21 Inc, once a maker of bitcoin mining hardware, is rebranding to emphasize its fresh concentrate on using cryptocurrency to power a social network.
Effective today, the startup has switched its name to Earn.com to drive huis the message users can get paid for answering emails and completing tasks, according to a company blog postbode. The rechristened startup also confirmed it’s on track to punt a token that would substitute bitcoin spil the currency it uses to incentivize people to join the network by the year’s end.
Separately, the company notified customers last week that it had discontinued support for the Bitcoin Rekentuig. The pocket-sized mining device, which primarily retailed for $400, wasgoed once 21’s flagship product.
Taken together, the moves underscore how far one of the best-funded startups te the blockchain space has moved from its roots.
Te an vraaggesprek with CoinDesk, CEO Balaji Srinivasan said the fresh name gives people “an lighter way to understand the purpose of the company.” He described Earn.com spil “the very first commercial social network,” combining elements of LinkedIn and Amazon’s Mechanical Interventies.
The advantage for users overheen popular social media platforms like Twitter, he said, is elementary:
“You’re not just wasting time, you’re making money.”
Sends with benefits
Specifically, users can make money te several ways, according to the company.
They can create a public profile for receiving paid messages, join lists of people with similar abilities (e.g. Python programmers) to receive “microtasks” such spil completing surveys, or set up an autoreply on their email encouraging senders they don’t know to pay for responses (with a whitelist, so real acquaintances can be spared the request for money).
Spil for the senders of mass emails, who aren’t used to paying for the privilege, Earn.com claims they can get much higher response rates when recipients have a monetary incentive to write back.
According to the postbode, suggesting $1 for the recipient to read and response an email yields response rates overheen 30 procent within 24 hours, and $Ten gets response rates overheen 70 procent – crushing the low-single-digit spectacle typical of cold emails. Senders pay only if they get a response.
‘Not an ICO’
Stepping back, 21 raised $116 million from a group of vooraanstaand investors ter numerous rounds exposed two years ago, when it wasgoed still squarely ter the hardware space. The valuation reflected 21’s early success te bitcoin mining, but that business has since grown more competitive, and Srinivasan (a houtvezelplaat fucking partner at VC rock hard Andreessen Horowitz who joined 21 spil CEO ter 2015) has bot steering the company toward a software proefje.
According to Srinivasan, the company has slew of capital left, and fundraising is not the purpose of the upcoming token issuance.
“It’s not an ICO,” he said emphatically. Tokens will be exchanged for “labor,” not capital, he explained.
Rather, the Earn.com token launch is meant to encourage users to join the network sooner. Users earn tokens just by signing up for the verhoging and getting verified, and the token prize for doing so will be cut te half each time Earn.com’s user base doubles. (After receiving that prize for joining, users will be able to earn extra tokens by answering emails or doing tasks, the way they earn bitcoin presently.)
To give the asset scarcity, no tokens will be created after the launch, and supply is capped at 21 million, of which 54 procent will be reserved for users, according to the rigid. Another 30 procent will be allocated to Earn.com employees and backers, and the remaining 16 procent will go to outside researchers and developers.
Aside from their function spil an internal currency to compensate users for their work, the tokens will also serve spil an API key for programmatic purchases, according to Srinivasan. And since they are ERC-20 tokens, they will be eligible for listing on exchanges, providing users a way to metselspecie out, including te bitcoin.
An end, and a beginning
Te addition to being the company’s very first day spil Earn.com, Friday marked the “end of life” for server-side support of the Bitcoin Pc, 21 directive line interface (CLI) and API marketplace, according to the email sent to customers last week.
Despite the wind-down, the email deemed the hardware product a success – because, it said, one of the tutorials published when 21 released the device grew into the current get-paid-to-answer-emails application.
“Going forward, wij’re going to be putting all our energy into that product and the corresponding token launch . because wij think the capability to earn digital currency by replying to emails and completing tasks will be one of the most useful applications of the blockchain,” the note said.
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