Applied Blockchain is loosening its crypto bonds with a name change and a real estate expansion in North Dakota as it spreads its wings to a wider computing market amid the punishing bear market.
The builder and operator of data centers will become Applied Digital, if shareholders are willing, to “more accurately reflect its services and broader business offerings.” The company started broadening its horizons away from blockchain and crypto mining in March.
It sold all of its mining gear for $1.6 billion, and got out of that business entirely. “Applied’s data centers can support many other high-performance computer applications and are not limited to blockchain opportunities,” says CEO Wes Cummins of the name change.
The company also is looking to expand its services to artificial intelligence, machine learning, graphics rendering and natural-language processing and other applications that require massive computing power, says Cummins.
Applied is doubling down on North Dakota, adding a second data center in the Peace Garden State, where it already has one. The state’s wind production is also a magnet for the company’s commitment to renewable energy. At least some of the new unit’s capacity will host Marathon Digital’s operations under a 200-megawatt, five-year deal with the bitcoin miner.
The Marathon arrangement illustrates that the company isn’t entirely giving up on cryptomining. The overall crypto market is down at the moment,” Cummins says, “but we continue to see strong demand for our services.”
Applied is looking to expand its services to artificial intelligence, machine learning, graphics rendering and natural language processing among other applications that require massive computing power, he adds.
Stockholders are scheduled to vote on the name change in November. Their shares are down 92% this year, ending today at $2.135.