21 Inc., a bitcoin startup backed by venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, is releasing its first product, a computer that seeks to make bitcoin a standard feature of web services and encourage developers to build products that integrate the digital currency.
The 21 Bitcoin Computer, which goes on sale Monday, is a small, bare bones, Linux-based piece of hardware in which the bitcoin protocol is a feature of the operating system. Any products or services built with it – games or music or any online content – would have bitcoin built in as a component.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Ben Horowitz, a co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, which led the startup’s funding earlier this year. “The thing that’s completely missing that I think would make the Internet better would be machine-to-machine payments. It’s just amazingly hard to do right now.”
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