Backed by Andreessen Horowitz, RRE Ventures, and Qualcomm, 21 has just raised $116m - the largest round in venture funding received by a cryptocurrency startup. A la Satoshi, the company has kept a low profile and the exact nature of the operations remain a mystery. But according to Marc Andreessen, 21 is on a path to develop the "core infrastructure for mainstreaming bitcoin." With Qualcomm's support, is it possible that the crypto startup is targeting the massive potential of the Internet of Things?
For the past year and a half, a Silicon Valley startup has quietly convinced some of the biggest names in venture capital to back its effort to turn the technology behind bitcoin into a mass-marketed phenomenon. Now, that company, which bears the name 21 Inc., is emerging from stealth to announce it has raised $116 million in venture funding, the most ever by a startup in the digital-currency sector, based on data from bitcoin news service Coindesk.