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Recap: Block CEO Jack Dorsey back in October teased the company’s interest in building custom silicon to mine Bitcoin. He presented a laundry list of concerns that need to be addressed including making mining more decentralized, efficient and accessible as well as expanding silicon development beyond the handful of companies that currently specialize in this area.
Block has confirmed plans to move forward with the project. Thomas Templeton, Block’s general manager for hardware, reiterated the importance of making mining more distributed and efficient seeing as it goes far beyond the creation of new coins.
Block’s team spoke with members of the mining community and found that for most, mining rigs are expensive and delivery can be unpredictable. Reliability is also an issue as things like heat dissipation and dust build up can contribute to frequent crashes that require reboots. “We want to build something that just works,” Templeton said.
Unsurprisingly, Templeton found that miners universally want lower power consumption and higher hash rates. Finding the right balance of performance versus power usage and noise generation will be very important.
Block is also mulling over which tech to adopt and which industry partners to team with.
To help get the ball rolling, Block is building a core engineering team consisting of system, ASIC and software designers that’ll be led by Afshin Rezayee. The engineer graduated from the University of Toronto with a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2002 and has been with Block for nearly seven years as the lead of their Canadian hardware group.
Image credit: Michael Fortsch