Cryptocurrency company closes Montana data center operation

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A digital currency company announced the closure of its Montana data center and the initiation of bankruptcy proceedings.

Toronto-based HyperBlock Inc. announced that its 20-megawatt data center has closed and the company’s cryptocurrency mining operations have ceased, The Missoulian reported Monday.

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be traded online anonymously, and the value of a unit such as Bitcoin can increase or decrease as investors buy in or cash out.

HyperBlock leased a warehouse in Bonner, 7 miles (11 kilometers) east of Missoula.

The company announced to shareholders May 13 that the Bitcoin algorithm had halved, significantly reducing its compensation. Algorithm halving occurs about every four years to limit the amount in circulation, HyperBlock said.

HyperBlock also said its electricity provider, Energy Keepers Inc., indicated it would terminate their long-term contract effective May 14.

A spokesperson at HyperBlock headquarters in Canada and a manager of the Montana facility could not immediately be reached for comment.

Steve Nelson, a co-owner of the Bonner property, declined to comment.