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Jack Dorsey’s nano Bitcoin mining chip heads to prototype

Jack Dorsey’s nano Bitcoin mining chip heads to prototype

Block, the financial services and technology company owned by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has completed the prototype design of its new 5nm Bitcoin (BTC) mining chip. This chip is vital to decentralizing the supply of Bitcoin mining rigs, according to a blog post published on April 28. The excessive concentration of custom Bitcoin mining silicon in the hands of a select few companies is harmful to both miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole, and developing Bitcoin mining ASIC rigs is financially and technically challenging, the company explained.

Block plans to make Bitcoin mining technology open source where possible. It intends to sell standalone ASICs and other hardware components to optimize innovation and maximize the size of the Bitcoin mining hardware ecosystem. The steps the company has taken over the past few months will allow it to experiment with new designs and provide more efficient and affordable Bitcoin mining chips in the market. In order to fast-track development, Block has purchased a large batch of ASIC chips from Intel, as it announced halting taking new orders for its Blockscale 1000 Series ASICs by Oct. 20 and end shipping in April 2024 as part of cost-cutting measures. Block can now focus exclusively on cutting-edge three-nanometer ASIC development.

The electric current travels less distance in the circuit to perform a calculation as parts of the chips become smaller. This means that overall efficiency is improved, and the amount of heat produced is decreased. It’s worth noting that 5nm ASIC chips have been around for some time, with the earliest 5nm ASIC being released in 2021 from Chinese mining firm Canaan. Most ASICs for Bitcoin mining run on 5nm chips. However, no company has made their ASIC chip designs open source.

Bitmain S19 ASIC mining rig. Source: Bitmain.

ASIC stands for “application-specific integrated circuit” and refers to a computerized device optimized to complete a single computational function. It’s typically used for mining proof-of-work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Related: Mineflation: Cost to mine one Bitcoin in the US rises from $5K to $17K in 2023

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