MintChip will be tapping the services of SecureKey to provide PIN authentication for users of its solution.
MintChip is the brainchild of the Royal Canadian Mint. Technologically, it resembles cryptocurrency like Bitcoin in behaving like a p2p currency- “self-secured” via cryptography with no intermediary such as a bank. The currency it supports is fiat in every other way. Previously, we discussed MintChip’s latest splash into the crypto world when the solution was presented at the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & EXPO in New York nearly two months ago.
With SecureKey, users will have to enter a QuickCode PIN on their device before they can access their funds. While the notion of a PIN to access funds shouldn’t sound too novel, in this case it is actually designed to replace the cumbersome baggage of keys, certificates and the like. In addition, the PIN works across multiple devices. With standard bank/credit cards, a PIN is specific to only one specific card, even if there are multiple cards per an account. With Mintchip and SecureKey, your mobile device(s) and/or PC are like multiple bank cards protected by a single PIN.
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Mobile devices take it a step further in that they can be used directly at MintChip-enabled point-of-sale terminals.
SecureKey is a Toronto-based startup who provides “cloud-based, trusted identity networks that enable organizations to quickly and easily deliver high-value online services securely to millions of consumers”. They are the Mint’s second major partner in this endeavor, the first being Ingenico, a global payment solutions company who will develop the hardware.
In essence, the introduction of a third party host for secure PIN’s somewhat lessens the p2p “purity” relative to Bitcoin, which is designed to secure itself using its own keys. Practically speaking, it can offer the best of both worlds in relegating the middleman solely to a role of security guard without him getting his hands on the money or taking any part of it, unlike what is encountered with today’s fiat.