In a series of tweets, Block founder and CEO Jack Dorsey confirmed that the company, formerly known as Square, plans to move forward with plans to build a bitcoin mining system. “We’re officially building an open bitcoin mining system,” Dorsey tweeted on Thursday. The company first announced that it was considering the project in October.
Jack Dorsey aims to make bitcoin mining more distributed and efficient.
The project’s goal is to make mining bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, “more distributed and efficient,” tweeted Thomas Templeton, the payment company’s general manager for hardware. Bitcoin operates on a proof of work (PoW) model, where miners must compete to solve complex puzzles in order to validate transactions. The process isn’t easy: It requires a lot of energy and computer power, which isn’t cheap. The computers themselves, along with other equipment, can also be very expensive. Earlier, Jack Dorsey had quit his position as the CEO of the microblogging giant Twitter to focus on bitcoin.
Block looks to address reliability and power consumption in bitcoin mining, among other issues.
Templeton mentioned that there are a number of “customer pain points” and “technical challenges” in the mining community that Block hopes to address, including mining rig availability, high price, reliability, and power consumption. “For most people, mining rigs are hard to find. Once you’ve managed to track them down, they’re expensive, and delivery can be unpredictable,” Templeton tweeted. “How can we make it so that anyone, anywhere, can easily purchase a mining rig?” he said. “We want to build something that works. What can we simplify to make this a reality?” He said that Block is developing a hardware team of engineers and software designers to assess these questions.