Bitcoin

Two months into pilot program, Fort Worth exchanges Bitcoin mining machines – Fort Worth Business Press

fort worth is trading in its three bitcoin miners for a single, more energy-efficient model, less than two months after the city announced plans to become a capital for cryptocurrencies and emerging technology.

“what i would say is this was definitely a learning opportunity for us in the city,” said district 3 council member michael crain.

Reading: Fort worth bitcoin mining

the new machine will use less energy and extract more bitcoins, carlo capua, deputy chief of staff to the mayor and council. The Texas Blockchain Council offered the upgraded machine to Fortworth after receiving it through a donation from Shepler Capital.

“basically we got a better, more efficient machine”, capua aid.

In a welcome gesture to the cryptocurrency and tech industry, fort worth became the first city in the country to mine its own bitcoin in april. The “mining” process refers to the machines working to solve a complicated mathematical problem to verify a bitcoin transaction.

After the city initially received the donated machines, Quinn Pr developed a media campaign to promote Fort Worth’s advanced technology leadership. national media headlines, such as us.

The stories had a reach of more than 600 million clicks, according to the city. Leonard Firestone, Chairman of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Committee, promoted the public relations partnership. The new machine will be just an extension of the publicity Fort Worth has already garnered, Firestone said.

“i suspect carlo capua will give (energy efficiency) a bit of publicity,” firestone said.

les kreis, the CEO of steelhead capital and co-founder of bios partner and one of the people who pitched the bitcoin idea to the mayor, said the texas blockchain council is upgrading the machines because one more machine was donated to him new, the bitmain s19 antminer. which will replace the three s9 models in the city.

The three s9 machines expended a combined 3,969 watt hours, creating a fixed energy cost that the city said it represented. The three machines, donated by the Texas Blockchain Council, operated 24/7 and were integrated into the information technology wing of the city council.

The new model will use 18% less energy and mine 147% more bitcoins, Capua said, making it more efficient than the three s9 models.

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In making the initial announcement, city officials touted that the machines used the same amount of electricity as a home vacuum cleaner and said the cost of electricity would be minimal, according to previous reports from the fort worth report. however, the new machines presented an opportunity to further increase fuel efficiency.

“The beauty of a pilot program is that we have the flexibility to experiment and tweak a little bit to make the program more efficient as it goes along,” Capua said.

The new machine has an estimated value of $9,000, surpassing the combined $2,100 value of the previous three machines. If Fort Worth decides to stop mining Bitcoin, the machine will be returned to the Texas Blockchain Council.

“As leaders, sometimes you have to take that leap,” Crain said. “We can take criticism for it. but at the same time, it goes back to that theme that we are a big urban environment and we have big city problems.”

A bitcoin skeptic said the currency is not a good investment.

“It seemed wrong for Fort Worth to believe that having a computer system running a program would raise Fort Worth’s profile as a forward-thinking city,” said Gordon Kelly, a longtime technology executive.

Much of the criticism of the bitcoin mining industry stems from the sheer amount of energy it takes to mine.

Joshua Partheepan, an assistant professor of systems engineering at West Texas A&M University, said that countries like China allowed cryptocurrencies, but banned them due to energy use.

Texas has the lowest price per kilowatt hour of power in the country, making it an attractive place for miners to set up shop, Parthepan said.

The city’s exchange is basically consolidating, he said.

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“I wouldn’t say it’s more energy efficient or anything like that,” he said. “It will simply lower your energy costs.”

kreis said it’s understandable to worry about power, but it’s also worth asking what justifies power consumption. compare bitcoin mining to other mining processes.

“gold is scarce, and it is scarce because it is very hard and requires a lot of energy to dig and find it,” kreis said. “That’s why bitcoin mining is similar to gold in that it requires a huge amount of energy to create bitcoins.”

The city relies on the Texas Blockchain Council to model potential earnings from bitcoin machines. The city took a leap to be innovative, before learning all the ins and outs of bitcoin mining, Capua said.

“It’s obvious that digital assets are the future,” Capua said. “Any chance that we can learn when the risk is very, very low. I consider it a great victory for the city.”

: Fort Worth Report Government Accountability Reporter Emily Wolf contributed to this report.

rachel behrndt is a government accountability reporter for the fort worth report. contact her at rachel.behrndt@fortworthreport.org or via twitter.

seth bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the fort worth report. contact him at seth.bodine@fortworthreport.org and follow him on twitter at @sbodine120.

at the fort worth report, news decisions are made independently of board members and financial sponsors. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

This article was originally published by the Fort Worth Report.

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