Bitcoin outfit CoinLab says that it is moving into the business incubator space, signing mining specialist Alydian as its first portfolio company.
CoinLab, which boasts that is the world's first venture-funded bitcoin company after securing $500,000 last year, initially positioned itself as a bitcoin exchange.
Earlier this year it seemed set to hit the big time after striking a deal to handle the US operations of the world's biggest exchange, Japan-based MT. Gox. However, relations quickly soured and CoinLab sued its partner for $75 million for breach-of-contract.
In an apparent change of direction, CoinLab is now planning to work as a "founder-led incubator". However, unusually, the company won't put capital into existing start-ups, instead offering "external management talent to launch and manage bitcoin businesses developed internally".
The first business to get support is Alydin, led by former Pixelworks CEO Hans Olsen and described as the first enterprise-scale bitcoin mining company in the US, offering "multi-terahash-speed turnkey" systems.
Peter Vessenes, CEO, CoinLab, says: "CoinLab has been building our infrastructure businesses and hope to launch at least one more in 2013, with some tentatively slated for 2014. We are actively recruiting adjacent industry veterans from hardware, finance, payments and insurance who want to revitalize or disrupt existing industries and help us lead the bitcoin revolution."