Jack Dorsey’s Block Is Working To Make Bitcoin Mining Easier
Block, the payment company formerly known as Square, is working to build an “open Bitcoin mining system”, it is CEO Jack Dorsey announced:. In a thread, Block’s general manager for hardware Thomas Templeton Outlined the company’s goals for the system, which is that it should be readily available, reliable, performant and relatively energy efficient compared to the hashrate.
The overall goal is to make mining more decentralized, making the overall Bitcoin network more resilient. As the value of the cryptocurrency has risen and it has become more challenging to mine without economies of scale, there are fears that the network centralized on too small a group of miners. Making mining more decentralized is “a long-term need for a future that is completely decentralized and permissionless”, Templeton says:. But the plans could be controversial considering how energy intensive mining Bitcoin tends to be.
We want to make mining more distributed and efficient in every way, from buying to setting up, to maintenance and mining. We are interested because mining goes way beyond creating new bitcoin. We see it as a long-term need for a future that is completely decentralized and unauthorized.
— Thomas Templeton (@TempletonThomas) January 13, 2022
According to Templeton, Block is open to building his own ASIC (a custom chip optimized for a single purpose — mining Bitcoin in this case), but that the team will also include software designers. The goal is to make a high-quality integrated system that is also open source. Dorsey has previously said he wants Bitcoin mining “as easy as connecting a rig to a power source”, and that he sees value in a mining system that is vertically integrated across hardware and software.
In addition to the mining system, Block (then Square) announced in July of last year that it was building a Bitcoin hardware wallet with the aim of “making Bitcoin custody more mainstream”. Square also previously allowed its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin using the Cash app. Dorsey has long been an avid supporter of Bitcoin, and his Twitter bio simply remains “#Bitcoin.” He previously spoke about his wish for Block to build a Bitcoin mining system in October.