Trump Considering Bitcoin Entrepreneur to Head FDA
President Donald Trump is considering Balaji Srinivasan, the founder of Bitcoin startup 21.co, according to Bloomberg. Srinivasan was also a biotech entrepreneur before venturing in to the Bitcoin space, and is closely aligned with VC Peter Thiel. Thiel, who co-founded PayPal, is also a vocal Bitcoin proponent, as well as Trump’s nominee for the head of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney and another member of congress, Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat, launched the bipartisan Blockhain Caucus in September. The addition of Srinivasan to the administration would make it among the most pro-Bitcoin governments in the world, even though there is no explicit policy yet concerning the cryptocurrency in the United States. (See also: Why Trump Budget Chief Pick is Good for Bitcoin)
Srinivasan as a Biotech Entrpreneur and 21.co
Srinivasan, before founding 21.co, o-founded the biotech startup Counsyl Inc., which developed a pregnancy test to quickly detect Down syndrome and other severe, chromosome-related birth defects. According to Bloomberg, as FDA chair, “that could put him at odds with Republicans, since such tests are used early in pregnancy to help couples make decisions about abortion.” He has also been a vocal critic of the FDA on Twitter, saying that the agency is a roadblock to innovation. According to btcmanager.com, shortly after the nomination, however, Srinivasan deleted all his former tweets, but many of them can be accessed on archive.is.
Most recently, Srinivasan founded 21.co, a Bitcoin startup whose vision is to embed bitcoin mining algorithms into the microchips of consumer electronics hardware such as mobile phones or tablets to mine tiny amounts of bitcoin in order to defray some of the costs of the device itself, or usage in the case of phones. The startup has raised the most venture capital funding of any bitcoin company to date, with $116 million invested. Despite this, 21.co has only released one product to the public, a so-called bitcoin mining computer, similar to a Raspberry Pi, and whose implemented mining chip does usually not even pay for the energy costs. It has largely been regarded as a flop.
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