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BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — A company created to mine for the digital currency bitcoin has begun operation at facility in western Montana.

The Montana Standard reports CryptoWatt LLC activated about 2,000 computer servers at the former Mike Mansfield Advanced Technology Center south of Butte Wednesday.

Company representative Matt Vincent says this week’s activation is the first phase of the project, and the company expects to launch a larger-capacity operation in April or May.

Bitcoin is a decentralized currency created and exchanged outside of banks and governments. Users mine bitcoin by lending computing power for verifying other users’ transactions. They receive bitcoins in exchange.

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Vincent says the company expects to be able to mine between 10 and 15 other digital currencies in the future.

The company expects to hire 50 full-time employees when the facility becomes fully operational.

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This story has been clarified to show this week’s activation is the first phase of the project, not a pilot project

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com