Council members unanimously voted in favor of a resolution on Tuesday to accept a donation of three Bitmain Antminer S9 bitcoin mining machines worth $2,100 from the Texas Blockchain Council.
“These small but powerful machines mark Fort Worth’s larger commitment to becoming a leading hub for technology and innovation,” said Mayor Mattie Parker, who spearheaded the project
The machines will run 24/7 in a climate-controlled environment within the Fort Worth City Hall and will be housed on a private network.
The resolution declared Fort Worth a “crypto-friendly” city, looking to welcome and encourage the growth of companies.
“We have to be on the forefront of what’s possible, especially when it comes to cryptocurrency and innovation across this country,” Parker said, also claiming that Fort Worth will become the first city in the US to mine bitcoin.
Before the vote, one person took the microphone to oppose the plan, arguing that the council should not endorse any currency that is not the US dollar and that the council should beware of “strangers bearing gifts.”
Texas has become a center in the US for bitcoin mining as crypto miners moved to North America after the China ban.
“By starting small to learn as they go, Fort Worth is positioning itself to be the bitcoin mining capital of Texas,” said president and founder of the Texas Blockchain Council Lee Bratcher.
The donation is contingent on the machines’ continued use. The resolution stipulates that “if the city permanently terminates its use of the machines for mining Bitcoin” then they would have to be returned.
The city expects that the cost of energy needed for the three machines will be offset by the value of bitcoin mined. The program will be evaluated six months after its start.
The mayor is scheduled to join a Twitter Spaces session titled “Fort Worth Mayor and Bitcoin Mining,” on Tuesday starting at 3:45 PM ET.
This report has been updated with additional information.