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Jack Dorsey's blockchain clock brought Bitcoin to a House committee hearing

It's called the Blockclock, but it's not here to tell time.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey with Bitcoin blockclock
Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, testifying before the US House of Representatives.
Screenshot by Sean Buckley/CNET

The CEOs of Facebook, Twitter and Google spent a chunk of Thursday answering questions from members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. It was a significant hearing that focused on the spread and impact of misinformation on social platforms. Still, it was hard not to be at least a little distracted by the video chat background that was Twitter head Jack Dorsey's kitchen. Amid the Twitter CEO's stacks of plates, bowls and glasses sat what seemed to be an odd little clock, constantly changing numbers: 1952. 676274. 676277. 1935. 1922. 676289.

Those aren't esoteric expressions of the time or date, though. They're up-to-the-minute updates on the Bitcoin blockchain housed in a dedicated "Bitcoin Data Display." It's made by a Bitcoin security hardware manufacturer Coinkite and is called the Blockclock Mini.  

Think of it as a ticker for the cryptocurrency blockchain. The Blockclock connects to your local network and keeps tabs on a handful of stats: the price of Bitcoin, average fee rates, conversion rates and more. Dorsey's display seemed to be alternating between showing how many blocks currently exist in the Bitcoin blockchain, and how many Satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin possible) it takes to add up to a dollar. 

Speaking of, at the time of this writing you'd need 764,236 Satoshis to buy the Blockclock. It sells for $400 on Coinkite's website.

I've reached out to Dorsey to ask him more about his clock, and his feelings about Bitcoin.