by Joseph Young
Blockchain, the world’s second largest bitcoin (BTC) wallet platform behind Coinbase, fully integrated Ethereum by launching its ether (ETH) wallet on August 17. Users can now trade BTC for ETH directly from its web-based wallet platform through Shapeshift.
In a statement provided by Digital Currency Group, the bitcoin-focused investment company which has an ownership stake in Blockchain and ShapeShift, Peter Smith explained that the demand for an ether wallet from existing Blockchain users had increased significantly over the past few years. In consideration of the rapid rise in Ethereum’s popularity, Smith and the rest of the Blockchain team integrated ether into its platform and established a partnership with ShapeShift.
“As popularity of ethereum has grown, so has the desire from our customers to have the option to manage multiple digital assets within their blockchain wallets. We are thrilled to introduce this new functionality to our community and will continue to find ways to make interacting with digital assets even easier,’ said Blockchain CEO Peter Smith.
Ever since its launch in 2011, the Blockchain development team has focused on usability, simplicity, and security. In its integration of Ethereum on August 17, Blockchain tried to minimize changes to the user interface by providing a simple toggle button that allows users to switch back and forth from their bitcoin and ether wallets. Moreover, in its main web-based platform, the balance of user accounts is now shown in both bitcoin and ether. Mobile support is expected soon.
Bitcoin users, investors, and traders can also purchase and sell ether through Blockchain’s internal implementation of ShapeShift, directly from the wallet platform. Users are not required to leave the Blockchain wallet application to trade ether, and through ShapeShift, users are also not required to forfeit or provide any additional information.
A merit of using Blockchain and ShapeShift to store and trade cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether is that they are both non-custodial platforms. Neither one of the two applications jeopardizes the security of bitcoin and ether wallets because users have absolute control over their private keys. Hence, in terms of security and efficiency, Blockchain’s implementation of ShapeShift will be a major advantage for Ethereum users.
It is important to note that the ether integration is the first major product launch since the closure of Blockchain’s latest $40 million funding round. In June, the Blockchain team raised investment from Google’s investment arm GV and billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. In an interview with CNBC, Smith revealed that the majority of the investment would be allocated to research and addressing increasing demand from general consumers.
“We are really focused on scaling to meet the record demand we are getting in the market. We started raising this round before the run-up in the cryptomarket. It was good timing in the end because while we were closing the round, we were massively up on every level. Our traffic has been growing 15 percent week over week in last two weeks,” Smith said at the time.
The integration of Ethereum and partnership with ShapeShift is the first major step Blockchain has taken towards the larger cryptocurrency market, which has surpassed the $140 billion mark according to CoinMarketCap.com. Blockchain is beginning to serve the entire cryptocurrency market in addition to bitcoin, which remains as the dominant cryptoasset.
In the upcoming months, the Blockchain development team aims to appeal to a larger consumer base within the global cryptocurrency market by revealing more product launches and expanding its team across many countries in Europe.