21 Inc has come out to give the most comprehensive vision for its mission to date, announcing that it is “officially open for business” and formalizing its management structure.
The startup burst out of stealth mode in March, announcing a record funding round of $116 million. Last week, reports emerged of its intent to stimulate the bitcoin mining economy with the free distribution of mining-enabled devices.
The latest is its unveiling of BitShare, “a bitcoin miner in every device and in every hand.” It is a versatile chip that can be used as a standalone chip in internet-connected devices or integrated into an existing chipset. It generates a continuous stream of digital currency that can be used for a variety of applications.
Balaji S. Srinivasan, now formally appointed as 21’s CEO, poses the question, “Isn’t the purpose of bitcoin mining simply to get rich — or not, as the case may be?” He goes on to delve into the concept of “embedded mining” and how its potential use cases are far more valuable. Jim Robinson IV, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of RRE Ventures (one of 21’s investors), commented:
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“We believe that massively distributed embedded mining is the bitcoin that Satoshi intended — decentralized and globally accessible.”
The continuously replenishing stream of digital currency can come in ideal time for micropayments, which are typically not economical when using conventional payment systems. Chips that are already consuming electricity can help generate revenue for their owners by mining on the side. Devices can also be authenticated by sending one satoshi through the network, a feature potentially enhanced by multisignature technology. Devices can also be made affordable to the developing world via a subsidized subscription-based model, similar to that of mobile network service providers.
Aside from the CEO slot, several other executive roles were formalized. It was also revealed that Cisco Systems and former AMR Holdings PLC chief strategy officer Mark Templeton have invested in the company.
The company invites electrical engineers and hardware designers to obtain a development kit and explore the technology.