FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth describes itself as where the west begins, but after Tuesday, the city will also mark a new beginning as the first U.S. city to mine Bitcoin.
City council members passed a resolution Tuesday afternoon to accept three S9 Bitcoin mining machines from the Texas Blockchain Council, which the City said will run 24/7 mining the digital currency in the Information Technology Solutions Department Data Center at Fort Worth City Hall on a private network.
“With blockchain technology and cryptocurrency revolutionizing the financial landscape, we want to transform Fort Worth into a tech-friendly city," said Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker.
“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 passed resolution states the three machines were a conditional donation for the city to demonstrate its support of the cryptocurrency industry through a limited pilot program, and that the city desires to be a jurisdiction of choice to the industry.
The machines have a total approximate value of $2,100, the resolution adds, and they are condition upon the city using the machines for mining Bitcoin. Should the city permanently terminate the use of the machines, it would automatically revert to the Texas Blockchain Council.
“Texas is increasingly being recognized as the global leader in Bitcoin and blockchain, and Fort Worth will have a seat at that table,” Fort Worth Economic Development Director Robert Sturns said. “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.”
With only three machines being used, the City said it will be able to responsibly assess and use a city Bitcoin mining program at a manageable scale and will further evaluate the program after six months.
Each machine will consume about the same amount of energy as a household vacuum cleaner, the City added, with the needed energy expected to be offset by the value of mined Bitcoin.
Bitcoin mining is how new bitcoins are entered into circulation, the City stated. Complex hardware solves an extremely large computational math problem, with the first computer to find the solution receiving the next block of bitcoins. Then, rinse and repeat.