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Fort Worth Passes Vote for City Government to Mine Bitcoin

Three ASIC Antminer S9 rigs, donated by the Texas Blockchain Council, will run on a private network at Fort Worth City Hall.

2 min read
Bitcoin mining. Image: Shutterstock

The city council of Fort Worth, Texas, has approved mining Bitcoin, and will use three ASIC Bitmain AntMiner S9 rigs donated by the Texas Blockchain Council.

The rigs, which each have a maximum hashrate of 13.5 terahash per second (TH/s), will operate on a private network in a climate-controlled data center at City Hall. A terahash equals 1 trillion hashes, or the computational power of a mining rig as it attempts to solve a complex algorithm and add transactions to the Bitcoin network.

The council voted unanimously today to approve a resolution to accept the miners from the nonprofit, making Forth Worth the first U.S. city to mine its own Bitcoin.

“With blockchain technology and cryptocurrency revolutionizing the financial landscape, we want to transform Fort Worth into a tech-friendly city,” Mayor Mattie Parker said in a statement. “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.”

A spokesperson from the mayor's office said that NYDIG will custody the city's Bitcoin.

The city estimates that each of the mining rigs will consume “the same amount of energy as a household vacuum cleaner,” adding in the statement that the amount of Bitcoin mined by the machines will offset the costs of operating them.

It’s an intentionally small operation. The city said it will evaluate the mining program in six months before deciding whether to continue.

The S9 rigs, which weigh roughly 9 pounds, are relatively small compared to the company’s newer Antminer S19 rig, which boasts 95 TH/s. At 85 decibels, the S9 rigs each produce about as much noise as a household blender. 

The donated rigs are expected to generate gains of $2 to $3 per day, according to Minerstat, a crypto mining tracking platform.

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