Bitcoin startup 21 has applied for a patent for mining circuitry that “may be used to mine digital currency such as bitcoins,” with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
The filing lists the following names as inventors of the digital currency mining circuitry:
- Matthew Pauker, co-founder and now chairman (CEO at the time of application)
- Nigel Drego, co-founder, and chief architect
- Veerbhan Kheterpal, co-founder, and president
- Daniel Fir, co-founder
The process toward the approval of a patent from the USPTO, the authority that recognizes intellectual properties and products for trademarks before issuing patents to investors and business usually takes years.
A summary from the filing reads:
“Dedicated mining circuitry may be used to mine digital currency by completing a function according to the protocol that governs the digital currency. The function may form a cryptographic puzzle such that the dedicated mining circuitry completes the function by computing solutions to the cryptographic puzzle.
“The mining circuitry may be part of an integrated circuit or electronic device that serves as a node of a network of nodes that collectively govern or support the digital currency.”
With 21 Inc.’s first consumer product coming after total funding of $116 million in venture capital funding so far, the bitcoin computer has its critics. The application and restrictions that the filing of the patent brings to bitcoin innovation, in general, remains to be seen.
An excerpt from the filing notes:
The present invention relates to mining of digital currencies such as crypto-currencies. Mining circuitry and mining operations described herein may be used for any digital medium of exchange such as digital currencies, credits, rewards, or points.
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