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July 25, 2018 | Tom Ballard

John Cannon’s latest endeavor is focused on cryptocurrencies

(EDITOR’S NOTE: After finalizing this article, John Cannon sent us this announcement {Press Release Symply Data Centers July 18} about Symply Data.)

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

John Cannon is a tech guy, so by definition, the Johnson City resident is very inquisitive and curious.

Since meeting the Northern Michigan native more than a year ago, we have captured his diverse set of entrepreneurial interests in a series of articles. The first spotlighted Symply Health Inc., a start-up that sublicensed what Cannon describes as a “clinically-proven smoking cessation product” developed by a Seattle-based company. Later, we explored Agatha, a board game which, like Symply Health, draws on its Founder’s passion for behavioral change concepts, in this case motivating people to exercise.

While still working on these two start-ups, Cannon is also deeply involved in the cryptocurrency movement as Co-Founder of a new venture named Symply Data Centers that was founded in May. It draws on an experience the former corporate executive had when a former employer distributed Zimbabwe 100,000,000,000,000 dollar bills as business cards. They were practically worthless unless an individual could find someone who wanted to take them in trade.

“That got me interested in currencies and manipulations,” Cannon told us in a recent interview. “When Bitcoin started going crazy last year, I started doing some research and bought some.”

He explains that cryptocurrencies are not run by a company, country or single bank. Instead, they are simply run by a hundred thousand computers working together around the world to validate transactions every 10 minutes.

“It’s the most secure (financial transaction) thing we have right now,” Cannon declares.

Initially, he was conducting workshops in the Johnson City area to explain cryptocurrency to interested individuals. More recently, Cannon and a partner have launched Symply Data Centers and established their inaugural location in the Piney Flats area of Northeast Tennessee where they are allowing customers to use their specialized equipment to “mine” Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin, in an efficient and safe way.

“Mining is a name given to those running validation computers,” Cannon explains and, as the name implies, Symply Data Centers is a server farm for cryptocurrency.

“We’re offering a service, not a security,” he emphasizes. “It’s a simple service in a complex market.”

The service includes an engineering fee to set-up a 150MH/sec mining rig (computer) and a monthly fee to house the equipment in the Symply Data Centers colocation facility. For a little more than $100 a month, the company provides everything the rig owner needs to operate.

Cannon says a customer’s initial investment, including set-up, will be about $6,500 per rig.

“We will mine the most profitable cryptocurrencies available with our rigs,” he adds. For now, that’s Ethereum, but that could change as the crypto movement matures and evolves.

What’s the attractiveness of cryptocurrencies to individuals who want to make such an investment? Cannon explains that it is about earning a financial reward for validating transactions. With its current focus on Ethereum, Symply Data Centers expects the owner of each rig to make about .33 Ether each month. That’s about a 30 to 35 percent return on the investment.

“For those in countries where currencies are being devalued, it’s really a great option,” Cannon adds.

Symply Data Centers is planning a major event, titled “Crypto Facts and Figures,” on October 13 in Johnson City.

“We have just begun,” Cannon says of his newest and most likely not last venture. As the needs grow, Symply Data Centers will expand to other locations.

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