Last month the US Patent & Trademark Office published details of a patent filed by San Francisco-based startup 21 Inc, relating to circuitry and operations enabling widespread ‘mining’ of digital currencies.
Behind the somewhat crude term ‘mining’ is an initiative which could enable Bitcoin to become, notwithstanding its rather turbulent beginnings, a currency just like any other. Meanwhile, 21 Inc has recently begun to manufacture and sell its ‘Bitcoin Computer’ which includes a customised chip that will enable users to record and confirm transactions in the digital cryptocurrency, a process known as ‘mining’.
Nowadays, enthusiasm for Bitcoin and the blockchain technology that underpins it is no longer restricted to a few eccentrics. The blockchain approach to recording assets and verifying transactions has already attracted notice on Wall Street and is under examination at a number of major banking institutions. New associated financial services are already seeing the light of day.