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Jack Dorsey’s Block Expands Bitcoin Mining Ambitions, Develops 3nm Mining Chip

Block, Jack Dorsey’s payments venture, has pivoted its focus from chip design to creating a comprehensive Bitcoin mining solution. Revealed in a recent blog post, Block proudly unveiled its breakthrough in crafting a standalone three-nanometer (3nm) Bitcoin mining chip. It further disclosed an ongoing collaboration with a top-tier global semiconductor foundry to finalize the chip’s blueprint.

Yet, Block’s mining endeavor extends beyond chip innovation. The company aims to broaden its scope to encompass system design. “After extensive consultations with various Bitcoin miners to grasp the hurdles encountered by mining operators,” the announcement states, “we’re leveraging these insights to pursue our objective of bolstering mining decentralization. Our roadmap includes providing both a standalone mining chip and a complete mining system crafted in-house.”

Block Aims to Decentralize Supply of Mining Hardware

Bitcoin’s community has grappled with persistent concerns surrounding network stability and hardware vulnerabilities. Notably, the dominance of ASIC chips, predominantly manufactured in China—a nation with a history of hostility towards cryptocurrencies—adds to these worries.

Jack Dorsey’s Block initiative sets its sights on decentralizing both the supply of mining hardware and the distribution of hashrate, a pivotal metric indicating industry competition and mining difficulty.

Central to Block’s mission is tackling the barriers posed by the scarcity and exorbitant costs of mining rigs. Moreover, the company aims to enhance user experiences and reliability in mining operations, addressing common issues like heat dissipation and noise generation.

Although the announcement is light on specifics regarding the mining system, Dorsey had hinted at the prospect of a “Bitcoin mining system based on custom silicon” in earlier discussions. He underscored the necessity for increased vertical integration and diversification in silicon design, lamenting the current dominance held by a handful of companies.

This latest development follows closely on the heels of the recent Bitcoin halving, which halved the issuance of new Bitcoin. Dorsey’s vision for accessible mining extends beyond mere Bitcoin generation. He asserts, “Mining needs to be more distributed. The more decentralized this is, the more resilient the Bitcoin network becomes.”

Block Backs Gridless

Block’s venture arm has thrown its support behind Gridless, a company pioneering Bitcoin mining operations fueled by renewable energy sources across Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia. Reports indicate that Gridless has devised an ingenious method to power its facilities while simultaneously electrifying rural homes.

Situated near Hell’s Gate National Park, Gridless has established its operations within the confines of an extinct volcano. Here, the company employs a mobile container outfitted with solar panels and taps into energy from a nearby geothermal site.

Gridless operates six mines spread across Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia, all powered by a blend of renewable energy sources. While Bitcoin mining has faced scrutiny for its energy consumption, pairing it with renewable energy sources can effectively unlock untapped renewable power and incentivize its further production.

By serving as energy buyers, Bitcoin miners play a crucial role in utilizing surplus energy from renewable sources, thereby encouraging ongoing development in renewable energy infrastructure.

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I want to save money. Will cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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