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21 Co., a Silicon Valley startup that has raised over $110 million from venture capitalists to develop software and hardware for bitcoin mining, appears to be undergoing something of a mission expansion.

The Silicon Valley company this week unveiled a product that allows users to replace their public email with a new inbox that people outside that user's network must pay to send into. It uses bitcoin infrastructure, and seems aimed at investors, top business executives, celebrities or anyone else who receives far more inbound email than they can (or want to) handle. As CEO Balaji Srinivasan explained on Product Hunt: "You can keep the money or donate it to charity. It's like LinkedIn InMail, except you actually get paid."

Why is that name familiar? Balaji Srinivasan is one of President Trump's candidates to run the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a position that has not yet been filled.

Pivot: A source close to 21 tells Axios that the new mail product isn't a stand-alone business in itself, but rather is the "first in a series of offerings using distributed micropayments to try and solve common problems." It is unclear how this move affects what had been 21's core business, as Srinivasan has not returned a request for comment.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.