Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker personally oversaw the construction of a small mining farm in City Hall. As a result, the city became the first local government unit to mine bitcoin. In addition, Parker placed the mining operation within the city hall building.
Fort Worth Is First US City Government To Mine Bitcoin
Mayor Mattie Parker took office last year as the city’s first millennial mayor. Among her initiatives is utilizing bitcoin mining to make the Texas city more popular.
“For Fort Worth, a lot of people don’t know who we are,” Parker said. “We want to change that conversation,” she added. “We believe that tech innovation including cryptocurrency is the way we’re going to do that.”
Now, the city will operate three Bitmain Antminer S9 mining rigs on a 24/7 basis. In fact, the devices will operate from the city hall’s climate-controlled-environment information technology wing.
However, city officials clarified that a private network will run the rigs to isolate and minimize any security risks.
According to the officials, each machine will consume the same amount of energy as a household vacuum cleaner. At the least, the expected value of the mined bitcoins will offset the cost of electricity.
Parker Clears Red Tape Tape To Set up Bitcoin Mining
In order to successfully launch the initiative, Parker had to tend with Texas bureaucratic red tape. “This is something brand new for any city. There’s a lot of policy here that we’ve had to jump through hoops to understand,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fort Worth had to team up with a number of external partners to get the expertise they needed.
Specifically, this included signing a deal with the Texas Blockchain Council, which provided the three bitcoin mining rigs worth $600 apiece.
In addition, the city also partnered with the mining pool Luxor Technologies. As such, Luxor helped the city hall bitcoin operation to team up with thousands of other miners globally. Teaming up increases the chances of a unit earning bitcoin.
Parker Wants Fort Worth To Break Into Tech Ventures
Earlier, Parker got the idea of turning to bitcoin after talking with friends who work as venture capitalists. They told her that 80% of venture capital focuses on the tech industry. In fact, cryptocurrency like bitcoin is a major part of VCs right now.
In addition, the mayor opted to start the operation with a minimal setup of three machines. Mining bitcoin requires a large amount of computing power to produce proof-of-work models and validate transactions.
“We’re the fastest growing city in the country. There’s so much excitement around North Texas and Fort Worth, in particular. To really keep that energy going, we have to push ourselves differently,” Parker said.
“We think cryptocurrency is a huge part of our future economy,” she added. After six months, the city will reassess the venture and decide whether to sink real cash into creating a bigger mining operation.
Fort Worth’s Move Can Help Add Legitimacy To Cryptocurrency
Alex Brammer, VP of business development for Luxor, noted that Fort Worth can help make bitcoin more mainstream.
He said that Parker’s initiative effectively reduces the risk perception of both bitcoin mining and cryptocurrency.
Other cities might see the potential and follow Fort Worth’s lead. ”I wouldn’t be surprised to see more announcements like this coming in the future,” Brammer said.
Additionally, Brammer also added that local governments can use bitcoin mining to stabilize electrical grids to transition to green energy.
He envisioned bitcoin mines situated near industrial battery storage facilities. “In this context, it would make sense for cities to start to fund and build large-scale mining infrastructure themselves.”
Watch the Yahoo Finance news video reporting that Fort Worth, Texas becomes the first U.S. city to mine bitcoin:
What do you think of Mayor Mattie Parker’s decision to invest in a small bitcoin mining operation right within Fort Worth’s city hall? Do you think this is the start of something big for the city? Or, is this another white elephant project that’s doomed to fail?
Tell us what you think. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.