Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey showed his 5.2 million followers today that he is now running a Bitcoin node.
Dorsey captioned the tweet with the phrase "running Bitcoin." This is a reference to the late Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney, who died of ALS in 2014. Finney famously tweeted "Running bitcoin" on January 11, 2009, just eight days after Bitcoin's genesis block went live and the blockchain was set in motion. The only difference between their tweets was that Dorsey added the Bitcoin hashtag, with its emoji.
Running #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/W51ga3yrKb
— jack (@jack) February 5, 2021
A Bitcoin node is software running the Bitcoin blockchain. It stores every transaction ever made on the Bitcoin network and checks whether they are all valid transactions. It also enables someone to create transactions and submit them to the network. Currently, there are 7,300 nodes on the network right now—plus more that are hidden.
In the comments, Bitcoin node software provider Umbrel—which offers the simplest way to run a Bitcoin node on a Raspberry Pi—asked whether he would set one up on a Raspberry Pi next.
Dorsey replied that he was, "Starting from a scratch build on M1 first." This means that he is running the node on an Apple computer that uses its latest M1 chip. This chip is a high-performance processor, enabling faster applications using less power. It also suggests this may be Dorsey's first Bitcoin node.
Dorsey's path to Bitcoin
Dorsey has been a fan of Bitcoin for a long time. In 2014, some engineers at his payments company Square asked if they could integrate Bitcoin into its online store, according to a speech he later gave at Consensus. He agreed and this was when he understood its implications.
In February 2019, he appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where he proclaimed that the Internet will have a currency and that currency may be Bitcoin. “[Bitcoin] is something that was born on the internet, that was developed on the internet, that was tested on the Internet,” he said at the time, adding, “It is of the Internet.”
In December 2019, he created an offshoot of Square, called Square Crypto, which was destined to work on open-source Bitcoin development. The company has also provided many grants to Bitcoin developers, helping them to work on various aspects of the cryptocurrency network.
A year later, Dorsey showed even more faith in Bitcoin by investing $50 million of the firm's cash into it. This came just shortly after MicroStrategy had done the same, but with $450 million.
And now, would you believe it, he's finally running a Bitcoin node.