You may not have heard the name Balaji Srinivasan, but in 2016 his name could very well come to be synonymous with another more infamous ‘b’ word – bitcoin.
Since mid-2015, Srinivasan has been the acting CEO of bitcoin’s best funded startup, 21 Inc, a $116m technology firm that is in the midst of radically reinventing itself as a platform for developers and consumer services.
While the company has inarguably struggled to communicate its larger vision, the idea is perhaps more simplistic than is suggested by the grand and technical terminology that often accompanies the company’s sparse messages.
Though it’s sure to be debated, 21, it seems, is seeking to do nothing less than reimagine how the Internet works, effectively using the ability of the bitcoin network to convert electrical energy into money as a way to monetize online attention.
Its signature product, the 21 Bitcoin Computer, is perhaps best considered a prototype of what’s to come. A mining chip with a Raspberry Pi attached (and some other bells and whistles), it invites developers to build products and services that make use of its ability to provide a steady stream of