The city council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday making Fort Worth the first city in the United States to mine bitcoin.
The decision authorized a six-month pilot program involving a team from the city and the Texas Blockchain Council, which is donating three S9 Bitcoin miners. They will work around the clock, seven days a week, in the data center of Cityhall’s climate-controlled IT solutions division, located on a private network to combat security risks.
The Texas Blockchain Council is a non-profit association made up of companies and individuals working in bitcoin, crypto, and blockchain technology.
Mayor Mattie Parker said that by expanding into the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries, Fort Worth will advance its goal of becoming a leading center for technology and innovation.
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“With blockchain and cryptocurrency technology revolutionizing the financial landscape, we want to turn Fort Worth into a technology-friendly city,” Parker said. “With the support and partnership of the Texas Blockchain Council, we are stepping into this world on a small scale while sending a big message: Fort Worth is where the future begins.”
Bitcoin is a form of cryptocurrency, which is a medium of exchange, like the dollar, but it is digital and uses cryptographic techniques to control the creation of monetary units and verify the transfer of funds. “Mining” is carried out using sophisticated devices that solve a very complex computational problem – the “Proof of Work” formula. The first computer that finds a solution to the problem receives the next block of bitcoins, and then the process begins again.
Bitcoin can now be purchased at thousands of ATMs worldwide. Texas has more than 4,200 Bitcoin ATMs, including more than a thousand in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to Coin ATM Radar.
In mid-March, the city of Austin began studying “what it might mean for a city to adopt, use or hold cryptocurrency,” according to a news report from Austin radio station KUT.
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“Fort Worth has always been a leader in many industries, including technology,” said District 3 Council member Michael D. Crane. “With the broader global acceptance of cryptocurrencies, this move shows that Fort Worth is once again at the forefront of innovation and encouragement of creative tools to spur economic development.”
District 5 Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Gyna Bivens said she voted yes because “this decision launches a pilot program that puts Fort Worth in position to become the first city in the entire state to actually mine bitcoin. This is big.”
The first bitcoin was mined in 2009 and the cryptocurrency is now accepted as payment by more than 2,000 companies in the United States and 15,000 businesses around the world, according to Investopedia, which globally ranks San Francisco as the number one bitcoin currency with Miami. Seven and new. York ninth. In 2021, Investopedia says, El Salvador will become the first country to officially submit legal tender for bitcoin.
A city staff report accompanying the bitcoin decision notes that the state legislature passed a bill last year that would recognize cryptocurrency in the state’s Uniform Commercial Code, and another bill to create a 16-member working group to develop a master plan to expand the blockchain industry in Texas. The report said that in early March, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing certain departments and agencies in the executive branch to establish a framework to ensure the United States’ leadership in digital asset innovation.
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Nasdaq.com announced a record 2021 investment of $30 billion in industry venture capital funds with $7.2 billion from US-based investors.
“The Texas Blockchain Council is delighted to be part of this first-of-its-kind pilot program as the city of Fort Worth begins bitcoin mining,” said Lee Bratcher, president and founder of the Texas Blockchain Council. “By starting small and learning as they go, Fort Worth is positioning itself as the bitcoin mining capital of Texas.”
Officials said the city would reassess the program after six months. Depending on the number and type of machines used, the city estimates that 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 the bitcoins mined.
Officials say that keeping the beta program small enables them to see the potential impact and potential opportunities of bitcoin.
“This initiative demonstrates that Fort Worth, as a city, is serious about attracting innovative technology-focused businesses. It is part of a broader culture of innovation that we are particularly focused on citywide,” said Robert Stearns, the city’s director of economic development.
“We’ve been talking for a long time about Fort Worth’s connection to the frontier and our pioneering spirit,” Stearns said. “There are other frontiers today that we need to deal with. Our city contains companies that push the boundaries of not just technology, but energy, biotechnology and logistics – all on a daily basis.”
“Texas is increasingly recognized as the global leader in bitcoin and blockchain, and Fort Worth will have a seat at that table,” Stearns said. “The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Fort Worth, and through this program we will attract dynamic companies that share this vision for the future.”