The 21 Bitcoin Computer’s primary objective is to make bitcoin a standard feature of all web services, seeking to put a “bitcoin” button right next to PayPal and credit card options. As the first platform to offer both hardware and software support for Bitcoin, it has been an eye-candy for most of the open source community, myself included.
Built on top of the Raspberry Pi, with a customized bitcoin-mining ASIC and a heat sink, it is a one of a kind MVP. It is a foreshadowing of the things that Bitcoin will get itself into for the next couple of years. Intended to be a readily available stream of satoshis for app development, services and devices, it takes Bitcoin integration to a more developer-friendly atmosphere. Simply typing “21 mine” in its command line interface will have already get you started with either background or foreground mining, ready for your bitcoin-powered apps and services.
To give you an overview of just how versatile this platform is, here are some of the stuff you can do with it:
- Create your own bitcoin game
- Make a fully functional Bitcoin-payable API with flask
- Delve into Bitcoin accelerated computing via a remote server
- Translate English to Chinese (and get paid with BTC of course)
- Receive an SMS from anyone for Bitcoin (without revealing your phone number)
If those things got you all worked up, then head out to their official site for the step-by-step guides.
It is ironic however that this treat could not be purchased with our beloved BTC (what a sham). The team themselves states that:
“payment in bitcoin is not as big an improvement at the present time over standard ways to purchase macroscopic physical goods….. where Bitcoin really shines is for micropayments, as a medium of exchange for digital goods and services.”
Be that as it may, the community’s outrage should be expected, and let’s hope that 21 INC changes their predicament on the matter.