NEW YORK - This week we're exploring the latest trends in a relatively new class of customers for the data center industry - virtual currency miners.
The growth of the Bitcoin business was on display Monday in New York, where MediaBistro hosted Inside Bitcoins NY. The event drew more than 2,000 people to the Jacob Javits Center, along with 42 exhibitors in the expo hall. That's a big jump from last year's first event in New York, which had 150 attendees and three sponsors.
Inside Bitcoins provided an overview of the fast-moving landscape for Bitcoin hardware, with many booths featuring vendors of ASIC-based systems for "mining" - the process of creating bitcoins by verifying transactions on the distributed computing network. The event also drew interest from data center and hosting providers, including IO, Webair, Netsolus and CloudHashing. Here's a look at some of the hardware and activity at the event.
This mining rig from Hashware illustrates the density of custom Bitcoin equipment, with boards packed together tightly inside the chassis and large fans to generate airflow to cool the components. (Photo: Rich Miller)
A staffer at the booth for Hashware. an Israeli ASIC specialist, discusses the company's hardware with a delegate at the Inside Bitcoins conference. (Photo: Rich Miller)
Ravi Iyengar, the CEO of Bitcoin hardware vendor CoinTerra, is a semiconductor industry veteran who is now focusing on the business opportunity in specialized mining ASICs. CoinTerra recently released its first batch of systems, which were pre-sold. (Photo: Rich Miller)
CoinTerra's TerraMiner hardware was on display at the company's booth on the expo floor. (Photo: Rich Miller)
The Inside Bitcoins conference from MediaBistro drew 2,000 virtual currency enthusiasts to the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York, as well as 42 vendor exhibitors. (Photo: Rich Miller)
Nicolas Cary is CEO of Blockchain.info, which offers a Bitcoin wallet and trading app, and operates globally without any bank accounts. He discussed the global impact of virtual currency and Bitcoin's online ledger system. (Photo: Rich Miller)
A Bitcoin mining system from Butterfly Labs on display at the company's booth. (Photo: Rich Miller)
Paul Scholes of Butterfly Labs explains the workings of the company's mining hardware to a visitor to the company's booth at the Inside Bitcoins conference Monday in New York. (Photo: Rich Miller)
CloudHashing.com COO Benjamin Gorlick spoke about the importance of Bitcoin's nodes and public ledger in assuring the security of the virtual currency. (Photo: Rich Miller)