Block, the esteemed financial services and technology firm led by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, has proudly announced the completion of its new prototype ASIC chip. This revolutionary five-nanometer (5nm) chip will catalyze Block’s ambitious plans to introduce an open-source Bitcoin mining rig design to the global market.
Decentralizing Bitcoin Mining: A Key Component of the Block Vision
In a recent blog post published on April 28, Block highlighted the financial and technical challenges of developing Bitcoin mining ASIC rigs. The company noted that these obstacles have led to an “excessive concentration of custom Bitcoin mining silicon” in the hands of a few select corporations. Block identifies this centralization as detrimental to individual miners and the Bitcoin network as a whole.
With a commitment to decentralizing the supply of Bitcoin mining rigs, the San Francisco-based company revealed its plan to make Bitcoin mining technology open source. Block aims to “optimize innovation and maximize the size of the Bitcoin mining hardware ecosystem by selling standalone ASICs and other hardware components.”
Over the past few months, Block has taken strategic steps to enable experimentation with new designs and facilitate the creation of more efficient, cost-effective Bitcoin mining chips. Block has acquired a substantial batch of ASIC chips from Intel to expedite this development process.
On April 18, Intel declared it would cease taking new orders for its Blockscale 1000 Series ASICs by October 20, with shipping ending in April 2024. This decision came as part of Intel’s cost-cutting measures. Block believes this significant acquisition of Intel’s ASICs will help accelerate the development of its proprietary 3nm chip. Upon release, this groundbreaking chip is anticipated to be the most advanced in the industry.
The Significance of a 5nm Chip: Increased Efficiency and Reduced Heat Production
As chip components become smaller, more transistors can fit into a silicon die of the same size. This size reduction allows the electric current to travel a shorter distance within the circuit to perform a calculation. Consequently, overall efficiency is improved, and heat production is diminished.
It is important to note that 5nm ASIC chips have existed for some time, with the earliest 5nm ASIC released in 2021 by Chinese mining firm Canaan. Presently, most Bitcoin mining ASICs operate on 5nm chips. However, no other company has made their ASIC chip designs open source.
Block’s innovative 5nm open-source ASIC chip prototype represents a significant milestone in the ongoing effort to decentralize the Bitcoin mining industry. By fostering innovation and expanding the mining hardware ecosystem, Block aims to revolutionize the market, paving the way for a more inclusive and efficient mining environment.
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