ROCKDALE, TX — Milam County is the home of some big developments in the bitcoin mining industry. The site of Rockdale's decommissioned Alcoa power plant is now the home of Bitdeer, formerly known as Bitmain.
Tuesday, numerous Milam County leaders, from school superintendents, to mayors, took a brief tour of Bitdeer’s mining facilities.
Company officials wanted to share with the community their progress in development, since the Bitdeer/Bitmain's groundbreaking at the Alcoa site in 2019.
"We’ve built three lines [of computers] so far, have two more under construction," said Clint Brown, project manager for on-site construction at Bitdeer. "And if the cryptocurrency mining market stays as it is, we have plans on building the whole site, which would be 16 lines.”
Bitdeer employs several dozen people, many of whom are from the local area. A community shut out of the old Alcoa facilities after a widespread job loss, is slowly starting to trickle back onto the site.
“We want people to be interested in what we’re doing and see it and think, ‘hey maybe I can go do that and work there – I have that skill,'" Brown said.
"I think it’s going to be a great thing for us," Young said. "You know this is the wave of the future, with blockchain and all the things they’re doing out there. That’s what we need here in this county.”
Both Bitdeer and Whinstone set up shop in Rockdale within just the past couple of years. Judge Young said he is excited and encouraged by the promise these companies bring for the citizens of Milam County.
“I want the folks in this county to have good jobs," he stated. "We had Alcoa for more than 50 years, before my time... And then it kind of went away... And it was devastating to this county. It’s taken us years to kind of come back from that, but I kind of feel like we’re there.”