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.

21 Inc looks to expand Bitcoin use

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’.

L'ordinateur Bitcoin de 21 Inc

                                                                     21 Inc’s Bitcoin Computer
Many readers will recall that the main strength of the Bitcoin system lies in the number of nodes involved – basically the number of computers connected to the Bitcoin network which are continually registering all transactions made in the currency. This is, in essence, startup 21 Inc’s value proposition: a computer selling at an affordable price which, when connected to the Bitcoin network, will help to drive further decentralisation of the cryptocurrency and make it available for use by a much wider public.
21 Inc

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.

Moreover, the blockchain technology is deemed to be so promising that applications seem to be limited only by the developer’s creativity!

By Pierre Pariente
Strategic Analyst chez L'Atelier BNP Paribas