It’s been awhile since 21 Inc. first started speaking about innovative project concerning bitcoin mining. It announced in March the impressive list of investors which includes Andreessen Horowitz and RRE Venture, Qualcomm Inc., founders of giants PayPal, Dropbox Inc., Expedia Inc. and some others. The final sum of investments made up no less than $116 million. Nevertheless the product itself has been kept secret for some time. Finally co-founder Balaji Srivivasan revealed the details in his recent blog post.
The company pleased bitcoin enthusiasts with bitcoin mining chips that can be embedded in personal gadgets. Thus purchasing one chip a customer buys a concurrent possibility to get bitcoin through the process called “mining”. New chip was named 21 BitShare. It can act as a separate chip or be embedded into a chipset of a particular device.
Mr. Srivivasan admits that primary interest of 21 Inc. is bitcoin as a protocol, not as a financial asset. To be more exact they are concerned with “industrial uses of bitcoin enabled by embedded mining.” They have no target to enter and capture the market of bitcoin mining but they seek to precipitate the era of Internet of Things when interconnected devices will “draw from an infinite stream of digital currencies to engage in micro-transactions”.
The concept of 21 Inc. goes that bitcoin will be seen as a substantial system resource on par with CPU, bandwidth, hard drive space and RAM. The very idea of generating bitcoin through embedded mining comparing to buying it at market price is a key.
21 Inc. is justly proud of invention saying that it’s not just a chip, it’s a full-value technology that includes reference devices, datasheets, a cloud backend and software protocols.
Balaji underlined the importance of strong team in his post and named some prominent figures. As a CEO he will manage the project while Matthew Pauker is going to take a role of Chairman. The group of co-founders is represented by Veerbhan Kheterpal, Daniel Firu and Nigel Drego. All the attempts will be aimed at wide spreading of 21 BitShares thus equipping every device with bitcoin miner.
Partners and investors speak about importance of new device in one voice.
“I am thrilled to join the board of 21, a true leader in the advance of the bitcoin technology and ecosystem,” said Ben Horowitz, General Partner and Cofounder, Andreessen Horowitz More than that, I could not be more excited to have Balaji Srinivasan step into the CEO role as he is both a genius technologist and a spiritual leader of the bitcoin movement.”
“Between Vinod Khosla’s experience with Sun and my background with Square and Paypal, we know a bit about chips and payments,” said Keith Rabois, Investment Partner, Khosla Ventures.. “We think 21 could transform both industries and we’re excited to have Balaji at the helm.”
It’s difficult to deny that bitcoin industry forges ahead. Digital currencies are becoming so integral for modern generation that even companies not interested in bitcoin as financial instrument can’t pass by thus only contributing to its popularization.