Published on April 26, 2022
Today, Fort Worth becomes the first city government in the United States to mine Bitcoin. This pilot program, launched by the Office of Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and the City of Fort Worth in partnership with Texas Blockchain Council, recognizes the exponential growth of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while advancing Fort Worth’s goal of becoming a leading center of tech and innovation.
Beginning today, the S9 Bitcoin mining machines will run 24/7 in the climate-controlled Information Technology Solutions Department Data Center located at Fort Worth City Hall, where they will be housed on a private network to minimize security risk. The program is made possible through the donation of three machines from Texas Blockchain Council, a nonprofit association made up of companies and individuals that work in Bitcoin, Bitcoin mining, crypto and blockchain industries. The donation was formally accepted by the Fort Worth City Council today.
“With blockchain technology and cryptocurrency revolutionizing the financial landscape, we want to transform Fort Worth into a tech-friendly city,” Parker said. “Today, with the support and partnership of Texas Blockchain Council, we’re stepping into that world on a small scale while sending a big message – Fort Worth is where the future begins,” the mayor added. “These small but powerful machines mark Fort Worth’s larger commitment to becoming a leading hub for technology and innovation.”
“The Texas Blockchain Council is thrilled to be part of this first-of-its-kind pilot program as the City of Fort Worth begins mining Bitcoin. By starting small to learn as they go, Fort Worth is positioning itself to be the bitcoin mining capital of Texas. The state as a whole has already established itself as the bitcoin mining capital of the world,” said President and Founder of Texas Blockchain Council Lee Bratcher. “We are grateful for the support of several of our member companies, specifically, Luxor Technologies and Rhodium Enterprises, as they provided strategic guidance for this project.”
Bitcoin mining is the process by which new bitcoins are entered into circulation. “Mining” is performed using sophisticated hardware that solves an extremely complex computational math problem. The first computer to find the solution to the problem receives the next block of bitcoins and the process begins again.
By limiting the pilot program’s focus to three machines, the city achieves the goals of responsibly assessing and executing a municipal Bitcoin mining program at a manageable scale. After six months, the city will evaluate the program.
Based on the number and type of machines being used, the city estimates each will consume the same amount of energy as a household vacuum cleaner. The nominal amount of energy needed for the program is expected to be offset by the value of Bitcoin mined. Keeping the pilot program small enables the city to learn the potential impact and opportunities for Bitcoin.
“Texas is increasingly being recognized as the global leader in Bitcoin and blockchain, and Fort Worth will have a seat at that table,” said Fort Worth Director of Economic Development Robert Sturns. “The pioneering spirit is alive and well in Fort Worth, and with this program we will attract dynamic companies that share in this vision for the future.”
The program is part of Fort Worth’s larger plan for growth, building momentum onto recent efforts, including partnerships with Texas A&M University System’s planned Research and Innovation Center in downtown Fort Worth and Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth Accelerator, and establishing the city’s first Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council Committee to build a next-level entrepreneurship ecosystem.
In the Economic Development Strategic Plan of the City of Fort Worth adopted by City Council, the city has set a goal of “a ‘next-level’ economic development strategy must encourage innovation and creativity, build an environment that is attractive to talented individuals and dynamic businesses, and maintain a forward-looking organizational structure.”
Photo: Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker stands amid the Bitcoin mining machines in the City of Fort Worth Information Technology Solutions Department Data Center, marking the city’s commitment to becoming a hub for technology and innovation.
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