Crypto

Fort Worth to Start Mining Bitcoin

The Texas city approves a resolution to start a pilot program for mining the cryptocurrency.

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Fort Worth, Texas, is kicking off a municipally run bitcoin mining program. On Tuesday, the city government passed a resolution to accept the donation of three bitcoin mining machines and to authorize a pilot program. The pilot will last for six months, after which city officials will evaluate the possibility of future bitcoin mining operations.

To mine bitcoin, Fort Worth will use three S9 bitcoin mining machines, received courtesy of the Texas Blockchain Council. The machines will run 24/7 in a climate-controlled, secure facility at Fort Worth City Hall, according to a press release. Lee Bratcher, president and founder of the Texas Blockchain Council, said in a statement that the group is "thrilled to be part of this first-of-its-kind pilot program."

With the resolution, Fort Worth adds to the growing popularity of cryptocurrency. In 2021, bitcoin ownership rose 16.7% to more than 25 million bitcoin owners in the US.

Bitcoin mining is a process in which powerful computers work out a complex computing problem. Once calculations are complete, the first party responsible for the solution is compensated with a newly minted bitcoin. There's a strong incentive in cryptocurrency mining to have the most powerful machines, in order to solve the problems first, but also the most efficient, since electrical power costs can be heavy.

It's unclear what economic impact mining bitcoin will have for the city, but Mayor Mattie Parker said that the machines "mark Fort Worth's larger commitment to becoming a leading hub for technology and innovation." 

The value of the bitcoin mined is expected to offset the amount of energy required to run each computer, which the city estimates to be about the same as a household vacuum cleaner.