The future of Bitcoin mining might be coming to home appliances near you. At least, that is the idea Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. has brought to the table recently. One of the startup’s main investors is chip manufacturer Qualcomm, and their chips power quite a few everyday devices in your home. Will you be mining Bitcoin with a toaster soon? Let’s find out.
21 Inc. – The Most Mysterious Bitcoin Startup Ever
Up until today, we still hardly know anything about Bitcoin startup 21 Inc. And that is saying something, considering the company recently completed a round of seed funding, without revealing what the money will be used for. So what can US$121m in funding do for a Bitcoin startup? The question is: what can’t it do?
One of the reasons why 21 Inc. has been capturing the attention of media outlets is because one of the companies involved in their funding round is Qualcomm. The same manufacturer making SoC – system on a chip – hardware which powers a ton of the devices at your home. Most of our readers may know the name Qualcomm as it is a part of their mobile phone chipset.
According to the information we have received, 21 Inc. wants to use the relationship with Qualcomm to make Bitcoin mining more accessible for mainstream users. In order to achieve that goal “new technology” is being developed, which could literally mean anything. But until they deliver on the promise, it is hard to speculate as to what we can expect from this cryptic announcement.
However, a small statement has been released by 21 Inc. regarding the distribution of Bitcoin mining ASIC chips. Some of the devices mentioned in that statement include USB battery chargers, toasters, set-top boxes and chipsets. Needless to say, speculation is running wild on social media and Bitcoin-related forums due to this snippet of an announcement.
Getting Bitcoin ASIC Chips To The Masses
One major question is how 21 Inc. and Qualcomm plan to tackle this hurdle. If we are to believe the information provided to us, 21 Inc. will be giving away these devices containing Bitcoin ASIC mining chips. Giving away, as in, completely free of charge. With US$121m in funding, it sounds like this Bitcoin startup can easily spare a few devices.
But there is a catch, or what did you expect? In return for giving you a free device, 21 Inc. will keep 75 percent of all mining revenue, while the end user gets to keep 25 percent. On top of that, the end user is responsible for paying any electricity fees associated with mining bitcoins through this “free” device, so you will probably end up overpaying in the long run.
On the other hand, the efforts planned by 21 Inc. are commendable, as they are the first – and possibly only – company trying to take Bitcoin mainstream in such a fashion. Whether or not it will be a huge success, remains to be seen. But the idea itself is inspiring, and might make other companies rethink their business strategy.
Images courtesy of 21 Inc., Shutterstock and Qualcomm