The Blockchain technology has been around for quite some time. At first it was an unknown technology which nobody attributed any value or utility. Today, it is a widely known technology and surprising new players, such as IBM, are leading the latest wave of blockchain technology adoption. Along the years the underlying bitcoin technology has been quietly advanced on several tech fronts.
IBM, the world’s largest information technology company already announced it was introducing a new Blockchain-based protocol specially designed for smart contracts. The company is also trying to get the same tech to work with currencies besides Bitcoin.
The blockchain is a public ledger where all Bitcoin transactions are registered. It is constantly growing as ‘completed’ blocks are added to it. The blockchain has complete information about the addresses and their balances right from the genesis block to the most recently completed block. The blocks are added to the blockchain in a linear, chronological order. Each computer connected to the Bitcoin network gets a copy of the blockchain, which gets downloaded automatically upon joining the Bitcoin network.
So, creating blocks that validate transaction records is what minin is all about. There is an economic incentive for miners to participate in the network.
Now 21 Inc. has just developed a new hardware which includes a Raspberry Pi 2 computer. It seems like the 21 “Bitcoin Computer is the first computer with native hardware and software support for the Bitcoin Protocol.” Developers will be able to use the 21 Bitcoin computer to rent out any internet-accessible device on a per-use basis. “For example, the owner can allow people to submit jobs to printers and 3D printers for bitcoin, or set up a smart lock that accepts bitcoin to open a door.”
This new piece of hardware brought new players to the game since “the 21 Bitcoin Computer was produced with funding from Qualcomm, Cisco, and Andreessen Horowitz.”
The whole concept behind this new hardware is that it can become the “Square credit card reader for the Bitcoin folks”, and it aims to give developers an easier access to develop new applications on top of the bitcoin blockchain.