Ex-military bunker in Swiss Alps to become BTC factory

By Raffaele Redi
• Updated

WISeKey says it is looking for more bunkers

Bunker at Val Frejus                                 
Bunkers like this in the Swiss Alps are being used by WISeKey for bitcoin mining – Photo: Shutterstock

Nasdaq-listed WISeKey International, a Swiss cybersecurity company, is to start bitcoin mining operations from a former military bunker in the Alps.

WISeKey has been using the granite mountain bunkers since 1999 as the structures will protect data even in the event of a nuclear catastrophe.

“Ultra-secure bunkers facilities are adequate for critical-mission infrastructures and ideally located to perform Bitcoin mining. The bunkers have been transformed to provide an ultra-secure environment for bitcoin mining with certified protection against electromagnetic pulse,” said the company.

1,000 bitcoin machines

The objective is to gradually acquire and install more than 1,000 bitcoin mining machines at its secure Swiss Alps bunkers, connected to a control centre at the WISeKey base in Geneva.

WISeKey is also looking at other similar locations with the same type of bunkers in Gibraltar and the United States.

“They will be gradually connected to the network, taking into consideration regulatory and sustainability aspects,” added the company.

The crypto mining and cybersecurity mining operations will be performed via a special purposes company, TrusteCoin, and WISeKey will invest up to $10m over the next two years on bitcoin mining.

The company said it aims to adapt its cybersecurity technologies to defend clients against illicit cryptocurrency mining activities.

Crypto-jacking defence

“WISeKey’s main objective of entering crypto mining operations is to help its clients protect against crypto-jacking that occurs when malicious cyber actors effectively hijack the processing power of the devices and systems by exploiting vulnerabilities and illicitly install crypto mining software on victim devices and systems,” said the company.

Crypto-jacking involves maliciously installed programs that are persistent or non-persistent.

Non-persistent crypto-jacking usually occurs only while a user is visiting a particular webpage or has an internet browser open. Persistent crypto-jacking continues to occur even after a user has stopped visiting the source that originally caused their system to perform mining activity.

It is estimated that 50 out of every 100,000 devices have encountered a cryptocurrency miner.

Cyber security

“Through TrusteCoin, WISeKey is surfing the tide of blockchain and NFT interest through a crypto-mining venture,” the company added.

“The crypto-mining services will be focused on simplifying consumer ownership of secure Bitcoin mining equipment through the integration of cybersecurity offered by WISeKey and smart-contract technologies to simplify the often-intimidating crypto-mining process while providing an affordable entry cost for WIS2eKey clients.”

The company said benefits generated by the Bitcoin mining process would be used to foster WISeKey’s cybersecurity venture to protect its clients against illicit activities.

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