In collaboration with the Texas Blockchain Council, Fort Worth has established a pilot initiative to mine Bitcoin. The city hopes to become the first in the world to mine Bitcoin here on-site according to the city’s Mayor Mattie Parker.
Fort Worth’s city council adopted a motion to begin using three Antminer S9 Bitcoin (BTC) miners given by the Texas Blockchain Council at the city hall building during a meeting on Tuesday.
The goal of the pilot program was to recognize “the exponential growth of the blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses,” as well as to encourage Fort Worth to become a technology leader.
At the council meeting, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker noted, “This is a very tiny opportunity for Fort Worth with large potential returns on investment.” “We’re going to be the first city in the world to mine Bitcoin right here at city hall,” says the mayor.
Each BTC miner will consume the same amount of electricity as a household vacuum cleaner, according to the city, with costs expected to be compensated by the mined cryptocurrency.
The Bitcoin Mining pilot program
According to Carlo Capua, deputy chief of staff for the Fort Worth Mayor and Council Office, the three rigs are projected to mine 0.06 BTC per year, or $2,353 at the time of writing, with the price of Bitcoin at $39,215 at the time of publication.
The pilot was intended to be limited in terms of both machine count and duration. The city will examine the program after six months, beginning in October, “to learn about the potential impact and opportunities for Bitcoin.”
Capua stated that the program would be evaluated based on the number of bitcoins mined, the amount of energy consumed, and public understanding of technology and cryptocurrency in Fort Worth:
“In this rapidly evolving industry, better understanding 1) the evolution of Crypto and future outlook, 2) what institutional voids might exist in the current laws and regulations, and 3) how government and municipalities interact with this technology.”
“Fort Worth is positioning itself to be the Bitcoin mining hub of Texas by starting small and learning as they go,” said Lee Bratcher, president and founder of the Texas Blockchain Council. “As a whole, the state has already established itself as the world’s Bitcoin mining capital.”
Fort Worth resident Thomas Torlincasi proposed tabling the resolution at the city council meeting, citing environmental worries about the mining as well as potential legal challenges with the adoption of digital currencies.
He compared the program to a Ponzi scheme and questioned why private businesses were contributing things to help them achieve their goals.
“This isn’t the city’s mission,” Torlincasi explained. “Many of you support the free market and the commercial system, and you promote sound business practices. The city is under no obligation to endorse or accept blockchain, Bitcoin, or any other form of non-federal currency.”
Following China’s crackdown on crypto mining in 2021, Texas has become a hub for several crypto mining companies. Blockcap and Riot Blockchain are based in the state, and it has introduced legislation to encourage the adoption of digital assets.