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.
8:29 PM · Oct 15, 2021
1/Mining needs to be 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. True?
2/Mining needs to be more efficient. Driving towards clean and efficient energy use is great for Bitcoin’s economics, impact, and scalability. Energy is a system-level problem that requires innovation in silicon, software, and integration. What are the largest opportunities here?
3/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. Why aren’t more companies doing this work?
4/There isn’t enough focus on vertical integration. Considering hardware, software, productization, and distribution requires accountability for delivering to an end customer vs improving a single technology in the chain. Does seeing this as a single system improve accessibility?
5/Mining isn’t accessible to everyone. Bitcoin mining should be as easy as plugging a rig into a power source. There isn’t enough incentive today for individuals to overcome the complexity of running a miner for themselves. What are the biggest barriers for people running miners?
Our team led by @jessedorogusker will start the deep technical investigation required to take on this project. We’d love your thoughts, ideas, concerns, and collaboration. Should we do this? Why or why not? We’ll update this thread as we make our decisions. And now over to Jesse.