The well-known and well-funded Bitcoin start-up 21 Inc. seems to be on its way to become what Nest is for the home devices. Like Nest, 21 wants to connect Bitcoin mining to the Internet of Things (IoT) era. The company has taken its first step towards it by announcing its plan to launch and market the 21 BitShare chips.
The 21 BitShare chips are embeddable electronic chips for any device that can be connected to the internet. The gadgets embedded with these chips will become part of the Bitcoin mining network, earning digital currency in the process.
According to a blog post by Balaji Srinivasan, the co-founder of 21 Inc. the 21 BitShare chips will play multiple roles in the day-to-day life of people. The chips will convert the way Bitcoin mining has been done so far. It has the potential to change the concept of Bitcoin mining for profit to Bitcoin mining for convenience.
By building a network of internet enabled devices that mine on the background, there will be a constant stream of digital currency streaming as a reward for mining Bitcoin. The accumulated digital currency can be used to buy things or (it can be channeled to pay for the things already bought). This will create a whole new system of micropayments.
Being part of the bitcoin network, the devices with 21 BitShare chips can use it for decentralized device authentication. Device authentication on a network can be carried out by sending a tiny fraction of bitcoin (read one or two satoshis) to verify the device by its unique id of wallet associated with it. The multisig feature can make it even more effective and the Bitcoin protocol can make do with OTPs and PINs.
The devices with 21 BitShare chips are connected to the Blockchain. Access to Blockchain and Sidechains can be used to create an identity for the devices by allowing them to push updates about the device status and other related information on to the Blockchain. This will help the owner access the history and maintenance status of devices. The company is giving out devkits, which can be obtained by signing up on their website.