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Jack Dorsey’s payments company Block seeks input on mining kit

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Jack Dorsey’s Block, Inc. has announced that it is seeking input on an ongoing Bitcoin mining project, as seen in a blog post from the company on March 7.

Block Inc. announces MDK

Naoise Irwin, Senior Product Lead of Mining Hardware, said that Block is planning to produce a mining development kit (MDK). This will include a “hashboard,” a controller board, software and firmware, and reference materials and documentation.

The company plans to make the hashboard compatible with its own control board and other devices such as the commonly-used Raspberry Pi.

The company also is seeking input on matters such as cost, optimization, configuration interfaces, networking interfaces, programming languages, operating system support, open-source licensing, and compatibility with other mining hardware.

Irwin said that the company aims to offer a suite of tools for use in various applications. Specifically, the MDK could be applied in heating solutions, off-grid mining, home mining, intermittent power applications, and commercial mining optimization.

There is not yet any launch date estimated for the mining kit.

Cash App company moves into mining

Block was formerly known as Square and is best known for its Cash App payments app, which has offered support for Bitcoin since 2018. Cash App brought in $848 million of gross profit for the firm in Q4 2022, accounting for about half of its total gross profit in that period.

The company has moved into mining relatively recently. Dorsey initially announced that his firm was considering creating an open Bitcoin mining system in October 2021. Dorsey later announced more definite plans to that end in January 2022.

The company’s efforts to produce open mining hardware are notable. Bitcoin mining is currently dominated by large companies such as Bitmain — both in terms of hardware manufacturing and in terms of hashrate output from mining centers. Square’s efforts, if they are successful, should open the industry to many new participants.

Block has also partnered with Blockstream and Tesla on an environmentally sustainable mining project. The firm invested $6 million in the multi-million dollar effort.

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