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Fatfish Internet Group will become the first ASX-listed company to “mine” cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Unlike fiat currency which is issued by a central bank, Bitcoin is created or “mined” with high-powered computers and special software used to solve math problems.

Singaporean tech investor Fatfish is sinking $US1 million ($1.28 million) into a new Malaysia data centre set up to mine cryptocurrencies. It will start operation in two weeks.

Fatfish (ASX:FFG) would own 51 per cent of the business and receive its profits in cryptocurrency, said CEO Kin Wai Lau.

Fatfish was initially approached three months ago to invest in the business but only became interested after Bitcoin values surged in December, Mr Lau told Stockhead.

Bitcoin almost doubled in price to more than $US19,000 in December and now sits at about $14,000 — though the price fluctuates wildly.

“In the last two months there was a major upwards revision of Aussie cryptocurrency prices and that made the business look a lot more lucrative than it did a few months back,” Mr Lau said.

So far no other listed companies in Australia have ventured into the volatile — and expensive — space of crypto mining.

In the US however, NASDAQ-listed miners abound such as Purio, Nodechain and MX Gold.

Fastfish shares closed up 28 per cent on the news to hit 10.5c, close to its 52-week high of 11.5c.

FatFish's share price since May 2017. Pic: Investing.com
FatFish’s share price since May 2017. Pic: Investing.com

Exploring for crypto

Crypto miner APAC Mining is headquartered in Singapore but is associated with a Malaysian business called EPS.

It will initially have enough computing power to mine 150 Bitcash coins a month. At current prices that volume of Bitcash would be worth $371,850 a month.

APAC Mining will reserve about half of the capacity at its two locations for its own mining business.

Mr Lau says the business will reassess which currency to mine every 48 hours, and the Fatfish take will be sold via exchanges like their new platform Kyrptos-X.

It will sell the remaining capacity to outside miners, charging fees of 20 to 40 per cent of the value of the cryptocurrency mined rather than a flat rate.

Mr Lau expects to make a 100 per cent return on investment each year from APAC.

Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia is the locations for the two initial sites, where energy prices are low and the company was able to negotiate preferential tariffs. Mongolia is the next location.

APAC Mining will be deploying computing facilities capable of “Hashpower” of up to 4,500 Trillion Hashes per second.

Hashpower refers to the computing ability to mine cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency mining is an energy-intensive process, where computing power is used to calculate a complex mathematical solution to confirm transactions made on a blockchain network.

Miners who complete the solution first earn a transaction fee — usually the blockchain’s own token. Bitcoin is the most famous blockchain token that can be earned, while others include Ripple and Dogecoin, which was originally built as a joke token.