By a unanimous vote from Fort Worth’s city council, Fort Worth, TX is set to be the first U.S city government to mine for Bitcoin in nation.
Since the resolution passed, Mayor Mattie Parker ordered three crypto mining computers called Bitmain Antminer S9 Mining Rigs. The cryptocurrency mining computers costed the city $2000 each and will run continually 24 hours, seven days a week, in a temperature controlled room in city hall. The city says the miners will be hosted on a private network to minimize the security risk.
The computers will run for six months as part of a program between the city and the Texas A&M University System and Techstars Physical Health Fort Worth Accelerator. Parker is overseeing the small-scale program before determining whether to allocate more appropriate funding to the program if the program deems successful for the city.
Each of the program’s three machines will consume the same amount of energy as a household vacuum cleaner, according to city estimates. While the mayor doesn’t expect the three miners to be major money makers, the cost of electricity needed for the program is expected to be offset by the value of bitcoin mined.
Bitcoin mining consists of computers with power high-speed processors that crunch complex mathematical algorithms, that when successful, a machine earns new units of cryptocurrency.
Although large-scale mining operations require massive amounts of power, Parker insists the donated machines make the Fort Worth venture “no cost” to taxpayers and positions the city to attract a wide array of future business.
“I think for people to understand what we’re trying to accomplish here; I know that the big focus is on mining bitcoin, right? But for us, it’s really secondary. You have to understand every major tech company that’s emerging right now and has been on the forefront of what’s next,” Parker said. “They’re talking about cryptocurrency. The city of Fort Worth wants to learn from both other private sector partners and for ourselves for the next six months.”
Lee Bratcher, the president and founder of Texas Blockchain Council talked about the city’s plan saying “By starting small to learn as they go, Fort Worth is positioning itself to be the bitcoin mining capital of Texas.”
Beyond adding bitcoin to the city’s balance sheet, Parker believes that leaning into bitcoin will go a long way toward putting Fort Worth on the map.
“We’re the fastest growing city in the country. There’s so much excitement around North Texas and Fort Worth, in particular. To really keep that energy going, we have to push ourselves differently, and we think cryptocurrency is a huge part of our future economy,” said Parker.