Bitcoin entreprenuer Jeff Garzik has started Bloq, a code-for-hire service to develop features for blockchain software and provide access to blockchain support, according to Bloomberg. The company charges $3,000 to $5,000 per month. PriceWaterhouseCoopers has agreed to sell the service to its customers.
“That opens up a lot of doors for us early in the company’s lifetime,” Garzik said. “Companies know who to call at 3 a.m. if the blockchain is melting down.”
Garzik modeled Bloq on Red Hat Inc., which helped businesses develop and deploy Linux and other open-source software. From working at Red Hat, which grew to $11 billion, Garzik said his code is in every Android phone and most data centers.
Since leaving Red Hat, he has contributed to bitcoin’s promotional and technical benefits. He sits on the board of Coin Center and the advocacy boards of Netki Inc. and Bitfury Group Ltd. He has also attempted to launch satellites to support bitcoin transactions in space.
With Bloq, Garzik competes against other startups in attracting programmers knowledgeable about blockchain, the online, decentralized ledger that logs bitcoin transactions and other data. He said there are fewer than 200 people who know the blockchain very well.
Samsung Electronics Co. and International Business Machines Corp. have partnered on blockchain technology. Factom, Chain, Overstock.com and Digital Asset Holdings are developing new applications connected to the blockchain. R3, a consortium of financial institutions including Wells Fargo & Co. and Barclays plc, is seeking ways to use the blockchain for money transfers and other applications. Bloq will help clients deploy technologies for organizations like R3, Garzik said.
A big opportunity exists for companies building customized blockchains that are based on open-source code to meet business challenges, said Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.
Bloq currently has three solutions for customers, according to its website.
Bloq already has five customers including KnMiner AB, Circle Internet Financial Ltd. and itBit Trust Company LLC. It expects Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles iPhones and other electronics, to become a client.
Bloq has raised under $250,000 from co-founder Matt Roszak’s Tally Capital, Garzik said. The board of advisors includes Nick Szabo, Andrew Filipowski and Gavin Andresen, all bitcoin experts.
Images from Facebook/Jeff Garzik and Bloq.