This week, 21 Inc. unveiled its Bitcoin computer and left many thinking "Was that it?" For $399, 21 Inc will sell you a tiny computer with a customized chip that allows you to generate roughly 10 cents worth of bitcoin per day. The company envisions, "A future where digital currency serve as a lubricant for a wide variety of electronic transactions..." This article points a few reasons why 21 Inc.'s vision is flawed.
The 21 Bitcoin Computer, which was unveiled this week, is one of the most highly anticipated products in the Bitcoin world. The company behind it, 21 Inc., has raised $120 million from prominent investors like PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and the well-known firm of Andreessen Horowitz. So this week's announcement left a lot of people confused. For $399, you can get a tiny computer with a customized chip that allows you to generate bitcoins. An incredibly small quantity of bitcoins, in fact — according to one back-of-the-envelope calculation, it will generate around 10 cents' worth of bitcoin per day if run constantly. And depending on where you live, the electricity required to power the device could cost more than the value of the bitcoins generated.