The most secretive bitcoin startup claims that the new service will enable users to carry out transactions in digital and fiat currency and even lend credits.
According to the patent filing, 21 Inc applied for a patent back in 2015. The summary describes the project as
“A system and method for the secure online storage of digital currency or crypto-currency assets, and the secure use of stored online digital currency assets for financial payment transactions and credit lending transactions in either digital currency or fiat currency.”
The company describes many features of the digital currency storage it plans to build. In particular, the patent pays close attention to credit cards. Clients of the new platform will have the option to attach a credit card to their 21 bitcoin accounts and to receive credits from “a distributed peer-to-peer network of credit lenders and investors managed by the vendors online server network.”
Another key feature of the storage will be a new system of digital wallet security, claims 21 Inc.
“In contrast to conventional online digital wallets the novel spliced/paired digital wallet design involves the private software key being separated or spliced into two separate smaller keys that can only access the contents of a digital wallet when paired together, but cannot access a digital wallet separately by themselves. The concept is for the customer to retain one spliced private key and the card issuer, wallet vendor or digital bank to retain the other spliced portion of the private key for trusted payment processing and storage backup services.”
What platform describes as a novelty is, actually, the two-factor identification, the usual feature of many digital currency wallets. However, it is probably the first time a bitcoin or blockchain company includes a description of the two-factor authentication in a US patent application.
The bitcoin company 21 Inc was founded by a group of MIT graduates. In 2015, it attracted the attention of bitcoin community after having secured over $40 million of investment. In May 2015, 21 finally disclosed their inventions to the public. The developers created a device allowing users to turn any electronic equipment into a bitcoin miner.
Presently, the company produces bitcoin miners, as well as explores new ways of using them. In June 2016, 21 suggested users to turn their mining devices into climate sensors and sell received data to interested parties. The number of customers who actually followed the instructions is unknown, however, the idea captured the interest of bitcoin enthusiasts.