According to a recent Forbes report on September 20, stablecoin company Tether is venturing into a substantial $420 million deal involving artificial intelligence chips and an offshore Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining firm.or
Official confirmation of this investment from Tether is currently pending, with Media sourcing its information from statements made by Northern Data and its executives. The report suggests that Tether allocated $420 million for the acquisition of 100,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs. This amounts to approximately 2% of the 550,000 GPUs that Nvidia plans to ship within the year. The purpose of this purchase is to facilitate Northern Data, a German crypto mining firm, in renting cloud access to these specialized chips for use by AI startups. In exchange, Tether will secure a 20% ownership stake in Northern Data.
Interestingly, Tether did not make the GPU purchase directly; instead, it is orchestrating the transaction and acquisition of GPUs through an Irish shell company named Damoon, which is owned by Northern Data.
In this intricate arrangement, Northern Data will hold a majority interest of 70% in Damoon, a figure that aligns with previous announcements made in July. The potential acquisition of the remaining stake in Damoon by Northern Data remains uncertain, and Forbes did not disclose the financial implications of such a move.
Northern Data CEO Aroosh Thillainathan revealed that his company faced challenges in obtaining these chips directly from Nvidia due to their rapidly diminishing availability. Consequently, Tether took the initiative to procure the necessary chips.
Forbes also shed light on several controversies surrounding Northern Data. The company has previously engaged in hardware acquisitions through shell companies and has encountered issues with missing financial reports. In one instance, German regulators even filed a criminal complaint regarding inaccurate revenue reports, although this case has since been resolved without further action.
Tether is renowned for its $83 billion USDT stablecoin; however, it has faced criticism for its lack of transparency regarding the assets held in reserve. It is worth noting that Tether’s venture into crypto mining earlier in May is seemingly unrelated to this recent deal. Tether had previously invested in an undisclosed mining firm in Uruguay several months ago.