location in Piney Flats ahead of plans to follow that with a location in Johnson City. These centers, according to Cannon, will allow customers to use their equipment to “mine” Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, in an efficient and safe way.
Startup costs are about $6,500 for equipment and engineering fees, and additional monthly fees to keep the servers at the data center, according to the company’s website.
“Mining” is the process of running computers connected to a decentralized worldwide network to validate the transactions recorded on the Ethereum Blockchain, a complete ledger of transactions using the cryptocurrency. Cannon said the operators of mining computers, called “nodes,” are rewarded for their work with Ether “coins.”
“Ether is earned according to a schedule by the computers who keep the ledger up to date. The process of updating the ledger and getting a reward is called ‘mining.’ This is how new Ether are distributed,” Cannon explained.
Cannon’s new company chose to mine Ether instead of Bitcoin because of what he described as “hurdles with the technology.”
“We’ve heard a lot about Bitcoin mining and there's a number of issues with it. First of all, it’s very expensive, so only big players can get involved with it. The servers also get very hot and noisy, so having one in your basement is not a good option,” Cannon said.
“There aren’t many places that open it (cryptocurrency mining) up to where many people can participate,” he added. “With this company, people can buy their own software and we can manage it for them. It’s pretty much opening it up for the common man who wants to do this kind of thing.”
Cannon said the new company was launched after a series of seminars he recently held to educate people throughout the region about cryptocurrencies. After networking with people who were interested in cryptocurrencies, he came into contact with engineer Bobby Carr, who he said helped design their first server room in Piney Flats.
“He’s figured out how to run the servers so they run at optimal performance,” Cannon said.
Cannon said the new company will allow more people to get in on what he considers a rapidly emerging market.
Though he said the cryptocurrency market is “volatile,” Cannon said it is still possible to make money when the price for the cryptocurrency goes up. When looking at more long-term trends, Cannon said the value of cryptocurrencies like Ether is generally trending upward.
“I think we’re very much in the first inning of this ballgame,” he said. “Most people don’t think big enough when it comes to this, because this is a worldwide phenomenon.”
For more information on Symply Data Centers or Ethereum mining, visit the company’s website at www.SymplyDataCenters.com.