Published On: Fri, Nov 21st, 2014

Bitcoin Company Blockstream Raises $21 Million

Close up 3D illustration of paneled golden Bitcoins

Blockstream has raised $21 million in a seed round of funding to drive Bitcoin development.

The funding came from people like LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Google chairman Eric Schmidt. There are almost 40 different investors.

It seems now that everyone wants to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon. The virtual currency has only a limited amount in existence but much of it has yet to be found. It needs to be “mined” from the Internet with the aid of special devises.

Many experts, however, feel that Bitcoin is just another example of an overhyped commodity and expect the bubble to soon burst. But clearly some of the smartest people in the world of high tech disagree with this assessment.

Blockstream says that it was founded to develop new ways to accelerate innovation in crypto currencies, open assets and smart contracts. “We’ve come together because we believe in the potential of bitcoin and blockchain technology to have a significant, positive social impact, ” states the company.

The company’s main project Sidechains intends to turn its “blockchain” ledger into a disruptive, decentralizing platform for peer-to-peer digital-asset exchanges.

Reid Hoffman wrote in a blog post, “As Bitcoin evolves, Blockstream will play a huge role in helping it maintain its momentum, by making it easy to add new capabilities to the platform. And Blockstream’s success will in turn generate new waves of technical and entrepreneurial innovation — it will help make Bitcoin the kind of open, highly adaptive platform upon which a vast array of complementary products and services can be built.”

Blockstream CEO and co-founder Austin Hill boasted that, “Blockstream is the first company extending the capabilities at the protocol level to support massive scaling of bitcoin and blockchain technology to a broad range of asset types. Put another way, the extension mechanism of sidechains, the company’s initial area of focus, allows any number of so far unthought of developments to happen in an open and inter-operable way.”

The company’s other founders include Mark Friedenbac, a software engineer, formerly a contractor at NASA-Ames Research Center, and an independent Bitcoin protocol developer.

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