Bitcoins have become somewhat of a complicated and mysterious topic. What initially seemed to start out as a rather strange take on what a currency is, more recent reports are starting to serious see bitcoins as a prototype of what future currencies might be like and behave as. One startup, in particular, has been for awhile now readying itself to unveil its plans for the newly (and largely not understood) concept.
21, is the startup in question and what they have announced today is a rather ambitious plan to bring bitcoins to smartphones. In particular, 21 hopes to turn smartphones into bitcoin mining machines. For those that don't know, bitcoin mining, is essentially the creation of bitcoins. This is done through masses and masses of data crunching in where the bitcoins are literally rewarded for the processing and data crunching. In the past (presently, is probably far more accurate) bitcoin mining is typically achieved through large and vast data centres which have the capacity to mine the large amount of data needed to earn sufficient bitcoin rewards to be viable. However, 21 are looking to unify the networks of smartphones that are currently in circulation so that they can (essentially as one) mass mine bitcoins. In short, every smartphone doing its bit.
Now, the way 21 suggest this will be achieved is that they have developed an SoC, the 'BitShare' which will be responsible for the mining. This SoC can be utilized in a smartphone to achieve its participation in the mining process. What's more is that 21 state that they can use the SoC as a separate and standalone chip or incorporate it into any existing chip already in use on the market. If you are wondering what would be the benefit to you? Well, this is where 21 offer a more philosophical answer. In short, 21 state that they are not looking to necessarily create billions (in terms of value) of bitcoins but instead, push forward more towards the unity of the medium and the world of IoT in general. This in turn will offer the wider community of connected devices a more comprehensive currency which could be used instead of the traditional methods of payments being used now. Of course, this will not make the mining device owner rich, however, the device owner will be entitled to a proportion of the mined bitcoin value and in turn will be able to re-use the value within the connected world that the bitcoin mined SoC's have helped to create. In fact, 21 feel that this could be so much of a game changer that the smartphone bitcoin processor could be as important when choosing a device as RAM, CPU or memory.