21 Inc has applied for a patent for specialized bitcoin mining circuitry, public records show.
According to an application published earlier this month by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), 21 Inc is seeking a patent for “digital currency mining circuitry with adaptable difficulty compare capabilities”.
The application was originally filed on 6th May, 2015, with 21 co-founders Nigel Drego, Veerbhan Kheterpal and Daniel Firu named as inventors. The application is the second for 21, which submitted a similar application in April 2014 that was published in October of last year.
Bitcoin mining is an energy-intensive process by which entities on the network race to create the next valid block of transactions, and the successful addition of a block nets the miner 12.5 fresh bitcoins, worth roughly $9,200 at current prices. In the years since bitcoin’s creation, mining has evolved from smaller, home-based setups to data center-based operations that run hundreds of machines simultaneously.
According to the application, it’s the rise of specialized bitcoin mining hardware that resulted in a need to develop improved methods for chasing the next block.
The application states:
“The difficulty of the cryptographic puzzle has led to the use of