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Clear Leisure buys Serbian crypto data centre

By Iain Gilbert

Date: Friday 23 Aug 2019

Clear Leisure buys Serbian crypto data centre

(Sharecast News) - Investment firm Clear Leisure said on Friday that it has bought a Serbian data centre for just €1.
The company, which already owned a 50% stake in the data centre, just purchased the other half. It bought the stake - which includes the pro-rata assignment of the Bitcoins and Litecoins mined to date - from its joint venture partner 64Bit Ltd.

It said the nominal price reflected the acknowledgement by 64Bit of its "mismanagement" of the operations, including a wrongful allocation of the partnership's resources, mainly during the start-up phase.

The AIM-listed group said it had not been made aware of these issues, through its own investigations into how it could increase the performance of the data centre, including the board speaking with similar-sized businesses in the industry. The result of these investigations helped identify the specific problems and led to the termination of the joint-venture.

The data centre will remain on care and maintenance but given the recent rise in the price of Bitcoin, Clear Leisure said it would reassess its options for recommencing production.

Clear Leisure has begun talks with IT consultant companies to determine the most viable option for outsourcing the operations of the data centre to a new partner. It also noted that its decision would mostly depend on the availability of alternative low-cost power locations, in Serbia or nearby countries as the current location was no longer available to the company.

Chief executive Francesco Gardin said: "Despite market and mining conditions remaining difficult compared to when the data centre operations commenced last year, the recent announcements of new initiatives in the sector, namely Facebook's Libra and Binance's Venus Stablecoin projects, appear to be having a strong positive impact on the price of cryptocurrencies.

"The trend towards wider acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a means of exchange and store of value, particularly in those regions which have a high unbanked population rate, continues to rise."

At 0840 BST, Clear Leisure shares were up 3.11% to 0.24p.

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