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Texas City Says Its City Government Is First In The Nation To Mine Bitcoin

Fort Worth, Texas, on April 26 said it became the first city government in the U.S. to mine Bitcoin.

The pilot program, launched by the Office of Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker and the City of Fort Worth in partnership with Texas Blockchain Council, “recognizes the exponential growth of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while advancing Fort Worth’s goal of becoming a leading center of tech and innovation,” the city said in a news release.

The Bitcoin mining machines will run 24/7 in a climate-controlled data center located at Fort Worth City Hall, where they will be housed on a private network to minimize security risk, the city said.

Bitcoin mining is the process by which new bitcoins are entered into circulation. “Mining” is performed using sophisticated hardware that solves an extremely complex computational math problem. The first computer to find the solution to the problem receives the next block of bitcoins and the process begins again.

By limiting the pilot program’s focus to three machines, the city said it will achieve the goals of responsibly assessing and executing a municipal Bitcoin mining program at a manageable scale. After six months, the city will evaluate the program.

Based on the number and type of machines being used, the city estimates 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 Bitcoin mined. Keeping the pilot program small enables the city to learn the potential impact and opportunities for Bitcoin.

The City of Chandler, Ariz., recently began offering cryptocurrency as a payment option for Chandler residents to pay their utility bills.