Blockchain analytics startup BlockTrail has gotten into the wallet business, launching its own multisignature, Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) wallet.
Although the market is already saturated with bitcoin wallets, BlockTrail is aiming to take a different approach than most. Seeking to build upon the advances in multisignature technology, it entered the game looking to restore control of bitcoins entirely to the user. This is in contrast to services like Coinbase which they view as the rough equivalent of banks holding onto user bitcoins.
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It is also seeking to leverage its analytics service, launched just over a year ago, for which it has already gathered a large following. “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,” said co-founder and CEO Boaz Bechar.
CTO Ruben De Vries added that if serving as custodian over the coins, the regulatory burden is much heavier. “They’re [Coinbase] really going [U.S.] state by state, having to deal with all the different rules in every state, spending millions on just all this crap basically and they’re barely moving to Europe because here again they have to go country by country figuring out what the rules are, how the banks are going to respond when they want to do this. So that’s why if we can use local partners… that allows us to get into that country quickly and without too much hassle,” he said.
The wallet is the latest addition in a strategy that ultimately envisions monetization through “added-value financial services” through partnerships with third parties like Bitcoin brokers.