Will Jack Dorsey move on to crypto mining?

Outgoing Twitter boss has made several comments about bitcoin mining

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey                                 
Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is looking at new projects after stepping down as CEO – Photo: Alamy
                                

Jack Dorsey stepping down as Twitter CEO has raised plenty of questions, but one certainty is that Dorsey will now have more time to commit to cryptos – and specifically bitcoin.

Dorsey had made plenty of bitcoin and crypto comments in the run-up to his Twitter resignation statement.

In October he said that Square – the digital payments company he co-founded – was “considering building a bitcoin mining system”.

Dorsey tweeted about this personally on 15 October and said the system would be “based on custom silicon and open source for individuals and businesses worldwide”.

Dorsey went on to say in his thread that if it were to do this, Square would “follow our hardware wallet model: build in the open in collaboration with the community”.

Mining ‘needs to be more decentralised’

The CEO of Square also believes that bitcoin mining needs to become more “distributed” and “decentralised”. Dorsey said: “The core job of a miner is to securely settle transactions without the need for trusted third parties. This is critical well after the last bitcoin is mined.”

In addition, Dorsey feels that mining needs to become more efficient and use cleaner energy, as this would be “great for bitcoin’s economics, impact, and scalability”.

Dorsey also wants to make bitcoin mining more “accessible”, saying the process should be “as easy as plugging a rig into a power source”. He believes there “isn’t enough incentive today for individuals to overcome the complexity of running a miner for themselves”.

Jesse Dorogusker, hardware lead at Square, will start “the deep technical investigation required to take on this project”. Dorsey ended his tweets by saying, “Now over to Jesse”.

Dorsey tries his hand with Compass Mining

Dorogusker replied to Dorsey’s tweets and said: “We will incubate the bitcoin mining system project inside Square’s hardware team, starting with architecture, design and prototyping of more efficient silicon, hashing algorithms and power architectures.”

Back In August Dorsey announced he was attempting to mine cryptos himself.

Dorsey tweeted on 17 August that he was trying it out with Compass Mining, which hosts, supplies and operates cryptocurrency mining rigs. The company’s slogan is “now everyone can mine bitcoin” and its aim is to help “people learn, explore and mine bitcoin”.

According to Compass Mining, a miner can earn around $33 in profit a day and you can buy mining hardware from the company for $8,200.

5% of Square’s cash is held in bitcoin

Back in February, Square also announced that it had bought 3,318 bitcoins at an aggregate purchase price of $170m (£127m) at the time.

Square had already purchased $50m (£37m) worth of bitcoin, meaning 5% of Square’s total cash is in bitcoin.

tbDEX project

More recently, Dorsey announced that Square is to launch an initiative called tbDEX.

The white paper released for tbDEX said: “tbDEX is a protocol for discovering liquidity and exchanging assets (such as bitcoin, fiat money, or real-world goods) when the existence of social trust is an intractable element of managing transaction risk.”

It continues: “The tbDEX protocol facilitates decentralised networks of exchange between assets by providing a framework for establishing social trust, utilising decentralised identity (DID) and verifiable credentials (VCs) to establish the provenance of identity in the real world.”

bitcoin2021

Miami mayor Francis Suarez wants to make the city the next crypto capital of the world, and in June it staged the largest crypto gathering ever, bitcoin2021, which had a sold-out crowd of 12,000 people attending.

The event saw talks from Dorsey, bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, CEO of business intelligence company MicroStrategy (MSTR), and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk, who has invested in bitcoin.

During the crypto event, Dorsey said: “If I were not at Square or Twitter I’d be working on bitcoin.”

Dorsey’s resignation letter

On 29 November Dorsey announced his resignation as CEO of Twitter, which he co-founded in 2006. He tweeted that he was stepping down from the company after 16 years, with Parag Agrawal becoming the new CEO.

Agrawal was chief technology officer (CTO), a position he has held for four years – prior to that he was a software engineer at Twitter for six years.

Agrawal became Twitter CEO immediately following Dorsey’s tweet, with the Square CEO remaining on the Twitter board to around “May-ish” time.

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