21 Inc is preparing to deviate away from bitcoin as a primary focus. Rather, the bitcoin mining software company is trying to shift to providing support for the development of cryptocurrency to supply social networks. Two examples of such social networks can be found in Bitchute and Steemit (I’ve linked my accounts here).
The development of cryptocurrency-based social networks could someday challenge the hegemony of centrally organized, speech-police-laden platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
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From Coin Desk
21 Inc, once a maker of bitcoin mining hardware, is rebranding to emphasize its new focus on using cryptocurrency to power a social network.
Effective today, the startup has changed its name to Earn.com to drive home the message users can get paid for answering emails and completing tasks, according to a company blog post. The rechristened startup also confirmed it’s on track to issue a token that would replace bitcoin as the currency it uses to incentivize people to join the network by the year’s end.
Separately, the company notified customers last week that it had discontinued support for the Bitcoin Computer. The pocket-sized mining device, which initially retailed for $400, was once 21’s flagship product.
Taken together, the moves underscore how far one of the best-funded startups in the blockchain space has moved from its roots.
In an interview with CoinDesk, CEO Balaji Srinivasan said the new name gives people “an easier way to understand the purpose of the company.” He described Earn.com as “the first commercial social network,” combining elements of LinkedIn and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
The advantage for users over popular social media platforms like Twitter, he said, is simple:
“You’re not just wasting time, you’re making money.”