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Bitcoin Miner Canaan Acquires Blockchain Notary Service


Bitcoin mining hardware firm Canaan has acquired document timestamping service Proof of Existence.

Founded in 2013 by Manuel Araoz and Esteban Ordano, the service lets users verify the existence of documents by linking them to transactions on the bitcoin blockchain.

As part of the deal, Araoz will join Canaan as an advisor, working on new product initiatives at the startup. Canaan said it plans to keep Proof of Existence operating, with Araoz providing input on potential changes and improvements in the months ahead.

Other details of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

“I’m really happy to close this deal with Canaan. First and foremost because they understand blockchain technology,” Araoz said in a statement. “They’ve been around for years, and they expend hard dollars to build the chips that secure the blockchain. I’m looking forward to enhancing the product, and exploring other blockchain services.”

The announcement closely follows word that Canaan raised $43m in financing to support its push into the artificial intelligence space, among other initiatives.

In statements, Canaan indicated that the Proof of Existence acquisition forms part of a broader strategy to expand into other areas beyond mining hardware, including the AI push.

“We make the hardware that secures the blockchain; and now with the acquisition of Proof-of-Existence, we will also build services on top of the tamper proof features of the blockchain,” Xiangfu Liu, Canaan’s co-founder, said.

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