21 Inc. Files a Patent for ‘Digital Currency Mining Circuitry’

October 19, 2015 14:05 UTC

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 submission, originally filed in April last year by the startup that recently released a $400 bitcoin computer, was published as a submission by the USPTO on October 15, 2015.

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.

Images from Shutterstock.

Last modified: October 19, 2015 15:05 UTC

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Samburaj is the Editor for CCN, among the earliest and foremost publications covering financial and blockchain news. He has authored over 2,000 articles for CCN. Email him samburaj(@)ccn.com or find him barely tweeting @sambdas