by Joseph Young
Amsterdam-based Bitcoin block explorer and API development startup BlockTrail has launched a multi-sig bitcoin wallet set to challenge dominant bitcoin wallet platforms in the market like blockchain.info and Coinbase. which current support around 4 million users.
The Dutch startup aims set itself apart by keeping “true to Bitcoin’s core values,” giving its users the security, privacy and power to control their own bitcoins, instead of giving up that control to a centralized coin repository.
“People [in the Bitcoin community] know us, and there’s reason to trust our brand and use our apps. But in the case of Bitcoin you don’t even need to trust us, so if we were to disappear… people still own their bitcoins. We cannot run away with their bitcoins. And they could still use the app and restore their wallets even without us, which is really what makes us special,” explained BlockTrail co-founder and CEO Boaz Bechar.
Decentralized bitcoin wallet enables users to retain control over their bitcoins, even in an event of a data breach or a hacking attack, like the Mt. Gox incident. The service provider never has the authority to lock or move funds associated with the wallets registered on its platform.
Many bitcoin wallet platforms currently on the market have emerged since mid-2013, when HD wallet and multi-signature technology was not introduced.
“We differ from Blockchain wallet because we use different technology from them. They came around when HD wallet and multi-signature wasn’t yet around… We were able to start off our infrastructure built on multi-signature and built on HD wallet. And this offers users a better all-around wallet and technology,” said Bechar.
Furthermore, Bechar emphasized that Coinbase acts more like a bank, with their centralized bitcoin repository and services that require compliance officers.
“[Coinbase] operates more like a bank. And we don’t really offer these services. We will plan to offer them later on, through partners, but our operations are very different — even though the product might seem the same to a person who is not very familiar with Bitcoin,” added Bechar.
Diversifying their Services
Earlier this year, BlockTrail acquired SendChat, a digital currency messaging application, after closely working together in a strategic partnership integrating BlockTrail’s infrastructure and technology into the application.
Since the acquisition of SendChat, BlockTrail has been eyeing on different sectors of the bitcoin industry, to diversify their services. The launch of its bitcoin wallet may mark the start of BlockTrail’s plans to transform itself into a well-rounded bitcoin platform.