Square CEO Jack Dorsey says the company is starting a “deep technical investigation” to create an open-source Bitcoin mining system. It comes as the price of Bitcoin passed $62,000 while threatening to pass the all-time high of $65,000.
Mr Dorsey said Bitcoin mining isn’t currently accessible to everyone, but it should be as easy as plugging into a power source.
Square is considering building a Bitcoin mining system based on custom silicon and open source for individuals and businesses worldwide. If we do this, we’d follow our hardware wallet model: build in the open in collaboration with the community. First some thoughts and questions.
— jack⚡️ (@jack) October 15, 2021
“Silicon design is too concentrated into a few companies. This means supply is likely overly constrained. Silicon development is very expensive, requires long term investment, and is best coupled tightly with software and system design,” Mr Dorsey said in a tweet.
“If we do this, we’d follow our hardware wallet model: build in the open in collaboration with the community,” he added.
Mr Dorsey announced in June that his digital payments company is building a Bitcoin hardware wallet, considered the most secure way to store Bitcoin, in an effort to make the cryptocurrency “more mainstream”.
Square invested $220m in Bitcoin in October 2020, which is now worth more than double as the price has continued to trend upwards over the past year.
The company’s hardware lead building the wallet, Jesse Dorogusker, is also starting the technical investigation required to take on the mining project, Mr Dorsey said.
In August, he tweeted he was “trying mining” with the Compass Mining service, which hosts and operates crypto mining rigs for individuals.
Compass Mining rigs range between $9,700 and ant $14,800 generating about $36.80 worth of crypto per day, according to the company’s website.
While announcing Square is considering getting into the mining business, Mr Dorsey said the process needs to be more energy-efficient and more distributed.
“The core job of a miner is to securely settle transactions without the need for trusted 3rd parties. This is critical well after the last bitcoin is mined. The more decentralized this is, the more resilient the Bitcoin network becomes,” he said.
“There isn’t enough incentive today for individuals to overcome the complexity of running a miner for themselves,” he added.