Fort Worth becomes the first US city to mine Bitcoin

Photo of coins on top of $100 bills.

Digital currency is rising in downtown. Photo via Pexels.

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After at City Council vote in April 2022, Fort Worth became the first city in the US to mine Bitcoin. Here’s a breakdown of what that means.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a type of digital currency that operates without a central bank + can be sent from user to user. You may have heard of bitcoin when it rose in popularity due to its high price swings and surging value — with an all-time high of $68,790 in November 2021 — since its creation in 2009.

Mining is the creation of new bitcoins, during which sophisticated hardware solves a complex computational math problem. The first computer that solves the problem receives the new bitcoin as a reward, and the process repeats.

Photo of Mayor Mattie Parker in front of mining machines.

Mayor Mattie Parker with the bitcoin mining machines. | Photo provided

How does it work?

The city launched three S9 bitcoin mining machines in the Information Technology Solutions Department Data Center at City Hall. The machines, which were donated by the Texas Blockchain Council, run 24/7 on a private network.

In June 2022, the city swapped out the cryptocurrency machinery. The program exchanged the three S9 mining machines with a single Bitmain Antminer S19. The new machine — donated by the Shepler Capital through the council — uses 18% less energy and mines 147% more bitcoin.

How much does it cost?

Bitcoin mining is part of a small pilot program that is expected to use the same amount of energy as running a household vacuum cleaner. The newly mined bitcoin will offset the cost of the program.

What does this mean for Fort Worth?

The pilot program positions Fort Worth to be the bitcoin mining capital of Texas, the state already leading the world in cryptocurrency mining. Mayor Mattie Parker hopes this will propel the city forward as a tech-friendly hub as it continues to grow and innovate.

“Fort Worth is where the future begins,” Mayor Parker said. “These small but powerful machines mark Fort Worth’s larger commitment to becoming a leading hub for technology and innovation.”

This announcement comes on the heels of cryptocurrency sponsorship deals from both the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers — showing the rise of digital currency trading and sponsorships in North Texas.

What’s next?

After the six-month pilot program concluded in October 2022, the city has elected to continue mining bitcoin. The program netted $1,019.31 after electricity costs.

While the financial gain may not be significant, the buzz certainly has been. Carlo Capua, the city’s chief of strategy and innovation, said the project has garnered nearly 753 million media impressions worldwide, ranging from Mexico to Malaysia.

Not to toot our own horn — FTWtoday was a part of that. Nearly 18,000 people have followed our newsletter coverage + our social media posts have received 9,000+ impressions.

Media coverage of the bitcoin program has contributed to Fort Worth’s status as a leader in technology and innovation + has prompted interest from companies in California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey.