The payment company named Block, formerly known as Square, is actively working on an “open Bitcoin mining system.” The news was announced by the company’s CEO, Jack Dorsey. In a Twitter thread, Thomas Templeton, who serves as the general manager for hardware, delved into the company’s goals for the system. The objectives are for the company to be readily available, reliable, performant, and relatively power efficient in contrast to its hashrate.
The overall plan is to make the process of mining more decentralized, and in turn, make the Bitcoin network as a whole more resilient. The value of the cryptocurrency has undoubtedly increased, making it more challenging to mine without the economies of scale. Then there’s also the fear that the network has become centralized on too small a group of miners. Making mining more decentralized is “a long-term need for a future that is fully decentralized and permissionless,” says Templeton. Plans could prove to be controversial though, considering how energy-intensive mining Bitcoin tends to be.
In October we announced that we’re considering building a bitcoin mining system, out in the open & alongside the community, and we’ve decided…we’re doing it! We thought we’d share some more details on how our initial discussions are going and where we’re headed next. https://t.co/wURxEKBpJ5
— Thomas Templeton (@TempletonThomas) January 13, 2022
Per Templeton, Block is open to the idea of building its own ASIC (which is a custom chip optimized for a singular purpose, which in this case would be mining Bitcoin) but that the team plans to also include software designers. The idea here is to construct a high performance integrated and open-source system. Dorsey previously stated he’d like Bitcoin mining to be “as easy as plugging a rig into a power source,” and commented on the value he sees in a mining system that finds itself vertically integrated across both hardware and software.
Dorsey has always been a huge supporter of Bitcoin, with his Twitter bio simply consisting of “#Bitcoin”. He recently stated his desire to start up a non-profit legal fund to help aid bitcoin mining from the lawsuits they may face.