Blockchain Company Bitfury Launches New Artificial Intelligence Division

European blockchain company The Bitfury Group, which is valued at more than $1 billion, has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) division.

In a news release, Bitfury said that its AI division will operate alongside the existing blockchain services and remain part of the company. Bitfury is one of a handful of blockchain companies with a $1 billion valuation. That list includes Coinbase, a U.S.-based exchange, and China’s Bitmain, the largest cryptocurrency mining firm in the world.

Bitfury, which is headquartered in Amsterdam, said the need to analyze and extract value from tons of available data drove the company to go into artificial intelligence, a branch of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that act and behave like humans.

Artificial intelligence is one of the technology sectors that has attracted sizable funding this year. According to research firm CB Insights, the second quarter of 2019 saw a record of $7.4 billion invested in AI start-ups, with the majority of that money going to transportation and health care-related companies.

Bitfury said its AI group is still in "research mode." The company added that it will provide more clarity about the range of AI products it intends to offer by the end of the year or the beginning of 2020.