LinkedIn Killer? Bitcoin Upstart 21 Takes on Social With Email Play

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Cryptic bitcoin company 21 Inc has launched a paid email platform that seems far removed from its initial focus on hardware.

The move is yet another in a string of pivots by the firm. Since it revealed it had raised $116m in 2015 (accrued over multiple rounds), 21 has evolved its strategy several times.

Originally founded as a bitcoin mining company, it soon appointed a new CEO – Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan – and announced plans to distribute bitcoin mining chips embedded in consumer and enterprise hardware devices. The chips, attached to a Raspberry Pi and called ’21 Bitcoin Computers’, started shipping in November 2015 and quickly developers began building applications for the device.

Then, in March 2016, the company launched its first proof-of-concept for a network of devices incentivized to monitor websites with bitcoin. Several months later, it launched a software package that allowed any connected device to join the 21 network, enabling capabilities that were once only available to those with a 21 Bitcoin Computer.

The new communications platform seems to be yet another evolution for 21 Inc, though Srinivasan said the company has been working on this idea for some time, pointing to an SMS version of the current product that was published in

Read more ... source: CoinDesk

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