Fort Worth Pioneering US City-Led Bitcoin Mining Trial

Fort Worth, Texas, is looking to gain a first-mover advantage as it sets up three computers to mine bitcoin in the information wing of city hall.

The Fort Worth City Council, led by Mayor Mattie Parker, unanimously decided to approve a resolution on April 26 to mine bitcoin and add it to the city’s balance sheet. The city undertook this project in collaboration with the Texas Blockchain Council and mining pool Luxor Technologies to establish itself as a technology hub, following Mayor Parker’s interaction with venture capitalists invested in the cryptocurrency space.

Initially, the project will not prioritize profits but will allow the city to enjoy being a pioneer in the mining of bitcoin. Talking about why he voted yes, District 3 Councilman Michael D. Crain said , “Fort Worth has always been a leader in many industries, including technology. With the wider global acceptance of cryptocurrency, this move shows that Fort-Worth is once again on the cutting-edge of innovation and encouragement of creative tools to spur economic development.”

Robert Sturn, the city’s economic development director, said, “This initiative demonstrates that Fort Worth, as a city, is serious about attracting innovative, tech-focused businesses.”

“This is outside the box for any government, right? Usually, things move at a snail’s pace, and in Fort Worth, we want to do things differently, and kind of elbow our way into the room,” the city’s first millennial mayor said.

Alex Brammer, Vice-President of Luxor mining, believes that such mining setups could help steady the grid throughout the transition to renewable energy. “In the future, it is likely that bitcoin mines will sit alongside industrial-scale battery storage to provide grid-firming services that prevent blackouts and other interruptions to the grid caused by the edition of intermittent wind and solar generation. In this context, it would make sense for cities to start to fund and build large-scale mining infrastructures for themselves.”

Bitcoin mining solves complex mathematical problems to validate a transaction block and add it to the blockchain. Miners are those who contribute computing power to solve the mathematical puzzles and are rewarded with the transaction fees paid by those who are transacting on the bitcoin network.

The miner’s computer must guess the solution to a mathematical problem generated by the bitcoin blockchain. The more guesses per second it can perform, the higher the chance of finding the problem’s solution and getting a reward. Miners currently receive 6.25 bitcoin per validated block, which is around $240,000 at the time of writing. By joining the Luxor Mining Pool, Fort Worth has the opportunity to pool its mining computers with others globally, increasing the chances of earning BTC.

Future prospects for the bitcoin mining project

The Texas Blockchain Council donated three Bitmain Antiminer S19 mining computers to the city that will run all day, every day for six months. After that, the city will decide whether to invest its own cash in building out a mining farm.

Should it come to that, it would be interesting to see how many computers will be deployed since the number of bitcoins earned is generally proportional to the amount of computing power brought to the pool and the cost of running those computers. It also remains to be seen whether, Fort Worth, like Miami , can reduce the tax burden on its residents by generating funds from mining cryptocurrency.
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