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Crypto Billionaire Funds $500 Million Nvidia Chip Purchase for AI Clouds

 |  October 30, 2023

A nonprofit organization, funded by cryptocurrency billionaire Jed McCaleb, has made a substantial investment of roughly $500 million in Nvidia’s advanced chips. This organization, known as Voltage Park, intends to lease computing capacity to businesses seeking resources for their artificial intelligence (AI) projects, per Reuters.

Voltage Park, under the leadership of CEO Eric Park, has procured 24,000 Nvidia H100 chips. The central objective of this venture is to offer low-cost, short-term, and long-term AI computing solutions to alleviate the persistent shortage of AI chips.

Eric Park expressed Voltage Park’s belief that the current machine-learning ecosystem is fundamentally flawed. In response, Voltage Park plans to establish clusters of Nvidia AI chips in locations across Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The operation has already commenced, with some Nvidia chips in use, and a full deployment of all 24,000 chips is expected to be completed by approximately February.

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The soaring demand for Nvidia’s advanced AI silicon was instigated by the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT last year. Businesses rushed to secure AI chips to power their AI initiatives, resulting in a competitive landscape. Notably, Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, and several startups also provide competing AI chips, all of which are in high demand.

Jed McCaleb, a cryptocurrency industry luminary who founded three well-known companies (Mt. Gox, Ripple, and Stellar), is the driving force behind Voltage Park. Ripple, in particular, developed a blockchain featuring a cryptocurrency called XRP, and its founders received 20 billion XRP, reaching a peak value of nearly $80 billion.

Voltage Park, headquartered in San Mateo, California, operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of McCaleb’s nonprofit entity, Navigation Fund. It is worth noting that any profits generated by Voltage Park will be channeled back into Navigation. It is essential to clarify that Jed McCaleb does not actively manage or sit on the board of either the nonprofit or Voltage Park.

Source: Reuters