21 Inc. Is Trying to Change the Web Itself

Executive Brief

Being able to pay for applications and services across the internet has changed how commerce works, offering many small businesses new markets and possibilities that they could not have access to at any other point in history. 21 Inc. have recently announced a new initiative to streamline this process and allow earnings and payments to be made machine to machine without needing signups and other clunky processes. Based on a software package, the system is now in beta but hopes to progress to a full rollout moving forward.

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21 Inc., the cryptocurrency startup, recently announced a new initiative that has the potential to change how we view digital currency and even the web itself. Launching a new software package, Balaji Srinivasan, co-founder and CEO of 21 Inc. said that the software allows any connected device running the software to join the existing 21 network and interact with the 21 marketplace. This was a network previously only accessible through proprietary 21 Bitcoin Computers.

Balaji Srinivasan went on to say that “we think that there is going to be a third Web, the Machine Web, where the links are actually payments between machines”, and the new software package is the beginnings of this. The ‘first web’, according to Srinivasan, is the World Wide Web, a system of documents connected together. The ‘second web’ is the social web, that is people connecting directly through technology.

The ‘third web’ however, is the new concept they are working towards. Here, machines will earn bitcoin on every HTTP request through the software, which can produce a lot of bitcoin earnings. The suggested uses include digital paywalls, replacing the traditional sign up and pay or Google ad based micro transactions, but with machine transfers as the currency, no sign ups needed, the request for the data instigates the payment.

The software is claimed to allow a simple way of adding micropayments to any application with a single line of code, opening doors to new ways of funding development and providing services. The multifaceted software package allows the marketing of any project through the 21 Marketplace, dynamic pricing mechanisms and a collaboration platform for future projects.

The system is certainly ambitious, but it has the potential to change how we interact with paid for services and systems, using the existing HTTP architecture to streamline such funding for both payer and payee at once. As a cryptocurrency project it is particularly interesting as it is challenging conventional thinking on something as fundamental today as ecommerce. This potentially revolutionary way of both earning from, and paying for services and applications is the kind of boundary pushing that the initial surge of Bitcoin represented.

The views expressed by the authors on this site do not necessarily represent the views of DCEBrief or the management team.

Author: Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore is a writer and researcher with a love for the eclectic, family and the world we inhabit. He spends his spare time photographing the varied wildlife that surrounds us daily and contemplating why Firefly never made it past season one.

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