Fort Worth Becomes the First U.S. City to Mine Bitcoin
Texans are often quite proud of themselves for being the best. Rarely do we get to boast of being the first. Recently, however, Fort Worth has become the first U.S. city to operate a bitcoin mining farm on government property.
One Small Leap for Forth Worth Is One Giant Step for Texas
Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker led the charge to get bitcoin mining rigs placed in city hall. The city will use three Bitmain Antminer S9 mining rigs that will run 24 hours a day in a climate-controlled room in the city’s information technology center. The miners will be hosted on a private network.
Texas became the bitcoin mining capital of the world last year when China cracked down on cryptocurrencies in general and crypto mining in particular.
Some of the largest bitcoin mining operations in the world are now located in the Lone Star State. Both Bitdeer and Riot Blockchain, two of the largest bitcoin mining operations in the world, have set up shop in Rockdale, Texas, which is seen as a great place for crypto mining operations due to the area’s low energy costs. In fact, the largest business expense among bitcoin miners is electricity and Texas is known for its low electricity prices.
One question on the minds of many analysts with their eyes on the crypto industry is whether Fort Worth’s pioneering spirit will take root and lead to other cities and municipalities jumping in on the bitcoin mining opportunity.
Other Cities That Support Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency
Fort Worth isn’t expecting to profit from three mining rigs, but it’s important to support the bitcoin ecosystem, according to Mayor Parker. Other cities around the country are also advocates for bitcoin.
Both Miami and New York have mayors who’ve opted to receive their salaries in bitcoin. While that’s a far cry different from the city operating a mining rig on city property, it does signify that there are city leaders in other states that recognize the bitcoin opportunity. Other U.S. cities are also advocates for crypto in other ways. In Berkeley, California, for instance, the city is selling municipal bonds for cryptocurrencies.
Not all cryptocurrency and bitcoin adoption at the local level is spurred on by city governments. In many places, crypto is catching on at the grass roots. Several U.S. cities are seen as crypto-friendly due to the number of bitcoin ATMs in operation. Houston and Dallas are among them. Other U.S. cities with many bitcoin ATMs in various locations include:
- Los Angeles, California
- Chicago, Illinois
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Miami, Florida
- Detroit, Michigan
- Orlando, Florida
- Newark, New Jersey
- Boston, Massachusetts
Investopedia lists three cities as U.S. bitcoin hotspots: San Francisco, California; Miami, Florida; and New York, New York. Miami was the first U.S. city to issue its own cryptocurrency.
Clearly, bitcoin adoption is on the rise. Experts agree that cryptocurrency investing is risky, but that isn’t stopping cities and states from embracing them and even adopting measures to make them more acceptable. Texas Governor Greg Abbott is among state leaders in the U.S. to publicly embrace crypto.
The Implications of Cities Mining Bitcoin
Given the rise in acceptance of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in the last couple of years, it’s entirely feasible that other cities could follow Fort Worth and begin mining bitcoin. Should that happen, how would it impact the bitcoin network?
Since one of bitcoin’s primary features is decentralization, more cities and states setting up mining operations would make the network more secure. The reason bitcoin has seen no hacks since 2010 is because of decentralization. The more cities and states that get in on crypto mining, the more decentralized the bitcoin network will be and the more secure the network will be from potential hacks and bad actors.
Beyond security, it could also stabilize the price of bitcoin, which is known for its volatility.
One final implication is mass acceptance of bitcoin as a medium of exchange. If cities become miners, that means implicit support for bitcoin as a bona fide currency and a viable medium of exchange. Say you read it here first.