You set up your laptop, smartphone, tablet or whatever else you have
that connects to the internet, and you get paid in bitcoins every time
the device automatically sends pings to webmasters to let them know how
their websites are performing accessed from your area. And all that
while, your normal usage of the device is not interfered with in any
That is exactly what 21inc., a Blockchain Technology Company operating
off San Francisco, California has just unveiled. It has named the
“If you are running a website of even moderate scale, it can be helpful
to know whether users around the world are getting the same performance
experienced in your office,” reads a blog post announcing the new
By the way, this service is known as Website Uptime and Performance
Monitoring in the industry jargon. And indeed, it already existed, 21
inc. is just giving it a new twist. A Bitcoin twist.
More of that later.
Before this launch, the technology company had introduced another
solution that, when fully implemented, will see devices such as
smartphones make micropayments for services they utilize such as Wifi
connection using bitcoin in smart contract arrangements.
Laying the groundwork for the internet of things network
“We think that devices will pay on demand for each service they use.
More importantly,” reads another part of a blog post announcing
Ping21,“we think the devices can themselves earn the money — in
bitcoin — necessary to pay for those services.”
This basically means, if 21inc.’s plans materialize, in the end, we will
have a situation where devices will make and spend money with little
intervention from their owners thanks to Bitcoin Payable API, a
protocol built by the company.
This seems to be the groundwork for the perfect internet of things
But who is 21inc.?
The company is a player in the Bitcoin space at multiple levels.
However, primarily it is hardware manufacturer as well as service
provider. The startup came to the attention of many within and even
without the Bitcoin community in March 2015 when it raised $116
Million from nine investors in its second round of funding.
The list of investors in that round included Andreessen Horowitz, RRE
Ventures, Yuan Capital and Pantera Capital. As a matter of fact, it
remains the largest capital
raise ever realized
in the Bitcoin ecosystem until now.
Earlier in November 2013, the startup had raised $5.1 Million from
Winklevoss Capital and Karl Mehta in its first round.
A more practical solution
After seemingly a long period filled with speculation on what the
company was building, on 15th January 2016, 21 inc. started shipping its
Bitcoin computer, a specially designed machine for mining, to buyers in
the United States.
According to a statement announcing the start of the sale, there are
plans to include more countries in the coming months.
The long-term goal of the company, as long as the hardware is concerned,
is to have ordinary household, office and even handheld gadgets embedded
with mining capabilities. That means they will contribute the hash
required for validating and including transactions on the blockchain
even as they perform their core functions.
Aside from hardware, the company has also expressed plans to bring to
the market software products and As a Service solutions. Ping21, which
was unveiled on Wednesday 16, March 2016, seems to belong to the latter
category of the products.
It must be mentioned that Ping21 comes across as more practical solution
than all the rest it has unveiled so far.
The product seeks to match computer hardware owners who do not mind
making an extra dollar with their machines and webmasters who want to be
continuously informed about the performance of their websites and
servers as accessed from different parts around the globe.
Web visitors are always impatient
Webmasters have always been concerned with the experience visitors get
when they access their sites. And indeed every owner of a website,
especially if they manage a high traffic one, understands that a slight
malfunction like a slow loading process or a broken link could cause the
brand to lose revenue or credibility.
Unfortunately, a webmaster checking the site a couple of times in a day
through the browser on their desktop is not good enough for a clear
picture. Everything might be working fine when someone visits the site
from one city. But, it turns out it is a whole different experience for
someone in a different country or continent.
Having others from other parts of the globe let you, as a webmaster,
know how your site functions is more reliable.
Of course, it is not practical for you to have people you know in these
places to let you know what the experience on your website is from their
end. And that is why one company that has built its name in offering
this service to site owners.
Pingdom, a Swedish company, has several
data centers around the world from where it monitors websites of its
clients and furnish them with data about downtimes, uptimes, and
Webmasters need this information to improve the experience
This information guides the webmasters in improving the experience for
visitors from around the globe.
What twist is Ping21 giving to Website Uptime and Performance
In the unveiling blog post, 21inc. argues however that Ping21 is better
than what the centralized datacenters subscription service providers
like Pingdom use to collect website performance statistics.
“Those servers have internet connections and uptime characteristics that
are likely quite different from the apartments and houses of your
customers,” argues the post, “Instead, to get this kind of data you’d
want to also rent machines over the
the heterogeneous network of machines in homes and offices. Measurements
from the grid and the cloud are complementary.”
Even more important, is that webmasters using Ping21 will pay only for
what they request from browsing devices in geographical areas they want
Bottom line, this seems to be a breakthrough from 21inc. Nevertheless,
the solution has to proof itself through implementation and adoption in
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