Airport ads firm invests in BTC miners to recover from pandemic

By Raffaele Redi
• Updated

Investors seem unsure what to make of new crypto venture

Aircraft in the sky at sunrise or sunset                                 
AirNet survived the 2020 pandemic crisis and hopes bitcoin mining will change its fortunes – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

A Chinese company dealing in airport advertising has invested $60m in bitcoin miners to help it recover from Covid-19 pandemic losses.

AirNet Technology announced it has agreed to buy 4,800 Bitmain Antminer S-19 XP miners that will be supplied in tranches of 800 units in the second half of 2022.

The company has also leased roughly four acres of land for three years, including 22,600 square feet of office space, in Houston, Texas, to host its new US operations.

The overall purchase price for the miners was approximately $60m, for which the company’s business partner, Foundry Digital, will provide financing.

A troubled pandemic experience

The group posted poor 2020 results, with uncertainty prevailing as “Covid-19 exerted long-term negative impact on the Chinese economy”.

The Beijing-headquartered firm, which provides in-flight connectivity, entertainment and multimedia solutions in China, received a Deficiency Letter from Nasdaq in September 2020 due to its failure to maintain a minimum of $2.5m in stockholders’ equity.

Meanwhile, the company’s stock price fell below the minimum $1 per share required to trade on the Nasdaq.

However, the company overcame its difficulties and changed management in 2021 before deciding to try crypto-mining.

Investors seem unsure about the new crypto venture as the company is seeing its second negative trading session in a row on the Nasdaq.

At the time of writing, shares in the firm were trading at $1.46, down 3.3%.

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