Jack Dorsey’s Block is Hiring to Develop Subsequent Era Bitcoin Mining ASIC

In a current job posting from Jack Dorsey’s Block, they are looking for a team dedicated to introducing the “next generation” of the Bitcoin mining ASIC.

An ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) is a microchip that is custom designed for a specific use and is not intended for general use. In this case, Block sets out to build an ASIC designed exclusively for Bitcoin mining.

In a tweet thread published in October 2021, Jack Dorsey outlined some key questions that suggested what Block’s future development of a “Bitcoin mining system” might look like. In his thread, he set out the following five topics for further investigation:

1. Distribution of miners

An important note: not all distributed networks are created equal. Distributed systems are measured on a spectrum, and networks like Bitcoin have different degrees of distribution. For example, a network can be distributed over 3 peers, or it can be distributed over 100,000 peers. The more peers there are in the system, the less the participants in the network depend on a small group of participants in order to “process transactions securely”, as Dorsey found.

An important note: not all distributed networks are created equal. Distributed systems are measured on a spectrum, and networks like Bitcoin have different degrees of distribution. For example, a network can be distributed over 3 peers, or it can be distributed over 100,000 peers. The more peers there are in the system, the less the participants in the network depend on a small group of participants in order to “process transactions securely”, as Dorsey found.

2. Increased mining efficiency

Dorsey says that “the pursuit of clean and efficient energy use is great for Bitcoin’s economy, impact and scalability”. This is something that has been a central part of Block’s stance since April 2021, when they partnered with Ark Invest to publish a whitepaper entitled “Bitcoin is the key to a bountiful, clean energy future.” In their research, they explain how Bitcoin offers the energy industry a unique opportunity by acting as the energy buyer of last resort. Setting a global price floor for energy allows us to build a more resilient clean energy infrastructure, knowing that excess energy used during off-peak hours will still find a buyer.

3. The state of silicon production

Silicon design is a very expensive, long-term capital investment that presents a high barrier to entry for the industry. A small, highly concentrated group of suppliers means limited production and delivery bottlenecks. In his tweet, Dorsey explains that he believes the combination of the silicon design process would be best if it were closely tied to “software and systems design”.

4. Vertical integration

Dorsey believes that not enough companies are focusing on vertical integration. Vertical integration means that multiple stages of the production process in the supply chain are integrated and fully owned by a single company. This all-encompassing process eliminates the dependence on external production factors that could cause restrictions and uncertainties in the entire production process.

5. Accessibility to mining

While the popularity of building home mining setups has certainly increased over the past year, Bitcoin ASICs still have a long way to go before they can be viewed as simple plug-and-play technology. Dorsey explains that we need more incentives to overcome the “complexities” of Bitcoin mining in order to make it accessible. Hopefully one day mining bitcoin at home will be as easy as plugging in your toaster. In the future, engineers will be able to develop further solutions for upcycling the heat from home mining systems and integrate them directly into existing home supply systems such as HVAC or water heating systems.


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